Most experts define infertility as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. Read on for answers to commonly asked infertility questions.
Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events. In order to get pregnant:
In some cases, women should talk to their doctors sooner. Women in their 30s who’ve been trying to get pregnant for 6 months should speak to their doctors. A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 35. So getting a complete and timely fertility evaluation is especially important.
Finding the cause of infertility can be a long, complex and emotional process. It can take months to complete all the needed exams and tests. So don’t be concerned if the problem isn’t found right away.
For a man, doctors usually begin by testing his semen. They look at the number, shape and movement of the sperm. Sometimes doctors also suggest testing the level of a man's hormones.
For a woman, the first step in testing is to find out if she is ovulating each month. There are several ways to do this. A woman can track her ovulation at home using a home ovulation test kit. (available at drug or grocery stores)
Doctors can also check if a woman is ovulating by doing blood tests and an ultrasound of her ovaries. If the woman is ovulating normally, more tests are needed.
Some common tests of fertility in women include:
Intrauterine insemination (IUI, or artificial insemination) is another type of treatment for infertility. In this procedure, the woman is injected, into her uterus through the cervix, specially prepared sperm. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI. IUI is often used to treat: