Starting and building your family can be an exciting milestone. But for over 6 million American couples, achieving that dream of parenthood will be a challenge. For these 10% of reproductive-age couples, getting pregnant will not be easy. There are many reasons.
As a rule, a healthy lifestyle is a helpful adjunct. A good diet coupled with adequate exercise can help. Moderation with caffeine and alcohol is important as well. Patients should abstain from smoking when trying to conceive. A healthy lifestyle is important since these habits should be continued into pregnancy.
In women, problems with ovulation or the fallopian tubes are common issues that impact fertility. Men may have problems with sperm counts, motility (how many sperm are moving), or morphology (if the sperm look normal). In both women and men, simple testing can provide clear-cut answers.
Problems associated with infertility can most often be easily remedied. Most problems can be treated either medically or surgically. At times, just instituting a basic infertility therapy can overcome problems.
When To Seek Help
Contacting your Ob-Gyn or primary care physician can be a great place to start. These doctors may either initiate a basic fertility evaluation themselves or can refer patients directly to a physician who specializes in fertility. In either case, the key is to get the process moving so that time is not lost, appropriate testing is begun, and treatment, if needed, is initiated in a timely manner.
At Connecticut Fertility Associates, we believe that it is often appropriate to consult with a physician who specializes in Reproductive Medicine after one year of having trying to conceive without success. In women over the age of 35, however, it makes sense to seek help after 6 months of trying.
Diagnosing Infertility Causes
A fertility evaluation program typically includes the following studies:
- Baseline Hormones (day 1-3)
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) (day 5-12)
- Sonohysterogram (day 5-12)
- Office Hysteroscopy (day 5-12)
- Follicle Monitoring (day 11-14)
- Semen Analysis
While infertility is a challenge personally, new tests and treatments now often lead to successful pregnancies. For many couples, the answer is quite simple. For others, newer technology is needed. Options available in the field of reproductive medicine, are many and varied, nearly all causes of infertility can be diagnosed and overcome.