Infertility Evaluations and Treatments

By James A. Scales, MD
April 03, 2018
Category: Fertility
Tags: Infertility  

There are many reasons couples have trouble getting pregnant. There are so many factors that can influence fertility and it can be almost impossible to pinpoint the cause without turning to a medical expert for help; fortunately, your OBGYN is a great source for providing a proper evaluation and treatment options to increase your odds of getting pregnant.

So, when should you consider visiting your gynecologist or infertility specialist? If you are at a high risk for infertility, if you are over the age of 35 or if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a year, then you may want to schedule an evaluation to find out if there is something that could be preventing you from getting pregnant.

During a fertility evaluation, you and your partner will provide details regarding your medical histories, and you will undergo a physical examination. For women, a blood test will be performed to check hormone levels. If you have a history of irregular periods this could also mean that there is an ovulation issue.

X-rays or other imaging tests may also be performed to check the health of the reproductive organs or to determine if there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes. Uterine fibroids can also be detected through these imaging tests, and this common issue can also affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant.

The most effective fertility treatment will really depend on the root cause. If there is an ovulation problem then medication will be prescribed to either stimulate the release of the egg or to treat conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, which can make it difficult to get pregnant.

If there is a fallopian tube blockage, then surgery will be performed to remove the blockage. If endometriosis is causing your infertility then a minor surgery may be recommended to remove the excess endometrial tissue.

However, there are situations in which your OBGYN can’t find the cause of your infertility. Even if this happens there are different ways to treat infertility to increase your odds of getting pregnant. Just like with any condition, there is trial and error when it comes to finding the right treatment. Medication may be prescribed (often the same type of medication used to treat ovulation problems).

If a woman is dealing with damaged fallopian tubes, severe endometriosis or other fertility issues that don’t respond to the treatment options above, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended.

Your gynecologist will sit down with you to discuss the ideal fertility treatment options that will offer the best chance for success.