Infertility Treatment in Los Angeles & Orange County
Of all women in the US actively trying to get pregnant, nearly 20% are unable to get pregnant. Infertility is a common yet incredibly distressing life experience. Yet, despite the number of women and couples experiencing infertility, it’s not always thoroughly understood.
At its core, infertility is the inability of an individual or couple to achieve pregnancy or bring a pregnancy to full term after a certain period of trying. Here, the expert obstetrical team at AllSafe Medical Group discusses infertility in depth and explains how there are many solutions to even dire situations.
What Is Infertility?
Infertility is medically defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse for women under the age of 35. For women over the age of 35, this period is shortened to 6 months due to the natural decline in fertility as a result of the aging process.
It’s crucial to emphasize that infertility doesn’t mean a complete inability to conceive but rather difficulty in doing so. Many couples may eventually conceive even after an initial diagnosis of infertility, sometimes with medical assistance and sometimes without.
Infertility can be categorized into two primary types:
This type refers to couples who have never been able to conceive.
This type refers to couples who have previously conceived but are currently having difficulties achieving another pregnancy. This category highlights that fertility can change over time and is influenced by a variety of factors.
Male Vs. Female Infertility
While this article emphasizes female infertility, it’s worth noting that infertility issues can arise from either the male or female partner, or a combination of both. Roughly one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors, another third to female factors, and the remaining third to a combination of both or unexplained reasons.
What Causes Female Infertility?
When a woman experiences difficulty achieving pregnancy, it can be due to several identifiable causes. These can include:
These represent some of the most common reasons behind female infertility. They are characterized by irregular or completely absent ovulation. Without ovulation, eggs may not be accessible for fertilization.
The fallopian tubes play the crucial role of transporting the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. Any damage or obstruction in these tubes can inhibit sperm from reaching the egg or prevent the fertilized egg from entering the uterus.
This condition occurs when tissue resembling the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of it. Endometriosis can be a painful condition that can disrupt the normal functions of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus, leading to fertility issues.
This category includes issues related to the cervical opening or other structural concerns within the uterus, such as polyps, fibroid, or an irregular shape. These can hamper the implantation process or elevate the risk of miscarriage.
Some women undergo menopause before age 40. This early onset can be due to genetic predispositions or external factors, such as medical treatments like chemotherapy.
Certain medications, alongside chronic illnesses like diabetes or untreated celiac disease, can impact a woman’s fertility.
In some instances, despite thorough medical evaluations, no discernible cause is found for a woman’s infertility. This is termed as unexplained infertility.
What Tests Are Used to Diagnose Infertility?
Diagnosing infertility often involves a series of tests to identify the underlying cause. Here’s an overview of the diagnostic tests commonly used at AllSafe Medical Group. These tests provide valuable insights to pinpoint the causes of infertility and help healthcare professionals guide patients towards appropriate treatments.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) is a method where daily temperature measurements can indicate the occurrence of ovulation.
Over-the-counter urine tests that detect the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), signaling imminent ovulation.
A diagnostic X-ray that checks the uterus and fallopian tubes for structural abnormalities.
A test that indirectly how responsive the ovaries are, providing insight into potential fertility.
Blood tests measure specific hormones to determine if they are within the ranges conducive to ovulation and pregnancy.
An imaging test that provides a detailed view of the uterus and ovaries, helping identify cysts, fibroids, or other abnormalities.
A procedure where a small sample of the uterine lining is taken to determine its suitability for embryo implantation.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure that offers a direct visual examination of reproductive organs, identifying issues like scar tissue or endometriosis.
Tests that identify whether genetic abnormalities might be affecting fertility.
Tests to assess thyroid performance as hormonal balance is crucial for fertility.
How Is Infertility Treated?
Infertility treatment varies based on the underlying cause, the age of the patient, the duration of infertility, and personal health factors. The only way to know which treatment will help you is by consulting with an experienced professional. However, here are some potential infertility treatments.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Assisted reproductive technology, or ART, is a category of high-tech procedures where the egg and sperm are handled manually, using different techniques:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF). Eggs and sperm are combined outside the body, and the resulting embryos are placed into the uterus.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). A single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
- Gamete or Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT or ZIFT). Eggs and sperm (or embryos) are placed into the fallopian tubes.
- Egg Donation, Sperm Donation, or Surrogacy. These ART techniques are used when biological material from a third party is required to overcome infertility issues.
How to Prepare for Your Appointment and What to Expect
When faced with infertility, education is key. Knowing what your situation is, how others have coped with it, and what to expect are essential to helping you address your stress and reach your desired outcome.
What You Can Do
Preparation is key when you’re about to have an appointment with an obstetrician about infertility. We recommend you organize your health details so that you can give your doctor as much information as possible. This includes previous surgeries, any significant illnesses, and medications. Documenting your menstrual cycles can also offer invaluable insights.
What to Expect from Your Obstetrician
Your infertility consultation will be a comprehensive overview. Your obstetrician will discuss your health history, then likely conduct a physical examination, and suggest some diagnostic tests, such as blood work or ultrasounds. These steps can help you and your provider get a clear picture of your reproductive health. Once the results are collated, your provider will have a candid conversation with you about potential causes, treatments, and the path forward.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
As we mentioned, your peace of mind is key in your infertility treatment process, and peace of mind comes from not having any unanswered questions in your head. These are some questions that should help quell your concerns and doubts.
- What could be the possible reason(s) for our infertility?
- What tests do you recommend, and what will they tell us?
- What treatment options are available, and what are their success rates?
- Are there lifestyle changes we can make to improve our chances?
- What are the potential side effects or risks of the recommended treatments?
- How long should we try a treatment before considering other options?
- What is the cost of these tests and treatments? Are they covered by insurance?
- Do you recommend any support groups or counselors that specialize in infertility?
Infertility Treatments in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA
Taking control of your fertility journey begins with knowledge and informed decisions. Empower yourself by diving deeper into your reproductive health. For expert guidance tailored to your unique needs, book your consultation with the dedicated team at AllSafe Medical Group, where your well-being is our foremost priority.