Infertility means not being able to become pregnant after a year of trying. If a woman can get pregnant but keeps having miscarriages or stillbirths, that’s also called infertility. Infertility is fairly common. After one year of having unprotected sex, about 15 percent of couples are unable to get pregnant.
Female factors cause about one-third of fertility issues, male infertility accounts for another third, and the remainder are due to unknown causes or a combination of both male and female issues.
What causes female infertility?
Female infertility can be a complex issue that may be due to a combination of factors, including:
• Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can interfere with ovulation and is the most common cause of female infertility
• Hypothalamic dysfunction, which can also affect ovulation and may result in irregular or absent periods
• Primary ovarian insufficiency, which prevents your ovaries from producing eggs
• Excessive prolactin, which reduces estrogen production and may cause infertility
Structural abnormalities can also lead to infertility, which may be caused by:
• Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, which prevent your eggs from traveling to the uterus
• Endometriosis, which can block fallopian tubes and/or prevent a fertilized egg from implanting on the uterine wall
• Uterine fibroids, which can block the fallopian tubes or prevent implantation
Fortunately, many effective treatments/procedures can resolve fertility problems and provide the opportunity to carry a successful pregnancy.
How do I find out what’s causing my infertility?
Dr. Bhanot will begin your evaluation with a physical exam and a careful review of your medical history. You may have already been diagnosed with a condition, such as PCOS, that’s known to interfere with fertility.
Otherwise, fertility testing for women may include blood work to check certain hormone levels, imaging studies such as an ultrasound to look for structural abnormalities, and a wide range of other diagnostic tests that can shed light on what’s causing infertility. Once the cause is known, a treatment plan can be created.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Bhanot to find out what’s causing your fertility problems and what treatments are available to resolve the issue. Call the office nearest you or request your appointment online.