So what is infertility?
Infertility is an impairment of the reproductive system that inhibits conception. The latest statistics state that infertility effects roughly 7 million people in just the United States alone. Approximately 15% of all people will experience infertility issues at some point in their lives.
According to Resolve.org:
“One third (30%) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30%) can be attributed to female factors. In about 20% of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10% of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners”
Medically speaking, someone is considered to be dealing with infertility if they have not conceived within 12 months of trying. As a woman, if you are over the age of 35, some doctors would begin testing and treating for infertility after 6 months. If you have suffered more than one miscarriage you may be classified as having infertility as well.
Common Issues Causing Infertility in Women:
- Ovulation Disorders is perhaps the most common reason.
- Blocked fallopian tubes. This could be the result of scar tissue, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Birth defects resulting in an impairment of the structure of the uterus.
Where to seek treatment?
An infertility specialist for women is called a Reproductive Endocrinologist. With a Reproductive Endocrinologist, you will be tested for several things including hormone levels, tubal blockages and other variables that could impair chances for conception. A male would be best treated with a fertility urologist.
A great article on what to expect for your fertility workup is entitled “Infertility Evaluation ABC’s“
Secondary infertility is also common. A woman may have conceived easily at one point only to find subsequent attempts unsuccessful. Testing and treatment follows the guidelines above.
Infertility can be treated and in most cases, very successfully. If you believe you are infertile, do not despair as treatment and support are widely available.