According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10% of women between 15-44 struggle with infertility in the US. Infertility is the inability to get pregnant within a year of regular menstrual cycles. The inability to get pregnant is not just due to a physical problem, it can also be caused by a mental health problem or substance use disorder. If you or your partner has an underlying medical issue that may be causing infertility, it is important to speak with a Bedford infertility specialist.
Below are the risk factors for infertility and available treatment options.
Ovulation disorders: This is the most common cause of female infertility and includes irregular menstrual periods, delayed or absent ovulation, and chronic anovulation (the absence of ovulation). Ovulation disorders may also be caused by medications such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
Uterine abnormalities or uterine fibroids, including endometriosis and uterine myomas (benign tumors): Endometriosis usually occurs on the surface of the uterus but can also occur inside the uterus where it causes scarring similar to fibroid tissue. Uterine myomas are noncancerous tumors that grow within the muscle walls of the uterus. Myomas may also cause scarring within the uterus that causes infertility problems.
Infection: This can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are more common among women. It can also occur if there is an infection in the fallopian tubes that prevents sperm from reaching them.
Alcoholism: Alcoholism is a common cause of infertility. Alcohol can damage the lining of the uterus and make it difficult for a woman to get pregnant. The severity of this damage varies from woman to woman, but can often be reversed with abstinence and treatment. Women who drink heavily may have lower rates of ovulation and higher rates of irregular periods than those who don’t drink at all.
Treatment options for infertility
In some cases, surgery may be performed to correct an underlying problem that has been diagnosed as the cause of infertility. The most common of these procedures is known as tubal sterilization. The procedure entails removing the uterine tubes, which carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus. Tubal ligation is another surgical option used to treat female infertility by blocking off the fallopian tubes.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a treatment that involves matching an egg with sperm in a laboratory setting. If an egg and sperm are successfully matched, the resulting embryo may be transferred to the uterus of a woman who has not yet conceived. IVF can enable couples to have children who would not otherwise conceive naturally, even if there are no problems with their fertility.
If you have a male partner with no fertility issues, he can provide sperm and/or eggs for in vitro fertilization (IVF). A surrogate mother carries the embryo to term and gives birth to a baby. With surrogacy, both parties are involved in the process of conception, pregnancy, and birth.
To learn more about infertility, talk to your doctor at Effortless IVF.