For Patients

Challenges Conceiving – You’re not alone

infertile couple consult doctor

Among couples that regularly have sexual intercourse (every two to three days), 80% are expected to become pregnant within a year, once they do not use any contraceptives.  On the other hand, the majority of the remaining 20% are estimated to achieve pregnancy within two years of trying. Unfortunately, around one in seven couples do experience difficulties when trying to conceive naturally and many of these challenges may be attributed to issues such as low numbers or poor quality of sperm for men, which can ultimately lead to gene defects.

As women age, fertility starts to decline because both the quality and quantity of her eggs gradually diminishes, making pregnancy rates for natural conceptions and after infertility treatments drop drastically for 35 year olds who have a 95% chance of getting pregnant after three years of trying, while women who are 38 have a 75% chance. In spite of age, some women can experience damage to their fallopian tubes and endometriosis (a condition where tissues in the body is found outside of the uterus, when it should line the uterus. It becomes trapped in the pelvic area or lower abdomen) or absent ovulation (egg is not dispersed from ovary).  Other factors that can contribute to troubles in conceiving for both males and females can be caused by the rise in sexually transmitted diseases or overall poor lifestyle of the individuals.

Infertility In Men & Women

To detect infertility in males, a general practitioner can order a sperm test to check for abnormalities.  A general sperm count test measures the number of sperms per ejaculation; sperm morphology evaluates the sperm size, shape and appearance characteristics while sperm motility studies the movement of the sperm.  These test results are then compared to normal readings, to decide the cause of infertility for the male. Urine tests check for chlamydia, which is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect sperm function and male infertility.  In women, chlamydia can make it impossible to get pregnant or for the women who do, it may cause the pregnancy to occur outside of the womb (fetal ectopic pregnancy).

Other tests that are performed on women to see if there is infertility are cervical smear tests which are used to test the health of the cells of the cervix (entrance to the womb). Additionally, blood tests can be used to check for a range of abnormalities that can be occurring in the body.  For women, doctors may check for hormone imbalances, which help to detect any issues in the growth and development of female sex organs. Blood tests are also used to check for German measles, which is a disease that can hurt a mother’s unborn baby.

Once couples are made aware of what may be the cause of their infertility, with the input of their doctor, it makes it easier for them to then take the necessary steps in the direction of the best options that are available to them, so that they can start building their family.

Ultimately, you need to consult a doctor for a true diagnosis. Reading articles online, even on this site can only give you a general idea of the problem but for a correct diagnosis, you need to consult a specialist.