Infertility…now what?

Apr 30, 2022 | OB

Unless you are one who is, or has had to deal with fertility issues, it’s not something we think about very often, yet, it seems as though fertility issues are on the rise. You don’t have to look far to find someone going through a similar infertility journey as you.

We don’t know exactly why it seems to be more prevalent; it’s hard to find a cause or a correlation. Many chronic health conditions are also on the rise like insulin resistance, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Endometriosis, Thyroid disease, low testosterone and more. Our environment plays a huge role as well, with chemicals and endocrine disrupters on the rise, along with a stressful lifestyle and a steady diet of processed food, our health is taking a hit, including our fertility health.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, 1 in 10 women will struggle to conceive and carry a baby to full term. A woman is considered to have Primary Infertility when conception doesn’t happen after a full year after stopping birth control. Secondary Infertility is when a woman has one successful pregnancy but struggles to conceive a second time.

Here are some risk factors to consider if you are facing infertility. See what things you can do to improve your health.

  • Age- women over age 35 can experience more difficulty in getting pregnant.
  • Insulin resistance and diabetes can inhibit ovulation. Insulin resistance is often overlooked as a problem to consider. We often associate insulin resistance with weight problems but that is a myth. Even thin, seemingly fit people can have insulin sensitivity issues and should be a test you undertake if you struggle to conceive. Adjusting your diet to include organic, non- starchy vegetables, increased protein and no sugar will help a great deal in getting your insulin back on track.
  • Excess alcohol and tobacco use
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Stress
  • Weight issues- either over or under weight
  • Environmental toxins- lead, pesticides, plastics and other chemicals.
  • Over exercising
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Thyroid disease
  • Hormones out of balance
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Low sperm count or low testosterone
  • Over use of anabolic steroids

This is by no means a comprehensive list of possible problems but it’s a good start. Often, doctor’s aren’t able to find a cause for infertility. Regardless of the cause, it is vital to set yourself up to be healthy. Look at what you can do to improve your overall health and balance your hormones. Remove as many chemicals from our surroundings as possible and buy organic food when you can and as your budget affords. See your doctor and make sure each of your hormones are optimized.

What are your options for helping you conceive a baby?

  • Intrauterine Insemination- IUI In this procedure, sperm is placed directly in your uterus.
  • In Vitro Fertilization- IVF- A sperm and an egg, which have been harvested, are placed in a lab dish where the egg will be fertilized. Once fertilized, the embryo is transferred to the uterus.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection- similar to IVF, an embryologist injects a single sperm into a harvested egg and then it is transferred to the uterus.
  • Donor eggs and sperm can be used
  • Surrogacy is another option wherein another woman carries the fertilized embryo.

Many women experience great success with any of these options listed above. With each attempt at IUI, the chances of getting pregnant increase by 20%. It is also estimated that 1 out of 2 women under age 35 successfully conceive through assisted reproductive technology. So, there is hope! Lots of hope. Sometimes it takes more than one try or trying different methods.

Visit one of the providers at Madison Women’s Clinic and let’s figure out your infertility issues together!

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