There is the creation of fertility awareness in the media, with a common statistic that one in every six couples will experience some difficulty conceiving at some point in their lives. Memorial Women’s Specialists help diagnose the root cause of Houston infertility for women to better plan for their futures to start families by getting pregnant.
What increases your risk of having difficulty conceiving?
The number cause of reduced fertility is a woman’s age. Over the age of 35, about 25% of women are experiencing difficulty conceiving. Unfortunately, once a woman reaches 30, her ability to conceive drops considerably.
- Extremes of weight
Women who are overweight have a reduction in estrogen production, same to significantly underweight women. Extremes of weight cause hormone imbalances leading to difficulty conceiving.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
The third condition that commonly leads to infertility is a pelvic inflammatory disease, usually caused by untreated sexually transmitted infections, the most common causes are chlamydia or gonorrhea.
- Lifestyle factors
Some reversible lifestyle causes such as excessive alcohol consumption. For women who are having difficulties conceiving, it is recommended that they cut down or stop drinking. Heavy cigarette smoking may also reduce fertility. Excessive recreational drug use like marijuana and cocaine can also be linked to infertility.
Another lifestyle factor related to infertility is exercise. Excessive exercise can cause a patient to be underweight and increase the stress hormones in your body, such as cortisol. Cortisol can reduce the amount of estrogen in the body, causing fertility problems. A lack of exercise can lead to a patient being overweight, which ultimately causes infertility. Fortunately for some women, none of these factors have a role in their infertility.
- Genetic factors
There are genetic conditions that cause infertility. Suppose you are of the average age for conceiving but still cannot and have out-ruled all the reversible factors like lifestyle, avoiding smoking, alcohol, recreational drugs, and maintaining a healthy weight by regularly exercising. In that case, you are strongly recommended to talk to your doctor for further advice and about getting checked. Alternately, you should see your family doctor or gynecologist because they may want to carry out a detailed test and do a comprehensive exam on your symptoms.
How to know if you are infertile
To determine your condition’s severity, your doctor will need to know how long you have had unprotected sex. The rule of thumb states that a patient needs to be having unprotected sex for at least six months without conceiving, to be considered infertile. However, this rule depends on the age of the patient. If you are under the age of 31, you need to be having sex for one year. For older women, the period of having unprotected sex is three to six months. If you still cannot conceive after that time, then you need to visit your health care provider for them to start evaluating the root cause of your infertility. One of the tests used is to assess your ovarian reserve to see how many of your eggs are remaining, helping a patient make plans.
To learn about other infertility diagnostic tests, visit Memorial Women’s Specialists to understand your options.