You Or Your Partner Have A History Of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases, sexually transmitted infections spread through sexual contact. They can cause inflammation and infection.
For women, they can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes, which may prevent the egg and sperm from ever meeting.
For men, they can cause reoccurring infections, which can damage sperm mobility, function, and sperm count.
Trick #: Supplement With Myo
For anyone who struggles with PCOS or isn’t ovulating regularly, studies have found taking myo-inositol may help regulate your cycles and get you pregnant faster. “Myo-inositol improves insulin sensitivity and may be beneficial to patients especially with ovulatory infertility,” explains Chen.
One way of boosting your intake is through supplements, like Premama, which contains 2000 mcg of myo-inositol. Or, you can add foods high in myo-inositol, including grapefruit and navy beans, to your diet.
How Can You Find Out If You Need Fertility Treatment
If you think you and your partner may need treatment to help you get pregnant, heres what you can do:
Your provider may give you and your partner medical tests to find out if you may need treatment. For example, your provider may:
- Want your partner to get his sperm tested to make sure its healthy. This is called a semen analysis. Your provider can tell him where to get this test.
- Give you some tests to make sure there are no problems with your fallopian tubes or uterus. If your tubes are blocked or if there are problems with your uterus, you may have trouble getting pregnant. You may be able to get treatment to fix these problems.
After these tests, you, your partner and your provider can decide about fertility treatment.
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How Do I Increase My Chances Of Getting Pregnant
One of the best ways to increase your chances of getting pregnant is knowing what days you ovulate , and planning vaginal sex or insemination around those days.
Everyones body is different, but ovulation usually happens about 14 days before your period starts. An egg lives for about 1 day after its released , and sperm can live in the body for about 6 days after sex. So people are usually fertile for around 7 days of every menstrual cycle: the 5 days before you ovulate, and the day you ovulate. You can also get pregnant a day or 2 after ovulation, but it’s less likely.
Some people have very regular cycles, and some peoples cycles vary from month to month. Many people track their menstrual cycles and other fertility signs to help them figure out when theyre ovulating. This is called fertility awareness some people use it to prevent pregnancy, and others use it to try to get pregnant.
You can use a fertility chart to keep track of your cycle and when youre most fertile . There are apps that can make it easy to chart your cycle and figure out your fertile days.
You can also use ovulation predictor kits urine tests that tell you when youre ovulating. You can buy ovulation predictor tests in the drugstore, usually near the pregnancy tests. Ovulation predictor tests look for a hormone called luteinizing hormone, which increases in your body right before you ovulate.
Factors Considered When Checking Fertility
Most women dream to carry and deliver a healthy baby someday. Unfortunately, not every woman is able to get pregnant. There are many ways you can find out if you have the ability to do so.
- Your menstrual history, whether regular or irregular
- The timing and frequency you engage in sex
- If you previously used contraceptives
- If you’ve been pregnant before and the outcome
- If you’ve had pelvic infections
- The type of medication you use
- What your job exposes you to
- If you have a history of substance abuse
- What your alcohol intake level is
- If you use tobacco
- If you’ve had surgery on your reproductive organs
- Your body mass index to check if you’re over or underweight
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What If You Have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Polycystic ovarian syndrome , a hormonal disorder, is one of the most common reasons for female infertility. It affects between 6% and 12% of American women of reproductive age.
There is no single test to identify PCOS, but a doctor will determine if a woman fulfills two of the following three criteria,the CDC said :
- Irregular periods or no periods, caused from lack of ovulation
- Higher than normal levels of male hormones that may result in excess hair on the face and body, acne or thinning scalp hair
- Multiple small cysts on the ovaries
It is not clear why some women develop this syndrome, although it is often diagnosed when they struggle to get pregnant.
There is a strong link between PCOS-related infertility and weight. About 40% to 60% of women with PCOS are overweight or obese, and healthy eating and exercise have been shown to improve reproductive problems in women with PCOS, according to a 2019 article in the journal Therapeutic Advcances in Reproductive Health . A number of prescribed medications may also induce ovulation and regulate insulin levels, such asletrozole and metformin. High levels of insulin push thepituitary gland to release large amounts of hormones thatdisrupt ovulation.
Doctors recommend in-vitro fertilization if other interventions have not worked, or as a primary treatment if monitoring, cost and accessibility are not issues.
How To Get Pregnant: Tips And Facts To Increase Fertility
We’ve spoken to the experts to come up with 10 tips for how to get pregnant quickly and safely.
You may have many questions about how to get pregnant, particularly if you have an underlying condition. Taking care of your body is a good first step to optimize your fertility. But what else can you do to improve your odds of having a baby?
