Infertility is a very common problem, defined as not achieving a pregnancy (after a year worth of trying). About 15% of the population will experience this, and the probability of having it goes up with age.
It is very important that women in particular remember that above the age of 30 the chances of conception go down, and further decrease after 35. At 40 and beyond the chances become quite low, in general. Although women of any age can have difficulty conceiving, this age related decline in fertility should prompt any women above the age of 30 to seek help if having trouble getting pregnant.
Infertility includes a multitude of reproductively related issues including problems with the fallopian tubes, ovaries or ovulation, uterus or womb, or other issues that may influence those organs and functions. It may also include male or sperm issues. Importantly, it most commonly includes more than just one of those issues.
Many other gynecologic issues may complicate fertility and obstetrics including fibroids, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine anomalies (such as a septum), and others. Other medical issues may complicate fertility and obstetric issues as well. Thus, a full evaluation should be undertaken for all health issues prior to starting fertility treatments, and consideration taken for how any health issues
will influence or be influenced by pregnancy.
There are a number of tests that can be done to evaluate these issues (blood testing,
anatomic testing, sperm testing). A specific treatment plan can be put into place based on the problems identified for this particular couple. This may require the help of a specialist to help monitor your treatment, but some treatments can be handled without this.
Most treatments for fertility carry with them an increased risk of multiple pregnancy (having more than one baby at a time). Regardless of the treatment considered, fertility issues and treatments should be fully discussed with your care team PRIOR to actually getting treatments.
Finally, most women pursuing help will achieve a pregnancy.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, consult a physician or other healthcare professional.
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