What does it mean to be “infertile”?
Generally speaking, an infertility evaluation is recommended if:
- You’re under 35 and haven’t become pregnant after 12 months of regular intercourse without any type of contraception.
- You’re over 35 and haven’t become pregnant after trying for six consecutive months.
What causes infertility in women?
- One of your ovaries must release an egg that is capable of being fertilized.
- That egg must enter the fallopian tube.
- The egg must be fertilized.
- The fertilized egg must travel through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
- Once in the uterus, the fertilized egg must start growing.
Any interruption to this process will prevent pregnancy from occurring. In other cases, infertility may be caused by:
- Genetic factors
- Diseases like Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis
- Damage to the fallopian tubes, uterus, or cervix
- Hormonal imbalances
The best way to get an answer to this question is to contact Shenandoah Women’s Healthcare for a fertility consultation.
What should I expect when I come in for an evaluation?
When you meet with one of our providers, they’ll perform a thorough evaluation of your overall health and risk factors that may be harming your chances of becoming pregnant.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year (six months if you’re over 35), they’ll begin an infertility evaluation, where they will:
- Determine if you’re ovulating using blood tests, ovulation predictor test, and/or ultrasound examinations
- Use a specialized X-ray — known as as hysterosalpingogram — to check the health of your fallopian tubes and uterus
Throughout your infertility evaluation, their providers will be available to answer any and all questions you have. It’s important that you fully understand your reproductive health and all of the options available.
What risk factors can affect my fertility?
There are a variety of risk factors that reduce your chances of becoming pregnant. When you meet with one of our providers, we’ll take a close look at possible risk factors, including:
- Your weight and age
- Previous history of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- History of tubal disease or endometriosis
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption