Infertility is the inability of a couple to conceive a child after numerous attempts in the span of a year, or over six months if the woman is over 35 years old. If a couple cannot get pregnant, either side (male or female) may be the cause. For women, infertility primarily stems from their inability to produce eggs that are adequate for conception. Here are ways on how to check for infertility.
What causes infertility in women?
For a woman to get pregnant, a series of steps needs to happen:
- A woman must ovulate. Her ovaries must produce and release a mature egg.
- The egg needs to go through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
- Sperm needs to meet the egg and fertilize it.
- The fertilized egg needs to attach itself to the uterus (implantation).
A problem that occurs in any of these steps may be the cause of a woman’s infertility. If the male partner is infertile (due to low semen count, for instance), it may also be the cause for the inability to conceive.
Many factors may cause infertility in women. How to check for infertility: Evaluate your health and consult your doctor for any of the following conditions:
- Ovulation disorders
- Fallopian tube damage (tubal infertility)
- Endometriosis (tissue normally found in your uterus grows in other areas)
- Uterine or cervical causes
- Irregular or no menstruation
- Very painful periods
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (that may be caused by STIs)
- More than one miscarriage
There are cases where the direct cause of infertility may not be uncovered, even if the procedures for how to check for infertility are followed. In these instances, a combination of minor issues in both the man and woman may add up and contribute to their inability to conceive.
Risk factors of infertility
Certain factors may lead to a higher probability of infertility. These include
- STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
All these, as with any condition, greatly affect one’s overall health.
How common is infertility in women?
A study in 2013 by research group Synovate reports that the infertility rate in the Philippines is 7.9%. It was found that around 1 out of 10 Filpino couples will deal with infertility. It is important to consult your doctor and learn how to check for infertility and what treatments and therapies can be done to boost your chances of conception.
When should I see a doctor?
If you have been trying to conceive within 12 months, consult your doctor. Women who are above the age of 35 may want to discuss with their doctor the probability and the risks of getting pregnant.
How to check for infertility?
When considering how to check for infertility, your doctor may decide to do an infertility check-up. This may include a physical test, along with a thorough review of your family and health history. For women, these questions mostly involve how regularly she ovulates. The doctor will keep track of these findings.
Doctors will usually need to do more tests to find out if a woman is infertile or not. Here are some possible tests that will help check for infertility:
One of the methods on how to check for infertility in women, ovulation testing is a simple blood test or urine test that checks whether a woman is ovulating or not.
Hysterosalpingography is another common method on how to check for infertility. This checks the condition of the uterus and fallopian tubes, and will try to find any blockages or complications that may cause infertility. The procedure entails an x-ray contrast to be injected into the womb, and an x-ray of the womb is taken after.
Ovarian reserve testing
A female’s supply of eggs is limited. This test measures the number of eggs that a female has for ovulation.
Other hormone tests
Hormone tests will check the level of ovulatory hormones and pituitary hormones that are crucial for the reproductive process.
Doctors use another scan called the pelvic ultrasound to check for infertility. The ultrasound will try and identify possible ovarian or uterine disease. A saline infusion sonogram is sometimes utilized so doctors are able to find issues that may not be found in normal ultrasounds.
Your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy (though rare) depending on your condition. The procedure will check for uterine disease through the use of a thin lighted device, which will be inserted into your cervix and uterus.
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The procedure will attempt to identify possible problems in your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus. This test can confirm endometriosis.
It is important to take note that tests are not limited to those listed above. Additionally, it is possible that your doctor may recommend only one or some of these tests. It will depend largely on your doctor’s assessment.
For many women and couples, infertility may cause them great distress. But there are ways to help boost chances of conception. As possible treatment(s) for your infertility, your doctor may recommend:
- Fertility drugs
- Intrauterine insemination ( IUI )
With today’s advanced medical technologies, women and couples can explore ways to boost fertility and get pregnant. There are numerous options for how to check for infertility and how to treat it. If you and your partner are having difficulty in conceiving a baby, consult your doctor.
Learn more about Getting Pregnant here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.