The most heartbreaking thing to learn about yourself is that you, for whatever reason, cannot reproduce. Not being able to start your own family can have a toll on your self-esteem and way of living. Most people dream of bringing a new member into their families and for some those dreams get shut down.
It can be difficult to determine whether you or your partner are infertile as there aren’t many signs that can be seen. With trial and error and testing, you can find out why you aren’t able to get pregnant. It is suggested that you wait at least a year before going to get infertility testing done, just to make sure that you are genuinely having difficulties. After a year and you still, have issues getting pregnant then you should consider the options to help you start your family.
Some situations are more serious than others, but you should consider if you or your partner has health issues that may be preventing your pregnancies. Illnesses that make pregnancy more difficult include:
- Thyroid problems
- Cystic fibrosis
- Irregular periods
- Repeated miscarriages
- Problems getting an erection or ejaculating
You aren’t alone
There are many men and women across the world that are dealing with infertility issues. Women who are older in age have a lesser chance of getting pregnant due to the percent chance decreases with age, starting at age 20. Realizing there is a problem with your reproductive system is devastating. It is important to find ways to cope after finding out this information because it can put a damper on your outlook on life.
Infertility rates are rising and more men and women become infertile due to health reasons or habits that decrease your chance of becoming pregnant like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol frequently, and being extremely overweight or underweight. Changing your lifestyle and habits can help you become more healthy which results in being more fertile.
Even if you have had a child before, it is quite possible for you to have secondary infertility. This affects an estimate of 3 million women in the U.S. and continues to rise. There are many people that deal with the same problems.
Choose an alternative
Although success rates can be low, the possibilities of getting pregnant with alternative methods grow as time goes on. These alternatives can be life-changing and give you the gratitude to know that there is a way out there for you. There’s a misconception that infertility only affects women but it is frequently found in men as well. About one-third of men are affected and one-third of women are affected, while the remainder is both. Doctors and experts have found ways around this issue and a portion of procedures have been successful.
IVF, also known as In Vitro Fertilization, which focuses on helping sperm fertilize eggs. Medicidaciton and surgeries are used to assist in the fertilization process. While in the lab, a doctor will take eggs from the woman and the sperm from the man and mix them to help them do what they should. This part of the procedure is done after the woman takes medication that allows her eggs to mature the way they should. Once the eggs are fertilized they are placed in the woman’s uterus to start a pregnancy.
This process takes a while and it helps to be patient as sometimes multiple tries are required to get it to take. During the months of taking medication, the woman is required to get frequent ultrasounds to regulate hormones and the production of eggs.
You can either get a donor for sperm or ask someone you know, like your partner or someone close to you. Be mindful when choosing a donor as your baby will have their traits and genes. Take enough time to determine if this option is what you want to do to start your family.
This process, abbreviated as IUI, is artificial insemination and is an effective way to treat infertility in women. The age limit for this procedure is 40 due to issues that may revolve around age like an ovarian failure because of menopause or damage to reproductive tubes.
The process starts similarly to IVF as the woman is given medications to help her develop large quantities of eggs to heighten the chance of sperm fertilization. The insemination timing is dependent on her ovulation. The sperm is received at the office and sometimes at home as the male is supposed to ejaculate after refraining from masturbation for up to 5 days.
The next step is called sperm washing which means that the sperm is separated from any other parts of the semen. It usually can take up to an hour to wash and concentrate at smaller volumes. The woman’s cervix is cleaned and prepared for artificial insemination.
The success rates for this procedure depend on the medication taken beforehand and are lower than other procedures.
The treatment for ovulation problems is simply taking medication that inducts the ovulation process in women. The point is to develop more mature eggs than normal so there is a higher chance of pregnancy. Success rates for this treatment depend on age and the medication, similar to the IUI success determinants.
Male Fertility Treatment
Some people think there aren’t any treatments for men who have fertility issues, but there are ways to help their reproductive systems work properly. Male fertility treatments are for those who have low sperm count which is often passed down through genetics. Treatments for these issues improve their semen and sperm count with medications called clomiphene citrate. The success rates for male fertility treatments are unfortunately lower than you think.