If you answer yes to any of these questions you need to see a Fertility Specialist:
- If you are under 35, have you been having regular unprotected intercourse for 12 months without a pregnancy?
- If you are over 35, have you been having regular unprotected intercourse for 6 months without a pregnancy?
- Have you had more than one miscarriage?
- Do you have painful periods?
- Do you have irregular cycles?
- Do you or your partner have a history of STDs?
In November 2009 the World Health Organisation (hereinafter referred to as “WHO”) officially recognized infertility as a disease. Significantly, the glossary defines infertility itself as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse”.
Infertility in women was ranked the 5th highest serious global disability (among populations under the age of 60).
Infertility is a disease, and if you have been diagnosed, you are not alone. It is important to see a specialist, such as a Reproductive Endocrinologist or urologist, or in some cases your Ob/Gyn for a complete fertility work-up and diagnosis.
- A couple is regarded as infertile when they have not conceived after 12 months of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
- About 1 in 6 couples of reproductive age have a fertility problem.
- Infertility is not just a female problem. In about 40% of infertile couples, the problem is a male factor, in about 40% it is a female one, and for the remaining 20% it is a joint problem, or the cause is unknown (“idiopathic”).
Many of the risk factors for both male and female infertility are the same. These include:
- Age. A woman’s age can affect her fertility. By age 40, a woman’s chance of pregnancy has decreased from 90 percent to 67 percent. By age 45, the chance of becoming pregnant declines to 15 percent. Infertility in older women may be due to a higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities that occur in the eggs as they age. Older women are also more likely to have health problems that may interfere with fertility. The risk of miscarriage also is much greater for older women.
Ovulation is your most fertile time. However, there are many components that factor in to when you ovulate. Tracking your basal temperature or the LH surge in your urine and getting a better understanding of your menstrual cycle as well as ovulation timing can help to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Is infertility a “woman’s” problem?
Infertility is a medical problem. Approximately 30% of infertility is due to female factor and 30% is due to male factor. In the balance of the cases, infertility results from problems in both partners or the cause of the infertility is “unexplained”.
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