Numerous factors play a role in infertility and can include:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common cause of infertility in women. This condition causes a hormonal imbalance that prevents or limits the regularity of ovulation. It’s often associated with obesity, abnormal hair growth on the face or body, increased incidence of diabetes, and frequent acne outbreaks.
There’s no cure for PCOS and the infertility rate is high, but long-term treatment with medications such as metformin or hormones have successfully helped women with PCOS become pregnant. If you don’t respond to initial treatments, you may be a good candidate for referral to a fertility specialist and in vitro fertilization.
Women are much more affected by age-related fertility issues than men because women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. Men produce sperm throughout much of their life. As a woman ages, her eggs begin to diminish in quantity as well as quality. Fertility begins to decline around age 32.
By the age of 40, a woman has only a 5 percent chance of becoming pregnant in any given month, compared to the 20 percent chance at age 30. Thus, the so-called “biological clock” is real. However, medical science has made great strides in helping a woman achieve a healthy pregnancy well into her 40s.
Dr. Alshalabi starts with a complete physical examination that includes a detailed review of your medical history and extensive discussion. He may obtain blood tests to check hormone levels. If you have a history of miscarriage, he may recommend further diagnostic studies such as a hysteroscopy, vaginal ultrasound, or other imaging studies to check for uterine fibroids, polyps, or structural abnormalities that might interfere with your ability to carry a pregnancy.
Dr. Alshalabi also may recommend your partner have a semen analysis to determine the health and function of his sperm, or that he see a urologist or fertility specialist to discover if he has conditions that may contribute to infertility problems.
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