If you’ve had unprotected sex for at least six months (if you’re over 35) or a year (if you’re under 35) and still haven’t gotten pregnant, you’re among the 10% of couples in the United States who are officially considered to be infertile. While that may not be the best news you’ve ever heard, the good news is -- with an expert’s help -- you can usually find out why and get the treatments you need to successfully conceive.
You shouldn’t have to guess
Whether this is your first attempt at pregnancy or you’ve had children before, you’re probably full of questions about why you’re having trouble conceiving. Asking your friends for advice and searching the internet can be helpful, but it won’t give you the specific information you need about why you’re not pregnant.
Dr. Vicken Sepilian, an infertility specialist and reproductive endocrinologist with offices in Glendale and Santa Monica, California, has helped thousands of couples determine the source of their infertility. He starts with a performing a thorough examination, discussing your medical and family history, and running blood tests and other tests for both you and your partner. Infertility may be caused by an issue in the woman in about one third of cases, the man in one third of cases, and by either both partners or by an unknown cause in one third of cases.
Basic tests for women
When evaluating your fertility, Dr. Sepilian conducts tests to be sure that your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are functioning normally. Tests he may order for women include:
A transvaginal ultrasound is a noninvasive test that uses sound waves to examine the health of your reproductive organs. Your doctor looks for abnormalities, such as endometriosis (uterine lining that grows outside the uterus), scar tissue, fibroids or polyps (benign tumors), and ovarian cysts.
An HSG is an X-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes that helps identify any blockage that may prevent your eggs from traveling to your uterus.
Dr. Sepilian orders blood tests to determine if your hormones are balanced and your thyroid is healthy. Blood tests can also determine your ovarian reserves to deduce the number of eggs you still have and whether they’re viable.
Undergoing treatment for cancer or having an underlying medical condition could also impair your fertility.
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant and have no functional issues, Dr. Sepilian encourages you to make lifestyle changes such as achieving a healthy weight, getting plenty of exercise, and quitting smoking and drinking excess alcohol.
Basic tests for men
Men may have trouble impregnating their partners if they have a low sperm count or physical abnormalities that prevent or inhibit ejaculation. Tests Dr. Sepilian may order for men include:
Dr. Sepilian checks to be sure your sperm count is at least 20 million sperm cells per milliliter of ejaculate.
When your sperm count is low, Dr. Sepilian may test your blood for levels of testosterone and other hormones to be sure they’re balanced.
By examining your urine, Dr. Sepilian either determines or rules out the presence of an infection that may impair your fertility. Urinalysis also helps identify a condition called retrograde ejaculation, in which your sperm are sent backwards into the bladder instead of out through the urethra.
Underlying health conditions and certain medications can impair men’s fertility. If your sperm and reproductive organs are healthy, Dr. Sepilian may recommend lifestyle changes such as losing or gaining weight, eating healthy foods, and adding more exercise to your daily regimen.
Answers lead to treatments
Based on the results of your physical examinations and tests, Dr. Sepilian draws on a wide variety of effective treatments to help you and your partner conceive and achieve a healthy pregnancy. From lifestyle changes to supplements to state-of-the-art in vitro fertilization, Dr. Sepilian is with you every step of the way.
To get the help you need to get pregnant, call us today or book a fertility evaluation online.