Infertility affects 11% of all women and nearly 15% of all couples aren’t pregnant after a year of trying. Many causes of infertility are treatable, but it’s important not to wait longer than six months to a year without consulting Dr. Anna Le at Annandale Ob-Gyn so you can get a thorough evaluation and early treatment of potential problems. If you have any questions about infertility, or you’d like preconception counseling, call one of the offices in Annandale or Alexandria, Virginia, or book an appointment online.
When are you considered infertile?
Women who are younger than 35 are considered infertile when they haven’t become pregnant after at least one year of having regular, unprotected sex. If you’re older than 35, you’re considered to be infertile if you’re not pregnant after six months of trying to get pregnant.
Both partners can have health problems that affect their ability to conceive. In fact, women and men have an equal chance of being the cause of their infertility. In one-third of couples, the cause can’t be pinpointed or both partners have underlying issues that contribute to infertility.
Why is your age an important factor in infertility?
Age is a factor for both men and women, but the impact is greater in women. Simply put, you have a higher risk of infertility as you get older.
A woman’s ability to have a baby peaks between the ages of 20-30. You’re half as fertile in your 30s and after you reach 40 years of age, your ability to get pregnant goes down every month.
What causes infertility?
Polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis are two of the most common causes of female infertility. It’s estimated that 25-50% of women who can’t get pregnant have endometriosis. Other gynecological conditions that lead to infertility include blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cysts.
Infertility in men is typically due to not having enough sperm or having sperm that can’t fertilize an egg. Couples are also less likely to conceive when the man is over the age of 40.
You can be infertile and not have a physical problem, but many issues have an influence on fertility. Stress may affect ovulation, while being overweight, smoking cigarettes, and taking certain medications can all affect your fertility.
How is infertility treated?
Your doctor at Annandale Ob-Gyn & Primary Care may prescribe medication to stimulate ovulation, which is the release of an egg. A variety of medications are available that work through different mechanisms, so your doctor chooses one that’s best for you. Minimally-invasive surgery may be needed to treat underlying issues such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids.
You may consider a procedure like intrauterine insemination, which is when sperm are injected into your uterus. This procedure can treat infertility caused by problems with cervical mucus, male factor infertility, and in couples with unexplained infertility.