Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB-GYN)
Some women struggle to conceive a biological child. If you have been trying to get pregnant or have questions about getting pregnant, the OB-GYN team can help. The team also provides services for women who are gestational carriers or using a gestational carrier. A gestational carrier is a woman who carries a baby for another family who is unable to get pregnant or maintain pregnancy.
Fertility issues are relatively common. Approximately 15%–20% of couples experience infertility. Medical issues and some lifestyle choices can affect female fertility. Fertility help is available.
When should you come in for a fertility visit?
You should see a provider if any of the following apply to you:
- You have been trying to conceive for a year or more with regular cycles and frequent intercourse.
- You have been trying to conceive and have irregular cycles.
- You have been trying to conceive after 35 within six months of regular cycles and frequent intercourse.
- You have been trying to conceive with a partner with male fertility concerns.
- You are in a same-sex relationship and want to build a family.
- You want to conceive with a sperm donor.
- You are interested in fertility preservation.
What causes female fertility problems?
Various medical issues can contribute to female fertility problems:
- Blockage of the fallopian tubes. This is often caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or a tubal abnormality.
- Endometriosis. This is a disorder where the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus, the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus.
- Hormonal concerns. Such concerns include hyperprolactinemia, which is excessive prolactin in the blood, and polycystic ovary syndrome, which is an infrequent or prolonged menstrual period, or excess male hormone levels.
- Male infertility. This is due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility.
- Ovulation disorders. This means you ovulate infrequently or not at all. Problems with the regulation of reproductive hormones or problems in the ovary can cause ovulation disorders.
- Pelvic adhesions. This is bands of scar tissue between pelvic organs caused by previous surgery or infection.
- Previous surgeries. Previous surgery in the abdomen or pelvis, including surgery for ectopic pregnancy, can damage the fallopian tubes.
- Uterine issues. This includes severe uterine fibroids or abnormal scar tissue.
How does age affect fertility?
Age plays a role in female fertility. Delaying pregnancy can decrease the likelihood that you'll be able to conceive. An older woman's eggs aren't fertilized as easily as a younger woman's eggs and might not develop normally, even after fertilization occurs.
What services are available to help with infertility?
Several options are available. It is important to keep in mind that every person is different and needs to work with a provider to create an individualized plan of care.
These services are available:
- Comprehensive infertility evaluation
- Donor insemination
- Hysteroscopic surgery
- Intrauterine insemination
- Ovulation induction
- Transvaginal ultrasound
Services vary by location. Talk with your provider for more information.