Infertility FAQS for Our Houston Patients
At Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology, we get questions about infertility each day. Many of our patients want to know about the treatment of infertility or whether stress has impacted their ability to become pregnant. No matter your concern, our Houston, TX team is here to help. Below, we’ve answered some of our most frequently asked questions for your convenience. However, always feel free to reach out to us directly.
What Is Infertility?
Infertility is the inability to conceive, despite having tried for over one year. However, infertility may look different for everyone, and it’s best to see a fertility doctor for an official diagnosis. The team at Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology is here to sit down with you, discuss your situation, and provide any fertility treatment you may need.
What Causes Infertility?
A range of factors may trigger infertility. If you’re already dealing with another condition that affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or uterus, you may have a higher risk of developing fertility issues. More specific causes of infertility include ovulation disorders, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, and birth defects.
How Is Infertility Diagnosed?
Infertility can be diagnosed with a few different strategies. We might conduct blood tests or biopsies of the uterine wall. We can also use ovarian reserve testing, imaging studies, and a variety of other fertility tests to provide a diagnosis.
How Is Infertility Treated?
Female infertility treatment can take many forms. After your speak with our team, we’ll recommend the most viable treatments for you. Many women choose in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination to increase their chances of pregnancy.
What Medications Are Used as Treatment?
Medication is also a type of infertility treatment. Our team may prescribe medications such as metformin, clomiphene citrate, and follicle-stimulating hormones. Be sure to let our team know about any other prescriptions you’re currently taking.
Is Infertility Becoming More Common?
Infertility is not necessarily becoming more common. However, more couples are seeking infertility treatment. This rise in reported fertility issues can also be attributed to societal changes. More and more people are choosing to have children later in life rather than in their early twenties. As couples put off children, their chances of a natural conception can decrease.
Does Age Affect Fertility?
Yes. While older women may still be able to conceive, the chances of pregnancy are drastically reduced as you age. With age, the number of healthy eggs decreases. Conception is much more difficult, and should an older woman become pregnant, her chances of a miscarriage are much higher. If you’re in your 40s, but would still like to become pregnant, feel free to speak with our team. We can provide fertility tests and determine if pregnancy is still feasible for you.
Does Stress Cause Infertility?
Stress by itself probably does not cause infertility. However, stress can promote other unhealthy behaviors that may decrease the chances of conception. Weight gain, increased alcohol consumption, and smoking can all affect your fertility.
Can Infertility Be Prevented?
We currently do not know of any ways that infertility can be prevented. Nevertheless, engaging in healthy habits can decrease the possibility of fertility problems. Stay away from smoking or excessive alcohol, and be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a balanced diet.
Can Infertility Be Cured?
In most cases, infertility cannot be cured. But don’t despair—with advanced infertility treatments, you may still have a chance of becoming pregnant.
What Are Some Risk Factors?
All women lose their fertility as they age. However, several other risk factors could mean you have a lower chance of conception. If you’re seeking infertility treatment options, be sure to let your gynecologist know if any of these risk factors apply to you:
- Excessive alcohol consumption or smoking
- Missed periods caused by stress
- Extreme or unexplained changes in weight
- Pre-existing conditions affecting the reproductive area
Are There Any Signs or Symptoms?
Those who struggle with infertility may have a range of symptoms. Some of these symptoms are easily noticeable, while others require the help of an infertility specialist to identify. If you are concerned about infertility, be sure to look for the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods
- Missed periods
- Weight gain
- Hair loss or dark hair growth
- Hot flashes
- Painful intercourse
- Unexplained changes in sex drive
- Discharge from breasts
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor?
When you visit our Houston, TX office, you’ll likely have lots of questions about your symptoms and diagnosis. But just as many of our patients don’t know where to start when it comes to gathering information. Below, you’ll find a few good questions to ask your fertility doctor:
- Can this condition worsen over time?
- What diagnostic tests do you recommend?
- What will this infertility treatment cost?
- Which infertility treatments might work for me?
- How often do these treatments result in conception?
- What kinds of lifestyle changes might promote pregnancy?
Ask Us Any Additional Questions
You don’t need to struggle with infertility alone. The team at Houston Obstetrics & Gynecology is here to help you get a diagnosis and choose from a variety of treatment options. We understand the toll infertility can take both physically and emotionally, and we’re dedicated to providing you with some relief. Contact us today to set up an appointment with our professional team.