At Women's Health Associates of Richardson, we provide obstetrics and gynecological care for women. Our services relate to the specialties of obstetrics, gynecology and female infertility.
Infertility is defined as one year of regular, unprotected intercourse without conception. It is far more common than most people realize; approximately 6.1 million or 10 percent of the reproductive age population experience fertility problems. There are many physiological activities that have to happen simultaneously, first, to conceive and second, to carry a baby for nine months. In fact, the average couple ages 29 to 33 with no fertility problems only has a 20 to 25 percent chance of becoming pregnant in any given month.
There are multiple factors involved with infertility. The most common are tubal disease, anovulation (failure to ovulate), oliogoovulation (irregular ovulation), male factors, and unexplained circumstances. Ovulation and sperm deficiencies are the most common infertility problems, accounting for two-thirds of all cases. And, in about 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility. Endometriosis is also associated with infertility.
The good news is that many treatments are available, and it all depends on the etiology, or cause. Drugs can correct ovulation disorders, and surgery or in vitro fertilization (IVF) can correct tubal disease. Some forms of male factor infertility can be treated with medications, surgery, or insemination.
The best thing you can do is be positive and patient. A problem that has been present for 12 months is not going to be solved in 12 days. You can start with a visit to an obstetrician/gynecologist or family doctor, who will help you determine if there is a medical source to the problem. Patients should check with their insurance carrier about coverage for infertility evaluation and treatment as well. Insurance companies may cover some of the costs but rarely will cover them all. A complete evaluation takes time, and may require more than one provider, but can be rewarding in the end if a treatable cause is discovered.