Infertility is the inability to conceive a child after frequent, repeated attempts. The majority of couples without underlying fertility issues can conceive within one year, couples who have not been able to conceive after trying for one or more years are often considered to be infertile. Infertility has many different causes and can be an issue with either the male or female reproductive system. For females it can be caused by advanced age, abnormalities in ovulation, endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, blockages of the fallopian tubes, and uterine factors such as fibroids and polyps. Insufficient semen production in the male partner can also pose a problem. Using cutting edge technology, doctors can uncover the cause of most infertility issues.
A Fertility Consultation is performed to uncover the cause of the inability to conceive. A couple’s medical history and a directed physical examination are needed to establish a foundation of information. Transvaginal ultrasound, laboratory testing, and a hysterosalpingogram may be performed to test different aspects of the female reproductive system. For men, a semen analysis will determine if enough sperm is being produced. The analysis will also determine if the sperm is structurally sound and able to survive the journey to the egg. Once the doctor has the results of the tests, we can establish a treatment plan that will address the couple’s specific issue and improve their odds of conceiving and having a baby.
Although infertility may not be curable, there are many options available to potential parents who want to try and conceive a child. Sometimes the management of infertility may be simply counseling and coaching the couple on optimizing their health and lifestyle habits. Other times, medications may be necessary to stimulate egg development and promote ovulation. Artificial or intrauterine insemination is used when a man's sperm may not be viable to survive the journey to the egg. In Vitro Fertilization is also an option. IVF is a procedure where the sperm and the egg are united outside of the woman's body and then implanted into the uterus, once the egg has been fertilized. Most doctors will encourage their patients to educate themselves on different types of procedures to see which one would work best for their particular situation. The great news is that we can help most couples to succeed in having a baby with the proper evaluation and management.