If you’re not sure about whether the fertility issue lies with you or your partner, take heart in knowing that the odds are about equal in either direction. And one third of fertility problems can be attributed to each partner. The remaining two thirds of fertility issues are scenarios in which a combination of issues is preventing conception. The only way to ascertain what issues you’re facing is for both partners to be tested by an RE. In the interim, here are some concerns to address with your doctor.
A male’s sperm count drops as he ages. Fewer sperm can make conception more difficult.
Males who have compromised immune systems also can suffer from sperm motility issues. This means that his sperm may not be able to swim to the egg and fertilize it properly. Some immune disorders can also cause the body to attack the sperm as if it were an intruder, lessening successful conception even more.
Being overweight or underweight can be caused by poor nutrition. This can have a significant impact on the health, number and quality of a man’s sperm.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Untreated STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause issues with sperm production, health and motility. This can be greatly improved by having the disease treated properly.
Irregular Cycles and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
An irregular cycle, with its subsequent irregular ovulation, is one of the most common cases of infertility. Some ladies may see their cycles become normal by following a regime of diet and exercise, while other women may need fertility medications such as Clomid to successfully conceive. If you are concerned you may have PCOS, ask your doctor to check you for cysts. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow on or in your ovaries and prevent ovulation. Most women have a series of small cysts, but some women only have issues with one of their ovaries. PCOS affects between five and 10 percent of all women and signs include excessive hair growth, infrequent or absent periods, obesity and acne. If the cysts do not resolve on their own, as is quite common, you may require a laparoscopy to have them removed.
Being Over 30 years of Age
Being over 30 doesn’t preclude your ability to have a baby, but your chances of success to decrease with age because your eggs may not be fertilized as easily as those of a younger woman can be.
Uterine fibroids affect 75 percent of all American women, and these benign tumors on the walls of the uterus usually don’t stand in the way of conceiving. Should they block the Fallopian tubes, however, you may experience infertility. There is a procedure called a myomectomy available that removes fibroids and can restore your ability to conceive.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PIC is caused by sexually transmitted bacteria, such as chlamydia. Antibiotics can be used to clear the infection and restore your ability to get pregnant.
Scar Tissue or Pelvic Adhesions
If you’ve had a previous pelvic infection, the scar tissue can cause blockages in the Fallopian tubes and lead to infertility. Laparoscopic surgery can remove these blockages and help you to conceive.
If you’ve been trying to conceive for awhile and are concerned that yourself or your partner may have any of these issues, speak to your obstetrician about seeing an RE as soon as you can. This will help you discover the root of the issue and get on track to having a baby.