6 frequently asked infertility questions during National Infertility Awareness Week
Sunday, April 21, 2019
National Infertility Awareness Week was established in 1989 to increase public knowledge about infertility and the treatments.
Infertility can be overwhelming to many people due to information overload from the internet, magazines, friends, relatives, and others. This could lead to more confusion.
Here are some of the most frequently asked infertility questions:
1. What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. Physicians define infertility as the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse. Being diagnosed as infertile doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant ever. It just means something is preventing your body from getting pregnant on its own.
2- Is infertility a common problem?
Overall, about 15 – 20% of couples wishing to have a baby will have an infertility problem of some kind. However, it’s important to note that infertility rates increase with a woman’s age, especially after the age of 35—which is why you’ll see that age thrown around a lot in conversations about fertility. That’s why, for women over 35, experts recommend seeing a doctor if they’re not pregnant after just 6 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse.
3- Is infertility just a woman’s problem?
NO, although for centuries women have taken the brunt of the blame for fertility problems. After a diagnostic workup, about 40% of cases will involve a female factor, while 40% of the time we will diagnose a malefactor. In about 15% of cases, there will be a combination of both male and female factors. In 5% of infertility cases, the cause is unexplained.
4- What causes infertility?
For women, the most common cause of infertility is age. it’s really important that we make it clear that women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, and as they age, both the quantity and the quality of those eggs declines. Egg quality refers to the number of eggs that are genetically “normal,” or free from chromosomal defects that could cause infertility, miscarriage, or congenital disorders. Both the decline in quantity, known as “diminished ovarian reserve,” and the decline in quality can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby.
there are certain disorders and imbalances can also cause infertility, Endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, and hormonal imbalances are additional causes of female infertility. The uterus itself can also be affected by structural problems such as fibroids or polyps, a uterine septum, and internal uterine scarring.
Infertility in women may be caused by previous abdominal surgery or pelvic inflammation resulting in scarring of the fallopian tubes or an unfavorable pelvic environment.
Age is also a factor for men, but it’s not quite the same as it is for women. Age-related fertility decline starts a little later for men—around age 40—and the decline is just a few percentage points. |
infertility in men can be caused by a number of reasons. There may be hormonal, genetic, environmental, chemical (including medications), trauma and anatomical factors.
5- How can I determine my egg quality?
Hormone levels measured by blood testing between the 3rd to 5th day of the menstrual cycle is a simple method of learning about ovarian function. But even young women with normal hormone levels can have poor egg quality. Depending upon history of previous pregnancy attempts, an IVF laboratory examination of the eggs during an IVF procedure may be revealing.
6- How often are Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) successful?
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) is a collective term that includes any procedure that may assist patients in achieving a pregnancy. ART can include stimulating ovulation with Clomid or Pure FSH Hormone; artificial insemination and if necessary, In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), ICSI, PGD and PGS, Gender Selection, PESA, and others. The success of ART therapies depends on several factors such as age, fallopian tube status, the health of the uterus and sperm function. Usually, women less than 37 years will have a better outcome, highlighting the importance of early and prompt diagnosis and treatment.