Infertility is when you are unable as a couple to fall pregnant despite having regular, unprotected sex for six months to a year, depending on your age.
The large majority of apparently normal couples will conceive within the first year of attempted conception (80-90%). And by 24 months, 95% of the couples will have conceived.
Both men and women can be infertile, and it may be due to a single cause or a combination of factors. Due to the large number of factors that can cause infertility, testing and finding the cause can be a lengthy process.
Some of the causes of infertility are:
- Male factor
- Ovulatory dysfunction
- Tubal damage
- Coital problems
- Cervical factors
Dr Farjo will look at your medical history, menstrual history, lifestyle and sexual habits. A physical examination may be performed as well as initial tests for both men and women to see if a specific reason can be found for you not falling pregnant. Depending on the outcome of the tests and examination, you may be referred to a fertility specialist for further tests or treatment.
Symptoms of infertility
The main symptom of infertility is not being able to get pregnant. There may not be any other noticeable symptoms. However, where other symptoms are present, for women this may include irregularities with periods and pelvic pain. Men may show some signs of hormonal problem which include changes in sexual function or hair growth.
Treatment of infertility
There are many different treatments for infertility, and the treatment given depends on the cause, your age, the length of time you’ve been infertile and personal preferences.
Treatments for women include:
- Fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation
- Surgery to correct uterine problems, removal of intrauterine polyps, fibroids, septum or to resect endometriosis
- Intrauterine insemination
- IVF or ICSI
Treatments for men include:
- Correction of hormonal problems
- Addressing impotence or premature ejaculation
- Sperm retrieval where ejaculation is a problem