Doctors consider a couple infertile if they try to become pregnant but fail to do so within one year. If the woman is over 35, the amount of time drops to six months to receive an infertility diagnosis. Infertility doesn’t include miscarrying or being unable to carry a baby to term.
At the OB/GYN office of Dr. Hany H Ahmed in Houston, Texas, Dr. Ahmed and his team take an evidence-based approach to infertility and offer many innovative treatments for women struggling to get pregnant.
If you, too, are struggling, knowing your options can help you manage the stress and look forward to the possibility of having a child.
What causes infertility?
Infertility can be caused by problems with the female reproductive system, the male reproductive system, or both. Here, we address the female system.
Factors that can lead to infertility include:
- Abnormal menstruation
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Past ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Pituitary gland disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency
- Uterine problems, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps
- Thyroid disease
PCOS is by far the most common cause of female infertility.
Your options for infertility treatment
If your infertility is due to ovulation problems, fertility medications can change the levels of your reproductive hormones to stimulate ovulation and increase your chances of conception.
Depending on your problem, surgery might also be an option. Surgical procedures can open blocked fallopian tubes and remove uterine fibroids and polyps.
Surgical treatment of endometriosis, a condition where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, doubles a woman’s chances of getting pregnant.
Sometimes, though, fertility treatments need to be a little more proactive to give a couple a fighting chance. These treatments include:
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Dr. Ahmed uses a long, thin tube to place the partner’s sperm directly into the uterus; proximity does the rest.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
This type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) involves harvesting a woman’s eggs that are primed but not yet released from the ovaries. They’re placed together with sperm in a lab dish, where fertilization occurs.
Dr. Ahmed then transfers one of the fertilized eggs (now called an embryo) into the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
This is a similar procedure to IVF. An embryologist injects a single sperm into each of the woman’s harvested eggs to fertilize them. Dr. Ahmed then transfers an embryo into the uterus.
This is a good choice if a woman doesn’t have suitable eggs and/or a man doesn’t have suitable sperm for conception. Instead, couples use donor eggs, donor sperm, or donor embryos.
If you’re trying to get pregnant but haven’t been successful, it’s time to see Dr. Ahmed for an evaluation and a treatment plan. Give the office a call at 713-489-3348 or schedule online.