The first step in overcoming infertility is to undergo an infertility evaluation. During the evaluation, questions will be asked and tests conducted to give your physician clues to the cause of infertility and ultimately lead to the development of an effective treatment plan.
What is an infertility evaluation?
During an infertility evaluation, exams and tests are done to try to find the cause of infertility. If a cause is found, treatment may be possible. Infertility often can be successfully treated even if no cause is found.
When should I consider having a infertility evaluation?
You should consider having an infertility evaluation if any of the following apply to you:
- You have not become pregnant after 1 year of having regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.
- You are older than 35 years and have no become pregnant after 65 months of having regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control.
- Your menstrual cycle is not regular.
- You ar your partner have a know ferility problem.
What causes infertility?
Infertility can be caused by a number of factors. Both male and female factors can contribute to infertility. Female factors may involve problems with ovulation, the reproductive organs, or hormones. Male factors often involve problems with the amount or health of sperm.
Does age affect fertility?
Yes. A women begins life with a fixed number of eggs. This number decreases as she grows older. For healthy, young couples, the chance that a women will become pregnant is about 20% in any single menstrual cycle. This percentage starts to decline in a woman’s early 30s. It declines more rapidly after age 37 years. A man’s fertility also declines with age, but not as predictably.
What should I expect during my first visit for infertility?
The first visit usually involves a detailed medical history and a physical exam. During the medical history you will be asked questions about your menstrual period, abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, pelvic pain, and disorder that can affect reproduction, such as thyroid diseases. If you have a male partner, both of you will be asked about the following health issues:
- Medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) and herbal remedies
- Illnesses, including sexually transmitted diseases, and past surgery
- Birth defects in your family
- Past pregnancies and their outcomes
- Use of tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs
You and your partner also will be asked questions about your sexual history:
- Methods of birth control
- How long you have been trying to become pregnant
- How often you have sex and whether or not you have difficulties
- If you use lubricants during sex
- Prior sexual relationships