When to consult a fertility specialist
Most experts suggest at least one year after having regular unprotected intercourse.. Women 35 or older should see their doctor after six months of trying. A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30. But a fertility check is recommended for women as early as possible.
Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility. So, women should speak to their doctors if they have:
Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
Pelvic inflammatory disease
More than one miscarriage
Fertility consultant check up
Doctors will do a fertility checkup. This involves a physical exam. The doctor will also ask for both partners’ health and sexual histories. Sometimes this can lead to identification of the problem. However, most of the time, the doctor will need to do more tests.
In men, doctors usually begin by testing the semen. They look at the number, shape, and movement of the sperm. Sometimes doctors also suggest testing the level of a man’s hormones.
In women, doctors can check ovulation with blood tests. Or they can do an ultrasound of the ovaries. If ovulation is normal, there are other fertility tests available.
Doctor injects saline through a catheter in to the uterus and ultrasound is done to check if it travels to fallopian tubes thus confirming the patency
This is an X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Doctors inject a special dye into the uterus to see if the dye moves freely through the uterus and fallopian tubes. This can help them find physical blocks that may be causing infertility.
The doctor does Laparoscopy by making a small cut in the lower abdomen and inserting the laparoscope. With the laparoscope, the doctor can check the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus for disease and physical problems such as endometriosis.
Hystroscope is used to see inside of uterus for any polyps, adhesions, septas, etc.
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Many times these treatments are combined.
Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on—
- Test results
- How long the couple has been trying to get pregnant
- The age of both the partners
- The overall health of the partners
Doctors often treat infertility in men in the following ways—
- Too few sperm: Sometimes surgery can correct the cause of the problem. In other cases, doctors surgically remove sperm directly from the male reproductive tract. Antibiotics can also be used to clear up infections affecting sperm count.
- Azoospermia: Sometimes there are no sperms in the semen and it could be due to a block in man’s system. In some cases surgery can correct this problem.