Infertility is a problem that affects both husband and wife alike. A couple is termed infertile when the woman is not able to conceive after repeated attempts of unprotected sex for a year. Medical conditions, age, lifestyle practices and chemo-radiation therapy affect fertility to a great extent. 30% of infertility is due to the female, 30% due to the male and the remaining is due to both partners having problems.
There are two forms of infertility:
This section answers some common questions many couples have.
You must worry about your fertility being at risk if you are below 30 years old and meet with failure after repeated attempts over a 12 month period. Also, you must not delay in getting help from a doctor if you are more than 30 years and have not conceived in six months. There is no "right" time to think of seeking medical help. If you are beginning to feel anxious and worried, then you may consider consulting a doctor.
You may consider doing an infertility test if:
You must not delay seeing a doctor in the following cases:
Infertility tests are used to find out why a woman is not able to conceive after repeated attempts of unprotected sex. Since infertility is a problem that affects both husband and wife, there are separate tests for both of them. Physical examinations, blood tests, semen analysis and other special tests are available to determine infertility.
Both of you will also have to keep a track of your sexual intercourse and discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor may start with basic tests such as semen analysis, blood tests and ultrasound scans. Special tests such as hysteroscopy or laparoscopy may be done if necessary. Most of a woman's tests can be done in her gynecologist's clinic or operating room. The man may have to get some of his tests done through a urologist.
While infertility tests can be used to detect the cause of infertility, some of them can also correct the problem. It is usually advisable to rule out infertility in the man before the woman because the tests are far more simpler and cheaper.
Based on the results of the tests, your doctor may recommend a treatment. Some common treatment options are:
Treatments for infertility can enhance your chances of becoming pregnant. But, they are also capable of making you expect more than one baby at a time. Do make sure to discuss the associated risks with infertility treatments with your doctor before deciding on one.
In this interview, Dr. Howard McClamrock discusses advances in understanding and treating infertility.