Do I Need ART?
About 19% of women are unable to get pregnant after 1 year of trying, nearly a quarter of the US population. Medically defined as infertility, about 26% of women with the condition also experience difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term. Women who experience such issues should consider meeting with an endocrinologist to determine a plan of action. If a fertility issue seems unexplained, visiting a reproductive specialist can help. Many factors impact fertility, including age, testosterone and estrogen levels, and certain underlying health conditions.
Am I too old to conceive?
As a woman ages, the quality and number of eggs in the ovaries decline. At approximately age 35, follicle loss speeds up, resulting in fewer eggs overall. Research notes that by the early 40s, most women can no longer conceive without using outside donor eggs. The treatment incorporates fertility medicines that focus on at least 2 eggs and sperm. Reproductive technology works by independently fertilizing eggs taken from the ovaries with the selected sperm in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most well-known and successful type of advanced reproductive technology (ART).
Getting on the level
While fertility problems occur in both men and women, a full assessment of both partners by a gynecologist quickly determines the source of any issues. A recent study reveals that testosterone levels have notably dropped over the past 40 years. From malfunction of the pituitary gland to enlarged veins, male infertility comes from a variety of sources. By pursuing an immediate medical assessment, patients looking to have a child can speed up the process and target any problems.
The contents of your family tree
Women with a family history of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), functional hypothalamic amenorrhea, or premature ovarian insufficiency are at a higher risk of infertility. Specific preexisting health conditions cause women to have periods without ovulation, known as anovulation. To address any additional challenges, women should plan to meet with a fertility specialist to map out a plan for fertility treatments.
Life after infertility
At any given time, an estimated 10-15% of couples in the United States are experiencing difficulty conceiving. While infertility can be frustrating and exhausting, assisted reproductive technology offers hope to countless patients. After a year of trying to conceive, couples under age 35 should contact a healthcare practitioner to determine a plan of action. Combating infertility is tough, but a baseline knowledge of relevant factors impacting fertility can help couples stay on track.