If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for over 12 months unsuccessfully (or over 35 and have been trying for 6 months), it is time to seek help. Not to say you will no conceive without it, but if you wanted medical help getting pregnant, you can at this point. If you have been trying less than 12 months, your healthcare provider may suggest you try without medical help till you reach the 12 months mark.
When scheduling infertility consultation with you OBGYN, you will be told to bring hubby with you. After all, he is a part of the equation in your pursuit for pregnancy. You will be sent for various testes to determine whether one or both or you have a medical problem which causes the lack of pregnancy.
About 10 percent of couples experience difficulty conceiving. 30 percent are due to a problem in the man, 30 percent are due to a problem in the woman, and the rest are due to problem in both or unexplained.
Problems in the man include:
Irregular sperm can be one of the causes in man to infertility. If a man has little to no sperm, poor sperm mobility or irregularly shaped sperm, it may not be able to fertilize the egg. There are no symptoms to irregular sperm. This can sometimes be solved with fertility drugs. If that is not the case, to achieve a pregnancy the couple man have to resort to artificial insemination or even donor sperm.
Some men have a blockage in their ejaculatory duct. This blockage prevents the sperm from getting into the ejaculate fluid, and therefore it never makes it to the egg. A blockage can be caused by an infection, congenital defects or an injury. There are no symptoms to this condition. It can be fixed with surgery.
Varicocele is when a man has enlarged veins in the scrotum, which raise the temperature in the testicle(s). this rise in temperature may affect sperm production, in number or shape or both. There are no symptoms to this condition. It may be fixed with surgery to repair the varicocele.
Problems in the woman include:
Ovulation problem is when a hormonal condition prevents the release of a mature egg from the ovaries. It may be characterized with no menstrual period, a very irregular one or an extremely light or heavy period. This condition may be resolved with fertility drugs or in vitro fertilization.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal imbalance that interferes with normal ovulation, due to the small follicles in the ovaries not developing into mature follicles. It may be characterized with irregular menstrual period, obesity, acne and excessive hair growth. It can be solved with changes in lifestyle including diet and exercise or with fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization.
Endometriosis is when uterine lining tissue grows outside your uterus, such as in the abdominal-pelvic cavity. You may have no symptoms or experience painful menstrual period and pelvic pain. This condition can be resolved with fertility drugs, surgery to remove tissue or artificial insemination.
Poor egg quality usually results in the lack of a pregnancy, since damaged eggs cannot sustain a pregnancy. Other than the lack of a pregnancy, there are no symptoms to poor egg quality. One solution to achieve pregnancy is in vitro fertilization with donor eggs.
Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes prevent the sperm from making its way to the egg, and prevent the fertilized egg from getting to your uterus. Causes to blocked or damaged fallopian tubes include pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia. There are no symptoms to this condition. It can be fixed with surgery to open the tubes or in vitro fertilization.
Less than 2 percent of woman suffer from sperm allergy. A solution to this case is artificial insemination or assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
Problems in one or both partners may include:
You may be diagnosed with unexplained fertility problem, if all test results (for both of you) show no medical reason for your infertility. This may be overcome with fertility drugs or artificial insemination or a combination of the two.
If both of you have fertility problems, you will be diagnosed with combined fertility problems. Symptoms and treatment vary according to the diagnosis.