Choosing to start a family is a big decision by couples, and once they make the decision they are expectant and excited about the possibilities that lay ahead of them. However, for about 10% of couples in the United States, Mother Nature does not always cooperate with their desire to have children. Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and as they age the number and quality of the eggs diminish. After age 30, a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant decreases 3%-5% per year.
Aside from aging, there are other factors that can cause female infertility.
- Damage to the fallopian tubes can prevent sperm from reaching the eggs. Pelvic infections and/or surgeries and endometriosis can lead to scar formation and damage the fallopian tube.
- Many women have problems with their ovulation cycles. A typical ovulation cycle is 28 days, but women who have inconsistent cycles have a difficult time tracking their hormone levels to determine when they should try to conceive.
- Abnormal anatomy of the cervix or uterus can also play a significant role in female infertility. Many times surgical procedures may be needed to correct the problem for a successful pregnancy to occur.
- 20% of women who suffer from infertility will not know the reason behind it. These women have “unexplained infertility,” and may have to go through a myriad of tests and procedures to become pregnant.
If you are ready to start a family but are having a difficult time, don’t give up. There are many infertility treatment options available. Your gynecologist can help you every step of the way through your infertility journey and help you achieve your goal of becoming pregnant.
Posted on behalf of Sean Lambert M.D., North Pointe OB/GYN Associates