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What Is Infertility?

When a person is infertile is mean he or she has difficulty or is unable to conceive a child. This reproductive problem affects both women and men and the diagnosis is generally given to couples who have attempted to become pregnant for 12 months with no success. Women over the age of 35 are diagnosed as infertile after 6 months of attempting to become pregnant without conception. For women, an ovulation disorder is usually to blame. Problems such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine fibroids, and egg generation can also cause female infertility. It is important to remember that fertility issues affect both men and women. Several factors can affect fertility including:

  • Healthy egg and sperm production
  • Adequate embryo quality
  • Clogged fallopian tubes
  • The sperm’s capability to fertilize the ovum
  • Capability of the fertilized egg to attach to the uterine wall

What Happens During an Infertility Consultation?

You and your partner should be prepared to have a frank discussion about your health, lifestyle, and attempts to get pregnant. The doctor will want to collect information like key medical details for both would-be parents. You may want to prepare and bring a list of any medications, vitamins, supplements or herbs being taken. Generally, if a woman under the age of 35 has not conceived within a year of having regular, unprotected sex, she and her partner should seek advice. Women over 35 should only try for six months before seeking advice. The doctor may order further tests to diagnose the cause of the fertility issue to help guide the best course of treatment.

What Types of Fertility Treatments Are Available?

Fertility treatments support conception. Treatment may involve monitoring a woman’s fertility cycle and injecting sperm directly into the uterus during her most fertile time (intrauterine insemination). Another well-known treatment is in vitro fertilization, also referred to as IVF. The procedure is complex and takes place outside of the womb and is used when other fertility treatments have not been successful. IVF is a multi-step process where eggs are harvested and inseminated outside of the womb before being placed in the uterus during the most hospitable time during a woman’s cycle. Additional embryos are frozen for future use if the treatment is not successful.