Infertility Evaluation

Studies show that approximately 10% of the couples in the United States are infertile. Infertility becomes a concern if conception has not occurred after 6-12 months of having sex without using any means of birth control. Many factors need to be considered when looking at the number of months, like your age, your partner’s age, and the length of time you have been trying to get pregnant.

Infertility may be attributable to multiple factors. Some are easy to discover and treat, while others are not so easy.

The factors relating to infertility are attributed to an issue:

  • found in the woman (65%)
  • found in the man (20%)
  • no cause found in either partner (15%)

The amount or health of the sperm is the most common factor for males, which can be caused by abnormal hormone levels. Another cause may stem from infection or scarring from a sexually transmitted disease. Female issues may also relate to abnormal hormone levels. Ovaries might not be producing an egg at the proper time, and blockages or scarring in the cervix or fallopian tubes could also be a cause. Lifestyle factors, including anorexia, poor nutrition and obesity may play a role in infertility. Exposure to a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) can also lead to problems. DES was a drug that was used to prevent miscarriages in pregnant women between 1940 and 1971. Women who’s mothers took DES could also experience complications with infertility.

Whether or not to begin testing is dependent upon a variety of factors. These factors include things like your age, your partner’s age, along with the length of time you have been trying to conceive. Testing and treatment for infertility is done as a couple.

Testing requires the following evaluations:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam
  • Ovulation check
  • Semen analysis
  • Tests to check for a normal uterus and open fallopian tubes
  • Discussion about how often and when you have sex

In most cases, the basic components of an infertility evaluation can be completed within a few menstrual cycles. Consult with your doctor regarding the costs involved and if they will be covered by your insurance.