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All About Infertility Evaluations

November 22, 2018 10:45 am Published by

First things first. What is an infertility evaluation?
An infertility evaluation is a combination of exams and tests that are used to help determine the reason why you and your partner have not conceived. The goal of this evaluation is to find a cause, so that a possible treatment can be determined. In many cases, a successful treatment for infertility can be found even if a specific cause isn’t discovered during the evaluation.

Now, you may be wondering “When should I consider having an infertility evaluation?” If any of the following apply to you, you should talk to your healthcare provider at Greenville Women’s Clinic about considering an infertility evaluation:

  • 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 old, and have not become pregnant after trying for 6 months without using birth control.
  • Your menstrual cycle is not regular.
  • You or your partner have a known fertility concern.

What should I expect during my infertility evaluation?
In most cases, an infertility evaluation can usually be completed within a few menstrual cycles. During your first visit you can expect to answer questions about your medical history, menstrual periods, medication, past pregnancies and lifestyle habits. You will also receive a physical examination. During you first visit and subsequent visits you will have tests, including laboratory test, imagining test and certain procedures.

So, what causes infertility?
The most common cause of infertility in women is the lack of or irregular ovulation. The most common cause of infertility in men are problems associated with the testes that affect how sperm are made or function. There are other factors that can contribute to fertility problems in both women and men. After your infertility evaluation, your healthcare provider may be able to offer a more detailed explanation for your specific situation.

You may also have the concern, “Will age affect fertility?”
The short answer is, yes. A healthy couple in their 20s or early 30s, will have about a 25%-30% chance of conceiving in any menstrual cycle. Once a women reaches the age of 37, this percentage decreases rapidly. By the age of 40, a woman’s chances of getting pregnant drops to less than 10% per menstrual cycle. A man’s fertility also decreases, but is nowhere near as predictable.

Can lifestyle affect fertility?
Women who are overweight, underweight or exercise too much may have problems associated with infertility. In both men and women, moderate or heavy consumption of alcohol can also be a factor in infertility. In men specifically, smoking cigarettes can decrease sperm count and movement.

If you and your partner are experiencing problems associated with fertility, do not hesitate to contact your healthcare provider at Greenville Women’s Clinic. We are here to answer questions and help you determine your next steps. This can often be a hard time for couples, our staff is here to make the experience easier.  The journey to growing your family is possible.  The means by which you do so is our commitment to you to identify any obstacles, and work through them to realize the precious moment of welcoming a precious child into one’s life. 

Marie Rowe, MD, FACOG

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