If you’re currently under age 35 and you’ve been trying to become pregnant for more than a year despite your endeavors which include regular intercourse, you or your partner may be dealing with a fertility condition. The Mayo Clinic has estimated that this issue may affect up to 18% of Americans. For women over 35, six months is the time boundary at which doctors recommend seeking help.
Symptoms of Infertility in Women
Aside from not being able to get pregnant, one of the main signs to watch for are irregular menstrual cycles. See a doctor if you’ve been unable to get pregnant and are experiencing unusually short cycles of 21 days or less or unusually long cycles of 35 or more days.
Other Factors Which May Affect Ovulation
- Cysts or tumors
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Damage to fallopian tubes
- Thyroid problems
- Hormonal imbalance
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
Some of the ways doctors determine fertility issues include:
- X-Ray Contrast Test (Hysterosalpingography)
- Ovulation testing (also available as home test)
- Ovarian reserve testing (blood test)
- Imaging testing
- Laparoscopic exploration or hysteroscopy
It may be possible to reduce the risk of developing low sex drive or prevent it from happening altogether, depending on the cause. These actions may help:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Getting more exercise
- Seeing a doctor or therapist
- Improving your overall gynecological health
- Taking certain physician-prescribed medications
Treatment Options for Infertility
If you’re exploring options to help you get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term, there are several different avenues available.
Controlling lifestyle factors such as reducing stress, excess body weight, improving diet and exercise, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol are all recommended as a precursor to fertility treatments.
The predominant function of drugs that improve female fertility is to simulate the effect of hormones that aid in conception. These hormones are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The drugs stimulate the pituitary gland that produces hormones or stimulate the ovary directly. Other fertility drugs seek to mitigate other conditions like insulin resistance or overproduction of prolactin, both conditions that affect one’s ability to become or stay pregnant.
IUI or intrauterine insemination places healthy sperm in the uterus during favorable ovulation times.
IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a lab procedure where an embryo is developed through combining harvested eggs and sperm that is then inserted into the uterus once the embryo is ready.
Laparoscopic surgery may be applied in situations where there’s a problem like endometriosis, fibroid cysts, irregular uterine shape or problems involving the fallopian tubes such as hydrosalpinx (blockages).
How Advanced Gynecology Can Help
Our dual board-certified surgeons and specialists are here for you. If you’d like to learn more about fertility treatments or any other gynecological service, contact one of our patient coordinators today to book an appointment or to request more information from our care team.