If you have been struggling to get pregnant, know that you are not alone. Believe it or not, one out of every eight couples in the United States has trouble conceiving. Infertility can be the result of both men and women and has a variety of causes.
Dealing With Infertility
Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we understand the impact infertility can have on an individual and in a partnership. Read on to learn more about the causes and risk factors of infertility, as well as what you can do to treat it, get pregnant, and achieve your dream of becoming a parent.
Causes Of Infertility
The causes of infertility differ in men and women. In men, infertility may occur because of abnormal sperm production or function, issues with the delivery of sperm, overexposure to certain environmental factors such as cigarette smoking, alcohol, and marijuana, and cancer-related damage.
In women, infertility may be present because of ovarian disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), abnormalities with the uterus or cervix, damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, pelvic adhesions, and early menopause.
Infertility Risk Factors
The risk factors of infertility are the same for men and women and include:
As a woman gets older, her fertility gradually declines. After age 35, her fertility drastically declines because she has fewer and lower-quality eggs. Men over age 40 may be less fertile as well.
When a woman or man smokes, their chances of conceiving declines. Smoking also reduces the effectiveness of fertility treatments.
Women and men should avoid alcohol use while they are trying to get pregnant. It can decrease sperm count and increase the risk of birth defects.
Men and women who would like to have a baby should lead an active lifestyle, as being inactive and overweight may increase infertility risk.
What Can Be Done?
If you are facing infertility, understand that there are a number of treatments that can help you and your partner become parents:
- Ovulation induction: Uses fertility medications to stimulate the release of one or more eggs from the ovary.
- In-vitro fertilization: Eggs are fertilized outside the body and then implanted in the uterus.
- Intrauterine Insemination: Placing sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s fertile window
- Fertility preservation: Freezing of embryos, eggs, or sperm for future reproduction.
Regardless of whether the infertility is caused by a man or woman, one or a combination of the above treatments may help.
Seeking Professional Help
If conception does not occur after a year of trying, it is advisable to seek guidance from a healthcare professional specializing in reproductive medicine. Both partners may undergo a series of tests to identify any underlying issues. These tests can include hormone assessments, imaging studies, and evaluations of sperm quality.
Emotional Impact Of Infertility
The emotional toll of infertility can be significant, affecting individuals and couples on both a personal and relational level. Feelings of frustration, sadness, guilt, and inadequacy are not uncommon. It is essential for those experiencing fertility struggles to communicate openly with each other and seek support, whether from friends, family, or mental health professionals.
If you are under 35 and healthy and have tried to get pregnant for a year with no success, or over 35 and healthy and have not been able to conceive after six months of trying, schedule an appointment at our office today. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, our team of physicians, nurses, and medical staff are committed to providing patient care in a nurturing, supportive environment. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.