Before Baby - Week 2
How do you know if infertility is an issue for you, and what should you do if you suspect it is? If you’re thinking about parenthood in 2021, let us answer some of your pressing questions.
Your fertility check-up
You’ve probably heard the term ‘infertility’ but do you know what it actually means? Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It’s more common than you’d think, affecting around one in six Aussie couples of reproductive age.
To help us understand infertility, check out the answers to some of these common questions.
What are the most common causes of infertility?
In women, there are four main causes of infertility:
- Ovulation issues or irregular periods – not ovulating, or having irregular or no periods
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) – this common hormone problem is the leading cause of infertility
- Endometriosis – a condition where uterus-lining cells grow outside the uterus
- Uterine fibroids – benign lumps of tissue that can grow around and inside the uterus.
For men, the most common causes are:
- Abnormal sperm production – having a lower than normal (or no) sperm production
- Severe sperm production – it’s not common, but sometimes anti-sperm antibodies can interfere with mobility and fertilisation.
How is infertility treated?
There’s a range of fertility treatments available – the right ones for you will depend on what your fertility test results indicate. Treatments may include ovulation cycle tracking, ovulation induction, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation or fertility surgery. There are also some advanced science options such as pre-implantation genetic testing – which we’ll delve into more in Week 4.
Am I infertile?
Often, struggling to fall pregnant has a simple cause we can do something about. A great way to get an indication of your fertility is to take our female fertility check up.
If you’ve already been trying to get pregnant for more than 12 months – or more than six months if you’re over the age of 35 – without success, it’s a good idea to book a fertility health check. This might involve:
- AMH test – this tests your levels of anti-mullerian hormone, indicating your ovarian reserve
- Semen analysis – to measure the quality and quantity of sperm
- Pelvic ultrasound – a check of your uterus to detect conditions such as fibroids or ovarian cysts
- Ovulation test – a blood test to check ovulation.
In case you missed it last week: Week 1 of Before Baby >>>>