FAQs

What Does Infertility Mean?

Infertility can be defined as being unable to conceive after one year of having unprotected well-timed intercourse, or being unable to carry a pregnancy that results in a live birth.

Are Women More Infertile Than Men?

During the process of attempting to become pregnant you may be unsure of the reasons why you have struggled to become pregnant, this is perfectly normal. It is important that both partners be tested so the picture becomes clear. It is important that you take the health of your partner seriously and work together to define the cause so that either partner is not subjected to unnecessary medication. Current statistics reveal that regarding fertility, 35% of the problems lie with men, 35% with women, 20% are a combination of both partners, and 10% are unexplained.

When Should We See A Doctor?

Many physicians advise you to see a specialist if you have been trying unsuccessfully for over a year. However, if you are over 30, have irregular cycles, a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, or a known low sperm count, it may be necessary to seek help sooner.

When Am I Most Fertile?

The day you start your period is “Day 1”. If you have a normal menstrual cycle, on or around “Day 14” you should ovulate. This means tat your ovary releases an egg. (The egg stays alive for about 24 hours. Sperm stays alive for about 48 hours.) You are most fertile around “Day 14,”) so it is crucial for sperm to be present during this time. Remember, not all women have 28 day cycles and may not ovulate exactly on “Day 14.” Some may ovulate a little earlier and some later. Some don’t ovulate at all. Also, women can get their period without ovulating.

Is Finding A Fertility Specialist Difficult?

Ask questions to be sure you are getting the best treatment. Doctors who specialize in infertility are specially trained in reproductive endocrinology and have special expertise in fertility.

How Do I Choose?

The expertise of a fertility specialist can make the difference between years of infertility and that much desired outcome of successful pregnancy. In selecting a fertility specialist, you can ask for a referral from your present primary care physician, friends or family members.

How Is Semen Analysis Performed?

You will be instructed to abstain from sexual activity for at least two days prior to the test. For home collection you will be given a sterile specimen cup and instructions for the collection. Home collections are then brought to the office within an hour of collection. Be sure to schedule an appointment for drop off. Another method of collection is to schedule an appointment and perform the collection at our lab in a private room. Appropriate reading material and videos are provided.

Can Hot Tubs Be Bad For You?

High temperature can kill sperm. That is why your scrotum is outside the body… it acts as a kind of “cooler”. So, when trying to conceive, try to avoid hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms. It is also a good idea to wear loose pants and underwear.

Are There Ways To Tell When I Ovulate?

Your doctor may have an ovulation detection kit or you can buy an ovulation prediction test in your drug store. Another way is by listening to your body, it may signal when you are about to ovulate: many women feel twinges in their lower abdomen (your ovaries are on the right and left sides of your lower abdomen.) Other women notice clear, stretchy vaginal discharge near fertile time. An ultra-sound or appropriate blood tests to determine ovulation can also be performed.

When Should We Have Intercourse?

Around the time you ovulate, it is a good idea to have intercourse every other day (Days 10,12,14, and 16) it is better to have intercourse every other day so that sufficient sperm will be available. Remember, not all women ovulate exactly on “Day 14.” And, just because you ovulated on “Day 14” this month doesn’t mean you will next month. Do not douche and do not use any lubricants.

What Tests Should Be Performed?

Your doctor may do the following:

  • A complete blood work-up to check all hormone levels (thyroid, prolactin, and androgen)
  • A complete semen analysis
  • Check the quality of the uterine lining (an endometrial biopsy/pelvic ultrasound)

If there is a low sperm count, the doctor may:

  • Perform a sperm wash to determine if enough concentration can be obtained.

If you have not had these tests done, BE SURE TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THEM. It is unwise to proceed unless you have ruled out all of the possibilities.

When Should We Have Intercourse?

Around the time you ovulate, it is a good idea to have intercourse every other day (Days 10,12,14, and 16) it is better to have intercourse every other day so that sufficient sperm will be available. Remember, not all women ovulate exactly on “Day 14.” And, just because you ovulated on “Day 14” this month doesn’t mean you will next month. Do not douche and do not use any lubricants.

How Much Chance Is There That I Become Pregnant?

It really depends on what is preventing you from getting pregnant. For some women it may be as simple as getting them to ovulate with fertility drugs. For other it may take surgery to repair damaged tissues. It could be that the male partner isn’t able to produce sufficient sperm. There are many different tests that are used to determine what ay be preventing a pregnancy from occurring. Your doctor must first determine what the problem may be before treatment can proceed.

Can I Party Once In A While?

Do you mean,  “It is ok to have a drink or two?”  It is always good to relax and have a nice time. However, anything you put into your body can affect the way it works. So common sense says both of you should take care off yourselves before and during pregnancy. However, it is not okay to use drugs or too much alcohol as they can affect your reproductive system, Take it easy on your body, don’t abuse it with alcohol or drugs.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do?

Try to lean as much as you can about infertility. Read good, reliable information that can be obtained from our doctor, library, trusted friends or family. The more you know, the more you will be able to ask for information and set the help you need. Educating yourself can save years of frustration and disappointment. Don’t be afraid or shy about asking your doctor questions.

Be sure to make an appointment to see a fertility specialist. Your present doctor may be helpful and informed, but a specialist will add to the depth of information you need, offering more ideas and steps that may help you resolve your difficulty in becoming pregnant.

If you have any questions or would like more information on the subject of infertility, you may call the Valley’s Fertility Center at (956) 687-2693.