Our physicians will provide diagnostic tools to help find causes of infertility. Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive after 1 year of regular unprotected intercourse. An evaluation can begin at six months for those women who are aged 35 or older.
The three main identifiable causes of infertility are:
Anovulation – the failure of the ovaries to release an egg each cycle
Male Factor – a problem with sperm number, function or motility
Tubal Factor – the inability of the sperm and egg to meet and fertilize due to tubal blockage
Tests that we will perform in our office include blood work and ultrasound to confirm ovulation. We may also perform a saline sonogram to evaluate the uterine cavity to see if there are obstacles to normal implantation. Other tests that we may order include a semen analysis or a hysterosalpingogram which is a radiologic study to assess the fallopian tubes.
Many couples have none of the above problems and are still unable to become pregnant. This accounts for as many as 25% of infertile couples and is referred to as unexplained infertility.
Femvue Sono HSG
We now offer Femvue which is an FDA approved method of evaluating for blocked fallopian tubes. With the use of our state of the art ultrasound equipment, we are able to evaluate the tubes by gently pushing air and fluid through them. This can be performed within our office as opposed to sending you to a radiologist who would perform a traditional hysterosalpingogram that uses a contrast dye that is injected into your tubes as images are taken through external beam radiation. If you are scheduled for a Femvue Sonogram we ask that you take Ibuprofen prior to arriving for your scheduled appointment to help facilitate the study.
As many as 30% of women begin their prenatal care in the second trimester, which is after the period of fetal organ formation. We recommend screening for certain medical conditions well before you are considering conception. This allows us to evaluate your risk for and potentially treat preexisting conditions that can impact your pregnancy and your baby. This workup will include a thorough investigation of your family history and heritage, optimizing your lifestyle habits, a physical exam and other testing which may include a pap smear, vaginal cultures, blood work and a review of your current vaccinations. We will also review possible medications used to treat preexisting conditions that may add to prenatal risks.
Taking a prenatal vitamin or additional folic acid (400mcg/day) for up to a year prior to conception has been shown to decrease the risk of having a child with neural tube defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. This amount of folic acid (or folate) can be found in most over the counter prenatal vitamins. For women with a history of infants born with this condition it is recommended they take 4mgs of folic acid daily. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and general health maintenance are also a great way to prepare your body to carry a pregnancy. Vaccinations may include tetanus, pertussis, varicella, influenza, and rubella. You should check to on your status of these vaccinations or see if you may need a booster. Our clinic also offers counseling to patients about choices for prenatal diagnosis of multiple chromosomal and genetic disorders. Depending upon your family history and heritage, certain genetic testing may include screening for conditions such as cystic fibrosis, tay sachs disease, sickle cell and hemoglobinopathies/thalassemias.
Women who are thinking of getting pregnant should consider preconception counseling well before stopping their current birth control. Investment of time, energy and attention to potential problems during a pre-conception planning stage can greatly benefit both the woman and future pregnancy.
If you have any further questions regarding our Infertility Services, please call us today to schedule a consultation.