Have you ever thought to yourself, or even more difficult, said out loud to someone else: Am I infertile?
What does it mean to be “infertile?” If you are infertile what does this fact mean for you?
There are always a lot of questions when trying to conceive a baby, and even more when you are trying and not succeeding. The first step is to know exactly what infertility means!
Infertility is defined as a disease of the reproductive system, and the failure to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse for patients younger than 35 (World Health Organization, 2016). For patients over the age of 35 infertility is classified as trying for more than 6 months without achieving pregnancy.
If you fit into this definition, your next step should be to seek help from a medical professional.
If you do fit into either of these categories you may find yourself wondering what a medical professional can do to help, and also what your role as a patient will be.
First, you’ll go in for an appointment to meet with the doctor. At this appointment the doctor will go over both you and your partner’s medical history, followed by some tests. These tests usually involve an ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries for the female partner, and a semen analysis for the male partner. Based off of these tests the doctor will either suggest more testing (i.e. bloodwork, x-rays) and/or give you a recommendation for fertility treatments.
Your specific type of infertility will determine the type of treatment you will need! I will discuss the different types of treatments in a later post!