Thursday, August 2, 2018

What to do when you're faced with infertility

This article is part of the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy.

Infertility is a common struggle that one in eight couples in the United States experience each year, according to the CDC. Infertility isn’t just a woman’s problem. In fact, only about one third of infertility cases can be traced back to the female. Another third can be traced back to the male, and a combination of factors make up the remainder of infertility cases.

couple in fertility counseling

When to worry about infertility

If you have been trying to get pregnant without success for 12 months or longer, you may have infertility problems. If you’re over 35, if it has been six months or longer, you may be struggling with infertility.

To determine if you are dealing with infertility, both you and your partner should participate in fertility testing. You’ll have a better idea of what’s causing your infertility issue after getting your test results, and you can use this information to come up with a strategy to help you get pregnant.

Most common causes of infertility in women

If you are concerned that you may be infertile, there are many signs, symptoms, and conditions—including medical history and lifestyle—that may influence your fertility, such as:
  • Irregular menstrual cycles, which signifies irregular ovulation
  • Abnormally light or abnormally heavy bleeding during periods
  • Being 35 or older
  • A history of miscarriage
  • Chronic illness (such as diabetes, endometriosis, or hypothyroidism)
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • A history of STDs
  • Heavy drinking or smoking
None of these are sure signs of infertility, but they do suggest that you might face infertility problems which is why it’s always good idea to talk to your OB-GYN about fertility treatments.

Options for women struggling with infertility

There are many options for couples that want to get pregnant, despite female infertility issues, including:

Lifestyle changes

Some infertility problems can be remedied through lifestyle changes. Adopting new healthy habits—like avoiding alcohol and tobacco, maintaining a healthy weight, and decreasing stress—often make it easier to get pregnant.

Medicine 

Your doctor may prescribe one of a variety of medicines to help with your infertility by helping to rebalance or stimulate hormones and manage ovulation.

Surgery 

Surgery can resolve issues related to your infertility—like blocked Fallopian tubes and ovarian cysts—and make it easier to get and stay pregnant.

Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination is a common treatment for infertility problems that involves collecting and processing your partner’s semen in a lab, then inserting it into your uterus.

In vitro fertilization

With in vitro fertilization, both the sperm and the egg are taken out of the body and combined in a lab and left to rest for a few days. The embryo is then placed into your uterus.

Depending on the cause of your infertility, your doctor will recommend a treatment tailored to your body and situation, taking into account factors including your age, duration of infertility, and more.

Next steps

The Logansport Memorial Women’s Health Center offers comprehensive care for women, including preconception counseling, family planning, and more. If you are struggling with infertility, you are not alone and there are treatments available. Call to make an appointment at our Women’s Clinic.

Logansport Memorial Hospital Family Birth Center

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