Infertility: Causes, diagnosis, risks, and treatments
The leading cause of infertility is ovulation disorders involving infrequent or absent ovulation. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothalamic dysfunction (inability of the pituitary gland to produce hormones stimulating ovulation) and premature ovarian failure (premature egg loss due to genetics or an autoimmune response) are some conditions underlying ovulation disorders. Other reasons for infertility include blocked/damaged fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory disease, polyps, endometriosis, and cervical/uterine cancer. In some cases, women who want to get pregnant but can't suffer unexplained fertility that prevents conception. When an ovulation disorder is responsible for infertility, ovulation induction, IUI or IVF procedures can help a woman get pregnant.
How is Infertility Diagnosed?
Your fertility doctor uses several tests to determine what is causing infertility. Ovulation testing (blood tests measuring hormone levels), hysterosalpingographies (imaging tests to evaluate the condition of the fallopian tubes and uterus and ovarian reserve testing to assess quantity and quality of eggs ready for ovulation are a few of the many tests capable of diagnosing the exact cause of infertility. Pelvic ultrasounds may be needed to detect signs of the fallopian tube or uterine disease preventing normal ovulation and conception.
Infertility Can be Treated with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), ovulation induction, tubal embryo transfer (TET), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and pronuclear stage tubal transfer (PROST) are some of the state-of-the-art assisted reproductive technologies available to promote conception and pregnancy. For women who cannot conceive using ART, surrogacy is an option that allows another woman to carry a child to full-term for couples who could not otherwise have children.
How Successful is Ovulation Induction, IUI and IVF?
When performed by an experienced fertility doctor, all three of these ARTs have high success rates for women wanting to get pregnant. Sometimes, these treatments may need repeating if pregnancy did not occur the first time. Women under age 40 enjoy the best success rates with ARTs while women over 40 may take longer to achieve conception with IUI, IVF or ovulation induction simply because their ovaries are not producing enough viable eggs.
If you are experiencing fertility problems, call New York Reproductive Wellness today to make a consultation appointment with our fertility doctor.