HEALTHIER YOU: Coping with infertility
BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES
The month of April is National Infertility Awareness Month, a time when we focus on the challenges faced by men and women struggling to have a baby.
Infertility can be defined as an inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected sex. Here’s the bottom line: Women who do not have regular menstrual cycles — or are older than 35 years and have not conceived after at least six months of trying — should consider seeing a reproductive endocrinologist.
Couples often come under tremendous stress when they desire a child but are unable to conceive. When that happens, it is advisable to seek medical advice to help manage emotions and address underlying health concerns.
About 6% of married women in the U.S., age 15-44, are unable to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. Some of the causes of infertility in women include ovarian function; tubal patency (whether the fallopian tubes are open, blocked, and or swollen); and uterine contour (physical characteristics of the uterus). Female fertility may decline because of age; tobacco use; excessive alcohol consumption; extreme weight gain or loss; and excessive physical or emotional stress that results in amenorrhea (absent periods).
But infertility is not just a woman’s problem. A Centers for Disease Control study found that 7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime. Of the men who sought help, 18% were diagnosed with an infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems (14%) and varicocele (6%), a condition in which large veins cause a man’s testicles to overheat.
There are treatments to help people coping with infertility. One of the most common is intrauterine insemination (IUI) — more commonly known as artificial insemination. In this procedure, specially prepared sperm are inserted into the woman’s uterus, sometimes after medicine is administered to stimulate ovulation.
For additional information regarding infertility you can contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.