Everyone’s journey in life is different and the same goes for the journey of building your family. During the week of April 18th-24th, we recognize Infertility Awareness Week, because not everyone has an easy road when it comes to getting pregnant. We recommend keeping yourself informed and consult with your healthcare provider to see what may be a good course of action for you to take.
What is infertility?
Generally, infertility is defined as not being able to conceive after one year or longer of having unprotected sex. Fertility in women is known to steadily decline with age. Although, many women have had successful pregnancies after the age of 35 and even into their 40s. Most experts will recommend seeing a doctor after one year of trying to get pregnant for women younger than age 35. However, women 35 years old or older, should see a healthcare provider after 6 months of trying and unsuccessfully conceiving.
How common is infertility?
Approximately 6% of married women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying. Also, about 12% of women aged 15 to 44 years in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, regardless of marital status.
Couples with the following signs and symptoms should see their healthcare provider early on in their journey of getting pregnant.
- Irregular periods or no menstrual periods at all.
- Extremely painful periods.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- More than one miscarriage.
- Potential factors that can be challenging for men to help conceive (i.e., history of testicular trauma, hernia surgery, chemotherapy, or infertility with another partner).
In what ways will my doctor treat infertility?
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intrauterine insemination (IUI), or assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Medication and intrauterine insemination may be used at the same time. Doctors may recommend specific treatments for infertility depending on the factors mentioned below.
- What are the factors contributing to infertility?
- The duration of infertility.
- The age of the female.
- The couple’s treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.
When couples struggle to conceive it can affect so many areas in your life. It can take a toll on your relationship and your emotional well being along with impacting your finances. Many couples find some comfort in sharing their stories with others that have experienced infertility. If you think that may be the case for you and your partner you may want to consider joining a support group. There are many resources available to help during this challenging time.
Try to take it one step at a time. Consult with your doctor and do not be afraid to ask for help. At OB-GYN Women’s Centre, we understand that infertility can present many challenges. Let’s discuss possible options and we can help to map out a plan that makes sense for you and your journey.