Understanding the factors that may affect fertility
Infertility is a common occurrence for couples. Millions of women each year have trouble getting pregnant or experience multiple miscarriages.
There may be multiple factors affecting your ovulation, fertilization and implantation – the phases necessary to become pregnant.
Some risk factors for infertility include:
- Age (infertility risk increases after age 30)
- Poor diet
- Being overweight or underweight
- Drug, tobacco and alcohol use
- STDs, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease
- Athletic training
If you are diagnosed with infertility, your doctor might recommend treatment options depending on your specific circumstances. Common treatments may include:
- Fertility drugs
- Surgery for damaged female or male reproductive organs
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization
- Artificial insemination, donor eggs or gestational carriers
How to talk to your doctor
Start by telling your doctor when you decide to begin a family. If you've been trying to get pregnant for an entire year without success, ask your doctor about a fertility evaluation and ask your husband or partner to do the same.
Consider seeing your doctor sooner if:
- You're under 35 and have been trying for six months
- Your periods are irregular or painful
- You have endometriosis or a pelvic inflammatory disease