Infertility affects one in eight couples
Many patients who see our Grapevine and Alliance obgyns worry about their ability to get pregnant. Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after having unprotected intercourse for 12 months. Patients should always bring any concerns to our physicians, and a woman should always consult us if she falls under the guidelines below.
- If she is under the age of 35 and has not conceived after having unprotected sexual intercourse for one year
- If she is age 35 or over and has not become pregnant after trying for six months
- If she has a history of fertility issues
- If she has risk factors for infertility, including: sexually transmitted disease; endometriosis; irregular periods; polycystic ovary syndrome, PCOS; or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, PID
Causes of infertility
Approximately one-third of the time, infertility is due to women’s issues; another third is due to male factors; and the remaining third of cases of infertility are a combination of men’s and women’s issues.
Infertility can be caused by anatomical or hormonal issues. Female infertility is often due to one or a combination of the following:
- Ovulation problems
- Physical problems, such as damaged fallopian tubes
- Hormonal issues
Diagnosis and treatment
Our experienced physicians can conduct several basic fertility tests at our Grapevine and Alliance obgyn offices. We begin by performing basic lab work, usually blood tests and urinalysis. Often, we test hormone levels, too. Another test we perform is an ovarian reserve test, which determines the remaining supply of eggs the woman has available.
If our physicians suspect that a woman has physical issues that are causing her infertility, we may perform an ultrasound examination, sonohysterography, hysteroscopy or a hysterosalpingogram.
Optimizing natural fertility
Many patients who are trying to get pregnant, particularly those who are under 35, may benefit from a discussion about optimizing natural fertility. A preconception counseling appointment provides our Grapevine and Alliance obgyns with the opportunity to discuss any health issues a woman may have, and to provide her with advice on optimizing natural fertility.
There are infertility issues that require fertility treatment, but optimizing natural fertility can help many women who are trying to conceive. During a preconception appointment, women will be reminded to:
- Consult our physicians about any chronic health problems.
- Determine when ovulation occurs by tracking menstrual cycles or using an ovulation predictor kit.
- Have sex every 1 to 2 days during the fertile window, which usually occurs during the six days prior to ovulation.
- Make important lifestyle changes: quit smoking; eliminate alcohol and recreational drugs; and limit caffeine.
- Exercise and eat a healthy, balanced diet to get to an optimal weight.
If you are worried about infertility, consult our physicians. We can provide evaluation, testing and treatment. Contact us for an appointment.