The most important advice for a woman who wants to get pregnant is to get to know her body, specifically her menstrual cycle, said Dr. Mary Ellen Pavone, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist, and medical director of the in-vitro fertilization program at Northwestern Medicine’s Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility division in Chicago.
“It’s important to know how far apart her cycles are so she can more accurately time intercourse to try to get pregnant,” Pavone said.
We’ve highlighted the top ten tips that may help increase your chances of becoming pregnant. As always with this type of information make sure to speak to a medical professional as this advice is broad and you may require specialist attention. You should still find this article and accompanying video on how to get pregnant useful.
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Drugs To Cause Ovulation
Some women ovulate irregularly or not at all. About 1 in 4 women with infertility have issues with ovulation.
- 2014 study found that 27.5 percent of women with PCOS who took letrozole eventually gave birth, compared to 19.1 percent of those who took clomiphene.
- Gonadotropins: This group of hormones stimulates activity in the ovaries, including ovulation. When other treatments do not work, a doctor may recommend using a follicle-stimulating hormone and a luteinizing hormone in the group. People receive this treatment as an injection or nasal spray.
In about 10 percent of infertility cases, a doctor cannot find a cause. The medical term for this is unexplained infertility.
Drugs that aim to stimulate ovulation may help in cases of unexplained infertility. These drugs can enable a woman to optimize the chances of conceiving by timing intercourse. They can also reduce the effects of unidentified ovulation issues.
What Is Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation
Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation is a kind of fertility treatment that uses medicines to help your body ovulate . If youre having COH, your provider can adjust your treatment if she thinks youre likely to release more than one egg. The medicines used for COH include:
- Clomiphine citrate . This medicine comes as a pill. Its the most common medicine used to help women ovulate. You may have side effects from the medicine, like feeling sick to your stomach, feeling moody and having hot flashes and sore breasts.
- Gonadotropins. You get this medicine in shots. Side effects include feeling bloated or having pain in your lower belly.
If youre getting COH, have sex a few days before and the day that you ovulate. The more often you have sex during this time, the more likely you are to get pregnant. Your provider may recommend that along with COH you also have a treatment called intrauterine insemination . In IUI, your provider places sperm inside your uterus when you ovulate.
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When To See A Fertility Doctor
Fact: It takes the average young couple 4-6 months to conceive, with approximately 85-95% getting pregnant after one year of trying. For some, with “a serious medical illness, previous abdominal or pelvic surgery, a personal or family history of PCOS , endometriosis, or premature ovarian failure,” seeking the help of a fertility specialist right away may be the best route, says Serena H Chen, MD, director of reproductive medicine at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science in New Jersey on behalf of Fertility Authority.
But for the rest of you, if you want to up your chances of getting pregnant faster, before you make an appointment with a fertility specialist, consider these tricks you can try at home.
What Are The Different Types Of Fertility Treatments
Thanks to technology, there are lots of ways to help people with all kinds of fertility issues. The options that are best for you depend on your personal situation and whats causing your infertility.
Sometimes only one person needs treatment, other times both partners will use a combination of treatments together.
Fertility treatments often include medications that help with hormones and ovulation, sometimes combined with minor surgical procedures. Assisted Reproductive Technology describes several kinds of procedures that can help you have a baby. ART includes procedures that make it easier for sperm to fertilize an egg, and help the egg implant in your uterine lining.
Two of the most common fertility treatments are:
Eggs are taken from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab, where they develop into embryos. Then a doctor puts the embryos into your uterus.
Cryopreservation , egg or embryo donation, and gestational carriers are also forms of ART.
Donor sperm, donor eggs, and surrogates are often used by same-sex couples or single people who want to have a baby. You can also use sperm and/or eggs from a donor if a problem with your own sperm cells or eggs is causing infertility issues.
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Make An Appointment With Your Ob/gyn
Your first stop should be at your regular gynecologistno need to go straight to a fertility clinic. You may want to bring your partner along, although that’s not necessarily required at this point.
To prepare for your appointment, gather the following information:
- The dates of your last six periods, even if your cycles are very regular. If you’ve been keeping a fertility calendar or body basal temperature chart, bring the last six months’ information. If you’ve done any at-home fertility testing, bring those results too.
- A list of medications youand your partnertake on a regular basis. Some drugs can interfere with fertility, including certain antidepressants and even over-the-counter allergy treatments.
- A list of any infertility symptoms or risk factors you have.
- Any questions you have. If you write them down, you’re more likely to ask them.
When you discuss your symptoms, make sure to mention embarrassing ones, such as painful sex, unwanted hair growth, or low libido. These can all be symptoms of a fertility problem. Include any symptoms your male partner may be experiencing as well. Up to 40% of infertile couples face male infertility.
