10-15% percent of couples in the United States are infertile. This is under the defining terms of having unprotected sex for 6 months to a year and still not being able to get pregnant.
Difference Between Infertility & Being Sterile
There is a clear distinction between being infertile and being sterile. Although 15% of couples are infertile and unable to have a child, only 1-2% of those people are sterile. The definition of sterility or sterile is being unable to ever have a child, while those who are infertile can get help and potentially have children. An “unexplained infertility” occurs in over 15% of couples that are infertile. This term means no causes can be found as to why the couple is infertile.
Symptoms of Infertility In Women
- Abnormal periods in women, they are lighter or heavier than usual, and they are irregular
- No periods, your period has suddenly stopped or you have never had one
- Female infertility is linked to hormonal issues: skin changes – acne, loss of sexual drive, hair loss, weight gain, pain during sex
Symptoms of Infertility In Men
- Changes in sexual desire
- Changes in hair grown
- Lump in testicles
- Problems with erections
When To See A Doctor
- If you are under the age of 35 and have had no success getting pregnant for a year of trying
- If you are a woman, over the age of 35, and have had no success for 6 months of trying
How To Prepare For Your Doctor Appointment
- Genetic disorders such as diabetes, or thyroid diseases
- History of STD’s
- Bring in a list of all the medications, vitamins, minerals you are taking
- Changes your body has undergone or other symptoms
- Dates of surgeries you’ve had, and any involving the reproductive tracts
- How long have you had unprotected sex?
- Are you a smoker?
- Radiation or chemotherapy treatment? Dates?
The Most Common Fertility Drugs
- Clomid or Serophene: Clomid has been used for over 25 years, and is used to treat women who are not ovulating regularly. Both Clomid and Serophene are anti-estrogen drugs, which cause the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to release hormones.
- Effectiveness: 60-80% of women who take these drugs begin ovulating regularly and half of those are able to get pregnant, in as soon as 3 cycles.
- Injectable Hormones To Stimulate Ovulation: hCG, FSH, hMG, GnRH, GnRH – agonist, GnRH – antagonist
Other Infertility Treatment Options
- Artificial Insemination
- In Vitro Fertilization
- Using An Egg Donor
- Relaxation Techniques To Overcome Stress & Infertility
- Treating PCOS
- Using A Surrogate Mother
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