The body works in magical yet mysterious ways. The phases of the fertility journey can often be confusing, from understanding the timing and length of your menstrual cycle to what changes can happen during the different stages of your cycle. Learning the ins and outs of the fertility journey is an important first step in your adventure to motherhood.
The Fertility Journey
Falling pregnant is easy for some, but it can be a long and distressing process for many. It can be difficult to feel hopeful amid fertility challenges, but fortunately, there are many things that you can do on your side to improve your chances of getting pregnant. Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we can help aid you through your fertility journey.
Infertility And Reproductive Health
According to the American Pregnancy Association, fertility is the natural capability to conceive. On the other hand, infertility prevents the conception of children due to a condition of the reproductive system. Infertility affects roughly 10-15% of couples throughout the United States. It is also essential to note that several factors contribute to conception and pregnancy success. Some of these factors include
- The production of healthy sperm by the man and healthy eggs by the women
- Ovulation: The ovary releases an egg
- Fertilization: Sperm meets the egg
- Implantation: The fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus
When implantation occurs, pregnancy officially begins. If one of these factors is impaired or compromised, infertility can result.
Timing Is Key
Each month, your body prepares for pregnancy. Women are born with about 1 million eggs, yet only release 300 to 400 during ovulation throughout the span of their lifetime. When trying to get pregnant, timing intercourse is crucial for improving the likelihood of millions of sperm meeting one single egg. According to PubMed research, a study of 625 women found conception only occurred when intercourse took place during a six-day period that ended on the estimated day of ovulation. In other words, knowing when you are ovulating can help you plan to have intercourse when you are most likely to conceive.
With ever-advancing technology, infertility continues to be successfully treated in a multitude of women. Two of the most common fertility treatments are Intrauterine Inseminations (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). IUI is when healthy sperm is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus during ovulation, while IVF is when eggs are taken from a woman’s ovaries, fertilized by sperm, and then transferred into a woman’s uterus. The national average for women younger than 35 able to become pregnant by in-vitro fertilization (IVF) on the first try is 55%, yet drops as the women ages. The success rate of IUI is lower at around 10-20% each cycle, but your chances increase the more cycles you go through.
Aside from IVF and IUI, there are other great options for women struggling with infertility. Common fertility medications include:
- Clomifene – Encourages ovulation in women who do not ovulate regularly
- Tamoxifen – An alternative to Clomifene if you have irregular ovulation
- Metformin – For women who struggle with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Gonadotropins – Can help stimulate ovulation in women and improve fertility in men
Additionally, there are several surgical procedures that women can undergo to help with infertility, such as fallopian tube surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and surgery to correct an epididymal blockage.
Here at Raleigh OB/GYN, we’re all about helping you understand everything about your fertility journey and how having a healthy cycle impacts your overall well-being. If you have been struggling with your fertility journey, set up an appointment to talk to your doctor. You can schedule an appointment through our website or give us a call at (919) 876-8225.