Grand Rapids, Mich (WOTV) - Wondering why you can't get pregnant? Infertility is a condition that affects about 10% of women. It is defined by the inability to become pregnant within 12 months if younger than 35 and 6 months if older than 35. If a woman is approaching those time frames, most doctors would recommend considering an evaluation.
Causes of infertility can be related to the male or female and can include abnormal semen, ovulation dysfunction, fallopian tube damage, and endometriosis, but can sometimes be unexplained. Testing may include semen analysis, fallopian tube patency assessment, and confirmation of ovulation. Other testing may include ultrasound or laparoscopy to evaluate for endometriosis.
Initial treatment can be simply lifestyle changes including achieving an ideal body mass, cessation of smoking, and limiting exposure to caffeine and alcohol and teaching of timed intercourse with the use of urinary ovulation predictor kits. Treatment may also include surgical treatment of endometriosis or pelvic adhesions that may be affecting fallopian tube function. In addition, medications may be used to achieve ovulation or cause the production of more than one egg.
The evaluation and initial treatments can be done through your general OB/GYN; however, advanced treatment such as the use of injectable medications and in vitro fertilization would require a referral to an infertility specialist.
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