Infertility is diagnosed when conception hasn’t occurred after six months (women ages 35+) or one year (women younger than 35) of unprotected intercourse. It’s also diagnosed when a woman has had more than one miscarriage. Did you know infertility is a reproductive disease that affects women and men equally?
1 in 8 women (about 12%) ages 15 to 44 years in the US have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. Experts at the CDC recommend seeking expert assistance from a reproductive endocrinologist if conception hasn’t occurred within these timeframes, or if you’ve had more than one miscarriage. As much as 90% of infertility problems can be resolved through medication or surgery; fewer than 3% of couples trying to conceive will need advanced reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Many couples struggle with infertility and infertility is often considered as only a woman’s condition. However, in about one-third of couples with infertility, a male factor impeding conception is identified along with a female factor.
Act on these symptoms and problems
Some health problems can increase the risk of infertility. Couples with the following signs or symptoms should not delay seeking health care when they are trying to become pregnant:
Factors for women
- Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
- Very painful periods
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Previous sexually transmitted infection
- More than one miscarriage
Factors for men
- History of testicular trauma
- Hernia surgery
- Previous infertility with another partner
Experts recommend that a woman and her partner to talk to a healthcare 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
When to Get Additional Help Conceiving
Forget the suggested timeframes for determining infertility and instead talk to your healthcare provider if any of the following apply to you and your partner.
- Trouble determining ovulation with typical tracking methods (such as basal body temperature or ovulation detection kits)
- Being underweight, overweight or obese—12% of all infertility is attributed to a woman being under or overweight/obese
- Had more than one miscarriage
- Regularly exercise heavily
- Drink heavily, smoke or use illegal drugs
- Have ever had radiation or chemotherapy
Boost Her Fertility
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits and omega 3 fatty acids
- Get regular rest-at least seven to eight hours of good sleep nightly
- Exercise in moderation
- Kick any bad habits-avoid smoking, drinking or illegal drug use
- Manage stress through regular relaxation, yoga, mediation, deep breathing or similar activities
- Learn about your cycle-track ovulation and cycle lengths so that you learn if you’re ovulating and menstruating regularly
Also see: When Should I Get Help For Infertility & Considering IVF
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