Deciding to have a baby is one of the most important, life altering decisions a couple can make together. It’s a little frightening but more than that, overwhelmingly exciting. After making the decision to try to conceive, all a couple wants is to see two lines on a pregnancy test (or a digital “positive” to be absolutely sure). Those simple two lines speak to future that’s beginning, a new future for the couple and brand new life itself. However, not all couples have a stress free time conceiving a child. In fact, many struggle from infertility. There are many causes of infertility in women and men alike, and while some are not preventable or treatable, many are.
First, if a couple is experiencing difficulties conceiving, it’s important to consult a local gynecologist that the woman has a relationship with. This gynecologist can do preliminary examinations or refer the couple to a doctor who specializes in infertility solutions if necessary. A gynecologist can diagnose secondary infertility, which is when a couple has been trying to conceive for over a year (this happens to 11% of the population in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Though there are many causes of infertility in women, it’s important for couples to know that it is normal for conception to take up to a year to occur. In fact, if a women is under 35 years of age (after which point pregnancy is classified as geriatric), it is advised that she does not see her gynecologist for help with conception until the year mark has passed. In the mean time, a couple struggling to conceive can take other measures. Quitting smoking, for instance, can go a long way in improving fertility in both men and women. Even just five cigarettes a day can lower fertility rates. Men wearing boxers instead of briefs, though just a small change, can also increase sperm motility. However, once the year mark passes, if these lifestyle changes haven’t lead to conception, it’s important to start to look into causes of infertility in women and men with a trusted doctor.
Menopause is one of the large causes of infertility in women. Menopause treatment is possible, and hormone therapy can be given to women experiencing early menopause. There are a lot of causes for menopause, which is the cessation of periods for over a year. Many of these causes relate to life circumstances. For example, women who suffer a period of pronounced financial hardship are more likely to go into menopause early than women who do not. Lifelong depression has also proven to be a factor in early menopause. However, treatment is available to these women, such as a tubal ovum transfer and hormone replacement therapy.
Causes of infertility in women are vast and varied and sometimes difficult to diagnose. They can be unnerving and uncomfortable to navigate, even with the support of a partner. When seeking treatment for one of the causes of infertility in women, it’s important to have a doctor you trust.