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- Infertility facts
- What is infertility?
- Is infertility a common problem?
- Is infertility just a woman's problem?
- What causes infertility in men?
- What causes infertility in women?
- Ovarian function (presence or absence of ovulation and effects of ovarian "age")
- Tubal patency (fallopian tubes open, blocked, or swollen)
- Uterine contour (physical characteristics of the uterus)
- What things increase a woman's risk of infertility?
- How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
- How will doctors find out if a woman and her partner have fertility problems?
- How do doctors treat infertility?
- What are some of the specific treatments for male infertility?
- What medicines are used to treat infertility in women?
- What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
- What is assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- What are the different types of assisted reproductive technology (ART)?
- Gestational Carrier
Quick GuideInfertility Pictures Slideshow: Which Treatment Is Right for You?
What things increase a woman's risk of infertility?
Female fertility is known to decline with
- Age. Many women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. In fact, about 20% of women in the United States now have their first child after age 35, and this leads to age becoming a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems. Aging not only decreases a woman's chances of having a baby but also increases her chances of miscarriage and of having a child with a genetic abnormality.
- Aging decreases a woman's chances of having a baby in the following ways
- Her ovaries become less able to release eggs.
- She has a smaller number of eggs left.
- Her eggs are not as healthy.
- She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems.
- She is more likely to have a miscarriage.
- Excessive alcohol use.
- Extreme weight gain or loss.
- Excessive physical or emotional stress that results in amenorrhea (absent periods).
How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
Most experts suggest at least one year for women younger than age 35. However, women aged 35 years or older should see a health care provider after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully. A woman's chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30.
Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should talk to a health care provider if they have-
- Irregular periods or no menstrual periods.
- Very painful periods.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
- More than one miscarriage.
It is a good idea for any woman and her partner to talk to a health care provider before trying to get pregnant. They can help you get your body ready for a healthy baby, and can also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.