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Talking to Your Doctor About Infertility

Talking to Your Doctor About Infertility

When it comes to making a baby, there are many things that can affect fertility such as poor egg quantity, sperm malformation and gynecologic diseases. If you’ve been trying to conceive for a year without any success, or if you’re 35 and older and haven’t had any luck for the past six months, it’s time to talk to your doctor about infertility.

“All OB physicians and primary care physicians can perform a basic infertility evaluation that includes a semen analysis, Anti-Mullerian Test (AMH) for egg quantity and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) for structural abnormalities,” says OB/GYN Gregory Starks, MD with Midwest Women’s Healthcare Specialists in Kansas City, MO.

While fertility testing on men is non-invasive and focuses on semen analysis, women may have to go through much more testing. “A woman should expect an extensive evaluation of her infertility history, review of old records, a possible exam, further targeted testing and protocol selection for future management,” says Dr. Starks. More specifically, your doctor may have you chart your body temperature to track your ovulation, give you x-rays and blood tests and possibly order some procedures to look for causes of infertility.

The good news? Most of the time, people are able to conceive eventually through medication or surgery. More intensive treatments such as IVF – in which doctors collect eggs and sperm, combine them in a lab, and then implant the embryo into the woman – are necessary only about 3% of the time. “IVF is needed when there are unresolved male factors, occluded fallopian tubes, extensive endometriosis, age-related factors and unresolved issues from traditional therapies. This therapy resolves the vast majority of reproductive issues,” says Starks.

If you’re ready to talk to a physician, Sharecare’s Find a Doctor has made it easy for you to contact a physician in your area. 

See More from Dr. Starks:
How can my doctor find out if I or my husband has a fertility problem?
What should a woman expect during an appointment at a fertility center?
How does polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) affect fertility? 

 

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