After months of trying to get pregnant without success, “infertility” is never a word a couple wants to hear from their physician. Today, many couples are gaining hope from improvements for infertility diagnosis and treatment — making the dream of conceiving a child a real possibility.
Infertility is a common disease many couples face during their reproductive years. It occurs in about 15% of couples and is defined as the inability to conceive after twelve months of unprotected intercourse. Women over the age of 35 who are unable to conceive after six months and have irregular cycles, or men and women who have a past history of infertility can also fall under this definition.
Today, there are a number of innovative treatments that have improved a physician’s ability to treat couples with infertility; however, first a physician must determine why the couple is having trouble conceiving. There are a few known causes of infertility including:
- issues with production of sperm
- inability to produce a mature egg
- difficulty transporting the sperm or egg,
- trouble with the fertilized egg implanting in the uterus
There are a number of tests for determining the cause of infertility. Men can undergo a series of semen analysis tests to check for infertility. Women can be tested to see if their fallopian tubes are open, test their ovarian function along with the release of a mature egg, and undergo blood tests for diagnosis. There are a number of other tests which are sometimes performed depending on the couple’s history such as a laparoscopy, a post-coital test and a number of sperm function tests.
The best treatment for the couple depends on the specific case of the patient. Treatments may include intra-uterine insemination or the most successful treatment for males: in-vitro insemination. Females with irregular cycles face ovulation problems and in some cases surgery may be necessary. In -vitro fertilization, which has become the premier treatment for tubal disease, is also an option.
If infertility is a problem, the journey to parenthood is one you do not have to face alone. Talk to your physician to learn more about the treatments available to help you hope, dream and hold your miracle.
To learn more about Fertile Hope contact Sanford Clinic Women’s Health at 605-328-8800.
Keith A Hansen M.D.©
Sanford Health Fertility and Reproductive Medicine
1500 W. 22nd Street, Suite 102
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
©Copyright Keith A. Hansen, M.D.