Krisha McCoy, MS
If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year or more (six months or more if you are 35 or older), you may want to visit your doctor to discuss your fertility. Getting pregnant requires a complex chain of events to fall in place. If one piece of that chain is not occurring properly, there are many fertility treatments that can help you to become pregnant.
While a few women easily get pregnant soon after they start trying, many women face fertility problems. Infertility affects more than six million Americans, or 10% of the reproductive-age population.
You should schedule a visit with your doctor to discuss your fertility if you:
There are a number of factors that affect infertility. In women, advancing age,
pelvic inflammatory disease,
polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure (POF), luteal phase defect (LPD), smoking, alcohol use, extreme underweight or overweight, strenuous exercise, eating disorders, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are examples of factors that can affect fertility. In men, advancing age, alcohol, drugs, STDs, diabetes,
prostate surgery, and testicle injuries or problems are factors that can lead to infertility.
Advancing age is associated with declining fertility, especially in women after age 35. Men often remain fertile into their 60s and 70s, although advancing age can be linked to problems with the shape and movement of sperm.
If your doctor performs fertility testing on you and/or your partner and finds a problem with fertility, there are a number of treatment options that can help you get pregnant. The table below lists some of the most common fertility treatments.
Evaluating infertility. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq136.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121226T0618408458. Accessed December 26, 2012.
Infertility. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at:
http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/. Accessed December 26, 2012.
Treating infertility. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq137.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121226T0617520655. Accessed December 26, 2012.
What is infertility? The National Infertility Association website. Available at:
http://www.resolve.org/infertility-overview/what-is-infertility/. Accessed December 26, 2012
National Women’s Health Information Center
National Infertility Association
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Women's Health Matters
Last reviewed November 2012 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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