Many of the conditions we discuss in our blog specifically affect women, but infertility does not discriminate. This disease of the reproductive system can impact men and women equally. In fact, one in six couples have difficulty conceiving, and we encourage both partners to be involved in the diagnosis and treatment process. Here are a few pieces of advice for couples going through the struggle of infertility.
Know You Are Not Alone
Inability or difficulty in conceiving is understandably a hard thing to accept, but you are not the only one going through it. There are over seven million people experiencing similar issues.
Age Is An Important Indicator
Female fertility peaks in a woman’s mid-20’s and begins to decline around 27, with a considerable drop-off after 35. These shifts are caused by hormones, which control egg quality. In other words, changing hormone levels can limit the ability of the sperm to fertilize the egg naturally.
There Are Steps You Can Take at Home
Charting your morning temperature can help you be more aware of when you are ovulating. A shift of at least 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit can tip you off to ovulation. Ovulation predictor kits, which analyze hormone levels, are similarly helpful. Male infertility tests can help you test your partner’s sperm concentration at home, and they are now sold in most drug stores.
Know When and Where to Seek Medical Assistance
Infertility is defined as 12 months of unprotected intercourse without conception for women under 35, and six months for women over 35. Women who stopped taking birth control but have not yet actively tried to conceive may want to check in with a doctor as well. If any of these descriptions apply, you can start treatment with an OBGYN who will perform an infertility work-up of both the male and female before plotting a recommended course.
For more specific questions about treatment options, such as in vitro fertilization, visit our infertility page. There are other things to consider before having a baby aside from your ability to conceive. You can check those out in a prior blog post. Also, before picking any particular course of dealing with infertility, we recommend talking about your options with a licensed physician. Our doctors at Mt. Auburn OBGYN in Cincinnati are experienced in diagnosing and planning treatment for infertility, and they are just a call away! Schedule an appointment today.