Are you trying to get pregnant but haven’t had any luck so far?
If you’ve not become pregnant after one year of sexual intercourse without using birth control, it may be time to get a fertility test. For women 35 and older, that period of trying to get pregnant without success is just 6 months.
Common Causes of Infertility
Who bears responsibility for infertility? Recent findings indicate that problems becoming pregnant are fairly equitably split. One-third of the time, infertility is due to a man’s reproductive issues; one-third of the time, it’s due to a woman’s reproductive issues; and in the remaining one-third of cases, either a cause cannot be identified or infertility is the result of issues with both partners.
Issues that can cause a female fertility problem include:
- Hormone or ovulation disorders, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and more
- Uterine fibroids or polyps that may be blocking the fallopian tubes or preventing an egg from implanting in the uterus
- Scarring in the fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease or other conditions
- Early menopause
- Cancer, radiation, and chemotherapy
After the cause of your infertility is identified, your Women’s HealthFirst OB-GYN specialist will discuss your treatment options or possible next steps. In addition, there are numerous therapies we can provide to increase a couple’s chances of becoming pregnant – including hormone and/or fertility medications, as well as surgery (to treat endometriosis, for example).
What to Expect at a Fertility Evaluation
Your Women’s HealthFirst provider will begin the fertility evaluation with a thorough review of your medical and sexual history, including a discussion of:
- Your menstrual cycle
- Previous sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- Any irregular vaginal discharge or bleeding, pelvic pain, or other symptoms
- Use of tobacco, alcohol, and/or drugs
- Previous birth control methods used
- How often you have sex and whether lubricant is used
A pelvic exam will almost always be conducted, as well, to look for any signs of abnormalities.
Depending on the findings of the exam, your provider may recommend other tests, such as blood and urine tests, a semen analysis (sperm count) for your partner, gynecological ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or other procedures.
Fertility Test FAQs
Yes! When you visit us with your partner, it allows our OB-GYN providers to collect the medical and sexual history of both of you – as well as more easily address each of your health concerns and possible risk factors for infertility.
Our OB-GYN providers can order a semen analysis (sperm count) for your partner and review the results, but do not examine men. Should the sperm count results indicate an issue, we will refer your partner to a urologist for follow-up.
If you already keep a log, recording signs of ovulation – such as your basal body temperature and cervical mucus – please bring it with you to the fertility evaluation. However, it’s not typically necessary on your first visit. If a reason for infertility is not readily apparent, your provider may ask you to keep such a log.
It depends. In many cases, we can identify the cause right away. Sometimes, it may take several menstrual cycles to determine why you are having difficulty getting pregnant. In a few cases, it can require quite a few tests before a cause is found.
Schedule a Fertility Evaluation in Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Barrington or Bartlett, IL
Schedule a fertility evaluation by calling Women’s HealthFirst at (847) 808-8884 or simply request an appointment now. We have five offices located throughout northwest suburban Chicago to better serve you. Established Women’s HealthFirst patients are encouraged to use the patient portal to request an appointment, message your care team, and more.