Obstetrics, Gynecology & Infertility
Infertility is determined when a couple has been trying to become pregnant for a period of 12 months without results. In some cases, however, evaluation for infertility may be appropriate after six months of trying to conceive unsuccessfully. Once infertility has been verified, a medical evaluation will be necessary to diagnose to cause of the infertility and to decide on a treatment plan.
Causes and of Infertility
There are many causes for infertility, but for women the problem is often related to an issue with ovulation or a condition affecting the uterus or fallopian tubes. For men, infertility is commonly due to an abnormal sperm count. According to national statistics, approximately 15 percent of couples struggle with impaired fertility and in about 25 percent of those cases, infertility is caused by more than one medical factor.
If a couple is experiencing infertility they will need to be evaluated in order to identify the cause or causes of their fertility problems. At the evaluation the physician will require an in-depth personal medical history, including pelvic infections, abdominal surgeries, previous pregnancies, and any underlying health conditions or symptoms that may be contributing to infertility. Women will need to discuss the frequency of their menstrual cycles and associated pain or cramping as well.
Men will also need to provide a detailed medical history. The doctor will want to know if he has fathered any children in the past, his occupation, and if he is on any medications. Couples should also be prepared to discuss how often they are having sexual intercourse and how long they have been trying to conceive.
Testing and Treatment
After the initial evaluation, some tests may be necessary to further understand the reasons a couple is not able to conceive. Tests can include blood panels, semen analysis, ovulation kits, ultrasound, and hysterosalpingogram (HSG or X-ray of tubes and ovaries). Depending upon the test results, the physician can determine an appropriate course of treatment(s). There are several options for treating infertility, including medication, insemination, injections, and in vitro fertilization (IVF), but each treatment should be decided on a case by case basis.
The struggle to conceive a child is very personal and can be emotionally stressful, but it’s helpful for couples to understand that infertility is a medical condition and not something about which to feel feelings of guilt or failure. Increased awareness of infertility and its causes can help lessen the sense of personal responsibility and encourage couples to get evaluated and treated.
Committed to Families
At Kansas City Ob/Gyn, we are committed to helping families work toward their goals of having healthy, happy families. We provide medical evaluations and infertility treatments in the privacy and comfort of our office, and referrals for local IVF specialists, if needed.
The caring medical staff at Kansas City Ob/Gyn understands that infertility is a difficult health issue and has its own unique emotional challenges. With that in mind, we feel privileged to offer health care, encouragement, and support for our patients as we accompany them through the process of trying to conceive.