Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples in the United States. If you’ve experienced difficulty conceiving, then you may be wondering why and what can be done. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about infertility:
1. How is infertility diagnosed?
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of frequent, unprotected sex for women under the age of 35. For women over the age of 35, help from an expert should be sought after six months of unprotected sex. Biological factors in the woman, the man, or both partners can be one common cause of infertility, and both partners will need to undergo testing to find the source of the problem. For men, sperm samples need to be tested for sperm morphology, motility, and overall sperm count. For women, there are several tests that may need to be performed. Hormone tests are a common starting point and help determine levels of hormones need to achieve and maintain a pregnancy.
2. What are the chances of a healthy couple becoming pregnant?Even when both partners are healthy, conceiving a child is not a sure thing. If you have tried for a year to become pregnant, or for six months if you are over age 35, and are still unable to conceive, then consider consulting a fertility doctor at a reproductive health clinic.
3. What drugs can cause infertility?
A number of drugs have been known to hinder fertility, especially in men. Heavy alcohol and tobacco use are associated with decreased fertility; illicit substances like marijuana and cocaine have also been shown to impact fertility. The prescription drugs cimetidine (Tagamet), spironolactone (Aldactone), and nitrofurantoin (Macrobid) have been known to cause infertility while the patient is taking them.
4. Is infertility permanent?
Fortunately for many couples who experience infertility, there is still hope of conceiving a child. Over half of couples receiving treatment, including fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization (IVF), become pregnant eventually.
For more information about IVF and other fertility treatments, contact our office. Serving the Chicago area, Fertility Centers of Illinois can be reached at (877) 499-8730 or by contacting us online. For more information, please visit our website.