The medical definition of infertility is being unable to become pregnant after a year of having unprotected sex. Infertility can be caused by problems with either partner. At Advanced Women’s Healthcare, our experts provide infertility evaluations for women.
In this post, we discuss what you should expect during an infertility evaluation, some of the reasons you may be unable to become pregnant, and some of the potential treatments.
When to consider an infertility evaluation
If you’re 40 years old or older and you’d like to become pregnant, you should have an infertility evaluation first. By the time you reach the age of 40, your likelihood of becoming pregnant is around 10% during each menstrual cycle.
Between the age of 35 and 40, your chances of becoming pregnant are declining because of natural changes in your body. If you’re in that age range and you’ve been having unprotected sex for six months or more, you should have an infertility evaluation.
During your 20s and early 30s, you have a 35-30% chance of becoming pregnant during each menstrual cycle. If you’ve been having unprotected sex for a year or more, there may be a problem preventing pregnancy, and an infertility evaluation may help.
Another reason you may want to have an infertility evaluation is if your menstrual cycle is irregular. That can sometimes be caused by conditions that can affect your ability to become pregnant. Similarly, if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition like endometriosis, your fertility may be affected.
What to expect
During an infertility evaluation, your doctor will perform tests to make sure that the various parts of your reproductive system are functioning properly. For example, we do a blood test that measures your hormone levels to determine whether or not your ovaries are releasing eggs as they should.
We may also perform hysterosalpingography, which is a method of making sure your uterus and Fallopian tubes are normal and don’t have any blockages or other issues that could prevent pregnancy.
Another likely test determines how many eggs you have available for ovulation. Additional hormone tests check the levels of several hormones that are involved in ovulation and your reproductive processes.
Finally, we may want to perform imaging tests to make sure that you don’t have any uterine or ovarian diseases. More rarely, we may want to do hysteroscopy, where your doctor inserts a tiny camera and light into your uterus, or a laparoscopy, which allows examination of the rest of your reproductive system.
Even if we identify a problem, there are many treatments for fertility issues, from simple lifestyle changes to in vitro fertilization, with many other potentially effective treatment options in between. The first step is understanding why you’re struggling to become pregnant.
If you’d like to find out more, schedule an appointment at Advanced Women’s Healthcare today. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you begin to understand any infertility issues you may have.