When Should I See A Doctor About Infertility Testing
Its normal to take up to a year to get pregnant. But if youve been trying to get pregnant for more than 1 year and havent had any luck, its a good idea to talk with a doctor about infertility testing.
Certain health problems can make getting pregnant more difficult. Dont wait a year to talk to your doctor if you or your partner has a history of:
injury or trauma to your scrotum and testes
problems getting an erection
Some doctors recommend that women over 35 seek infertility testing after 6 months of trying to get pregnant.
Your family doctor or gynecologist can test you for infertility, or refer you to a fertility specialist. Your local Planned Parenthood health center can also help you find fertility testing in your area.
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What Is In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization is a kind of fertility treatment called assisted reproductive technology . ART is any kind of fertility treatment where both the egg and sperm are handled in a lab. ART treatments remove mature female eggs from the ovaries using a needle and join it with the sperm in a lab.
IVF is the most common kind of ART. In IVF, an egg and sperm are combined in a lab to create an embryo which is then put into your uterus. The steps to IVF include:
- Ovarian stimulation. Like COH, you take medication by shots or injections in your lower belly to help make your eggs mature.
- Egg Retrieval. Mature eggs are removed from your ovaries with the help of ultrasound and a needle. Ultrasound uses sound waves and a computer screen to take pictures of your ovaries.
- Fertilization. The sperm and egg are joined together in a lab.
Record Menstrual Cycle Frequency
A woman who wants to have a baby should monitor whether the first days of her periods tend to occur the same number of days apart every month, which is considered regular. Conversely, her periods may be irregular, meaning her cycle lengths vary from month to month. By tracking this information on a calendar, a woman can better predict when she might be ovulating, according to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine . This is the time every month when her ovaries will release an egg. There are also some apps that can help with the tracking, such as GlowOvulation period tracker .
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What Infertility Treatments Are Available For Women
Fertility treatments usually aims to either fix your infertility issue or use an assisted reproductive technology like IVF to help you have a baby.
The treatment options depend on your cause of infertility. Treatments vary in how much they cost and how effective they are.
- Hormone medications like clomiphene can help stimulate ovulation.
- Surgery can treat a blocked or damaged fallopian tube.
- Surgery, laser treatment or medicines can treat endometriosis or fibroids.
- Intrauterine insemination is the placement of sperm directly into the uterus.
- In vitro fertilisation is a well-known form of pregnancy treatment, where eggs are collected from a womans ovaries, and sperm from a man, and used to create an embryo in a laboratory. The embryo is then placed into the woman’s uterus .
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a type of IVF and involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg in a laboratory.
Not Trying Long Enough
The first thing to consider is how long have you been trying. It may feel like you’ve been trying foreverand maybe you havebut it’s important to know that many couples don’t conceive right away.
About 80% of cisgender, heterosexual couples conceive after six months of trying. Approximately 90% will be pregnant after 12 months of trying to get pregnant. These rates assume you have well-timed intercourse every month.
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Plan For A Healthy Pregnancy
If treatment is successful and you become pregnant, the fertility clinic will likely monitor you for the first several weeks of the pregnancy, and you may need to continue some hormonal treatments or injections.
Depending on the cause of your infertility, and whether you conceive multiples, you may need closer monitoring during your pregnancy. Pregnancy after infertility is not the same as an “easily conceived” pregnancy. Even deciding when to tell people you’re expecting can be stressful. If you have infertile friends, you may experience survivor’s guilt or feel like you’re leaving them behind.
Know When To Seek Help
Both the woman and the man should consider having an infertility evaluation if the woman is 35 or older and has not become pregnant after six months of having sex regularly without using birth control, Pavone said.
Pavone also recommended that a woman who is under 35 and her partner should consult a fertility specialist if she hasn’t become pregnant after one year of having unprotected intercourse on a regular basis.
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When You Should Call A Doctor
If you are having trouble with your menstrual cycles or conception, it is always a good idea to seek out the advice of a board certified obstetrician. If anything, meeting with a doctor can help put your mind at ease as you embark on your journey into motherhood.
If you are having trouble getting pregnant or if you are 35 years of age or older, you may be considered a high-risk pregnancy patient, but dont let that worry you. There are specialized physicians who can help you.
If you have concerns about conception or fertility, talk to your doctor. I am always happy to talk through questions with my patients and help them understand the difficulties they may face as older, or higher risk patients. We can work together to make a plan that fits your needs so you feel prepared and positive about pregnancy and delivery. – Allison M. Nelson, M.D.