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Infertility: How to Start the Process of Finding Answers

Are you and your partner struggling with infertility problems? Dr. Lyndon Taylor at Healthcare for Women wants you to know that you’re not alone. In fact, the Office on Women’s Health reports that about 10%, or 6.1 million, of women in the United States ages 15-44 struggle with infertility.

While this might make you realize that you’re not alone, only getting answers to why you’re having these issues and how to resolve them will make you feel better. Our care team is here to help you find the answers you need to your infertility problems.

The basics of infertility

You know how pregnancy happens. But, are you aware of all the steps that have to occur to create a baby? There are several, and problems can arise at any point in the process.

To get pregnant, you must release an egg from one of your ovaries. This process is called ovulation. The egg then travels through your fallopian tubes toward your uterus. This is where the man’s sperm joins with the egg to fertilize it. The fertilized egg then attaches to the uterine wall in a process known as implantation.

You can see that several processes must happen to get pregnant. If you’re under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year, you’re probably struggling with infertility. For women over the age of 35, not getting pregnant after six months of trying tells us that you might be struggling with infertility, too.

Is it you?

Many women wonder if the issue is with them or their partner. It’s essential you know that both men and women can have problems that cause infertility. About one-third of the time the problem is with the woman, and another one-third of the time the issue is with the man. The rest of the time, the difficulty involves both partners or an unknown problem.

How is the problem found?

Dr. Taylor can get to the bottom of your infertility problems. He starts by asking you and your partner about your sexual health histories. This helps him to determine if your past puts you at risk of conditions or issues that might affect your ability to conceive. He performs a physical exam of the woman to make sure your anatomy is normal.

We also need to test if your body is ovulating, or releasing eggs. You can track your ovulation at home, or we can do a few procedures in the office to check. At home, you can take your temperature every morning and jot it down in a notebook or on your calendar. You should notice an increase of 0.5-1 degree the day after you ovulate.

You can also check your cervical mucus, because for a day or two before ovulation, you should notice your vaginal discharge increase in amount and get thinner and more slippery. You can also purchase a home ovulation kit at most drugstores. In our office, we can check ovulation by taking a blood sample or performing an ultrasound of your ovaries.

For your partner, the first step is to test the semen to look at the shape, movement, and number of sperm present in a sample. A blood sample might also be taken to check the level of male hormones in the blood.

What if ovulation is normal?

If you’re ovulating normally, we can perform other tests such as a hysterosalpingography, which is a specialized X-ray that looks at the structure of your fallopian tubes and uterus. This diagnostic test allows us to check for any blockages in your anatomy that could make getting pregnant difficult.

We can also perform a laparoscopy, which is a minor surgery to get a clear picture inside your abdomen. Dr. Taylor makes a small cut in your lower belly and inserts a small camera that allows him to check your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries for any problems or the presence of disease.

Next steps in your journey

Infertility is difficult and can cause a lot of stress for you and your partner. Once we’re able to find the underlying problem that’s making it difficult for you to get pregnant, we can provide you with the most accurate information to help you make the best decision for you and your future family.

If you’re struggling with infertility, and you’re ready to find solutions, give our office a call today or book your consultation online.

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