What You Should Know About Fertility
There’s lots to do when you start a family — the right house, the right car, the right school district top your list of priorities. But before you dive into these major life changes, make sure your body is ready and able to conceive and deliver a baby.
Although fertility isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when you begin planning your family, it should be. About 1 in 8 couples struggle with fertility when the woman is under 30, and approximately 1 in 5 couples faces difficulties when the woman is between the ages of 30 and 39.
At IVFMD, we help couples understand their bodies and their reproductive systems and how they relate to fertility. The more you know, the better prepared you are to conceive a baby successfully or to recognize challenges and know when to seek professional help.
Here, our team of experts takes a closer look at what you should know about fertility before and during your family planning.
Most people believe they’re able to start a family any time they want, so they wait until they’re ready. Unfortunately, that can backfire. If you’re not aware of your body’s potential fertility problems, waiting can sabotage your efforts.
At birth, women have all the eggs they’ll ever have. They start with about 100 million eggs and end up with around 300,000 by the time they hit puberty, but only about 300-400 of these eggs actually ovulate over a lifetime.
These eggs vary in quality, and the healthier ones tend to be released when the woman is younger, which means the older you get, the lower the quality of your remaining eggs.
Men, on the other hand, produce sperm regularly throughout their life, with a new batch every three months.
During ovulation, an ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube. If a man’s sperm fertilizes the egg, the embryo travels to the uterus and implants itself into the nutrient-rich lining, and pregnancy begins.
That’s the ideal, but countless variables can interfere with this process and cause fertility issues.
Evaluate your fertility long before you want a family
At IVFMD, we meet with countless couples who assume they’d have no problem getting pregnant until they try and try with no success. That’s why we urge all couples to think ahead and make sure their bodies are able to reproduce long before they plan to have kids.
Infertility can stem from issues related to the woman, the man, or both partners, and finding out early if there are any problems can make a big difference. The potential causes of infertility are numerous. Here are a few of them:
Potential causes of infertility in women
Many of the causes of female infertility are related to physical issues:
- Diminished ovarian reserve
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Ovarian insufficiency
- Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea
- Pituitary gland problems
- Physical blockage
If you’re overweight, obese, drink alcohol excessively, or smoke, these factors can interfere with fertility as well.
Potential causes of male infertility
Most issues that interfere with a man’s fertility involve problems with the number of sperm he produces, their shape (morphology), and their ability to move (motility). The most common factors that affect male fertility are:
- Enlarged testicles
- Substances such as alcohol, tobacco, anabolic steroids, or illicit drugs
- Medical conditions, such as infection, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders
- Cancer treatment
- Hormonal disorders
- Genetic issues, such as Klinefelter’s syndrome
As with women, age and obesity can contribute to a man’s fertility problems.
At IVFMD, we evaluate men and women for possible fertility issues so we can begin treatments or take steps to preserve fertility before the problem progresses. We use the most advanced technology to test the quality and quantity of sperm and semen and egg reserve.
Steps that can preserve your fertility
If you’re facing fertility issues now, but still aren’t ready to start your family, you can take steps to improve your chances of getting pregnant when you are ready.
After a thorough evaluation, we let you know about any lifestyle changes that will increase your chances of conceiving. If there’s a problem with a waning egg reserve, we may recommend egg freezing to preserve your highest quality eggs.
If tests indicate that you need more assertive intervention, we discuss your options for sidestepping your body’s fertility issues, such as:
As fertility specialists, we’re equipped and qualified to help you start the family of your dreams, but you increase your chances significantly by coming to see us early.
If you’re wondering when it’s time to consult with our specialists, give us a call or book an appointment online at any of our three offices in Arlington, Irving, or Grapevine, Texas. Find out how a little knowledge can affect your future family.