Doctors usually consider a couple infertile if they’re trying to become pregnant but fail to do so after one year of trying. However, if the woman is over 35, the amount of time drops to six months due to potential problems with aging eggs. If you’ve miscarried or are unable to carry a baby to term, that’s not classified as infertility.
At Eve Medical of Miami, our women’s health experts can help you understand why you’re having difficulty getting pregnant and devise a treatment plan to help the process along. A great time to discuss your issues is at your annual well-woman exam or during a family planning counseling session.
What causes infertility?
Infertility can be caused by any of a number of problems with the woman’s reproductive system, the man’s reproductive system, or both. Here, we address the women’s side of things.
Factors that can lead to infertility include:
- Abnormal menstruation
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Past ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency
- Uterine problems, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps
- Thyroid disease
PCOS is by far the most common cause of female infertility.
Your options for infertility treatment
If your infertility is due to ovulation problems, we can use fertility medications to change the levels of your reproductive hormones. This stimulates ovulation and increases your chances of conception.
Depending on your problem, surgery might also be an option. Surgical procedures are used to open blocked fallopian tubes and remove both uterine fibroids and polyps.
Surgical treatment of endometriosis, a condition in which uterine-like cells grow outside the uterus, doubles a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
Sometimes, though, we need to take a more proactive approach to give a couple a fighting chance. These treatments include:
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
We use a long, thin tube to place the partner’s sperm directly into the uterus, where closeness to the egg facilitates fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves harvesting a woman’s eggs that are primed but not yet released from the ovaries. We place them together with sperm in a dish in the lab, where fertilization occurs.
Once fertilized, we transfer one of the eggs (now called an embryo) into the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
This procedure is similar to IVF. We inject a single sperm into each of the woman’s harvested eggs to fertilize them, then transfer one of the embryos into the uterus.
If a woman doesn’t have suitable eggs, and/or a man doesn’t have suitable sperm for conception, using donor eggs, donor sperm, or donor embryos may solve the problem.
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant but haven’t been successful, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re infertile, but you may need some help to conceive a child. Your best bet is to come into Eve Medical of Miami for a consultation with one of our providers.
To get started, call our Miami, Florida, office at 305-707-6030, or book online with us today.