Infertility

Infertility

InfertilityConception is a process with many variables involved, and it is more complex than many people realize. It often takes several months of trying to conceive before you become pregnant, simply because there is such a large number of factors involved. However, if you have not been able to conceive after a year of regular sexual intercourse without using birth control (or six months if the woman is over 35 years old), it may be time to discuss potential fertility problems with a board-certified gynecologist at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett.

There are a variety of issues which may contribute to infertility for both men and women. For women, ovulation (the monthly release of an egg) may not be occurring regularly. In other cases, a problem with the reproductive organs may be preventing pregnancy, as may a hormonal irregularity. Factors like these can be caused by simple genetics as well as conditions like endometriosis, thyroid abnormalities, polycystic ovary syndrome, and certain lifestyle factors. For men, the problem may be too few sperm or sperm which are not healthy enough to fertilize an egg naturally.

Fertility also decreases with age in both men and women, though the change in a woman’s fertility is significantly more predictable and notable. Women are born with a fixed number of eggs, which continually decreases with age. The likelihood of pregnancy in each menstrual cycle begins to lower when a woman reaches her early 30s, and then declines more rapidly around age 37.

At Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett, we specialize in a variety of infertility services including:

 

Work-Ups

Treating infertility typically depends on the underlying cause. Fortunately, there are a variety of tests available to determine the reason for a couple’s infertility. A detailed medical history is usually the first step to determine where to begin with medical testing. Some tests can actually be performed at home, such as tracking your basal body temperature, in which you will take your temperature by mouth each morning before you get out of bed. This will help determine whether you are ovulating regularly and when ovulation is occurring. Other tests are performed in our office. Ultimately, your fertility testing will depend on your medical history and the factors which your provider at Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett determines to be the most likely culprits.

 

Labs

You may be asked to undergo certain laboratory tests using blood or urine to look for certain ovulation markers or potential hormone problems. A urine test may be used to measure your luteinizing hormone (LH), which triggers ovulation. Blood tests, on the other hand, can be used to determine your progesterone levels (to determine if and when you’re ovulating), look for thyroid problems, detect high levels of prolactin (a hormone which can disrupt ovulation), and measure your ovarian reserve (the number and health of the remaining eggs in your ovaries). Because fertility is affected by your partner’s sperm as well, a semen analysis can also be performed to determine whether there are enough healthy sperm for natural conception.

 

Ultrasounds

Though many people know an ultrasound as the procedure which is used to see a fetus during pregnancy, the same procedure can be used to non-invasively examine certain internal organs. In the case of fertility, ultrasounds can examine a woman’s reproductive organs to detect whether there are problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes which may be preventing pregnancy. Transvaginal ultrasounds may also be recommended, which allows a better look at a woman’s reproductive organs (the uterus, ovaries, and cervix) to detect cysts/abnormal growths or other possible female concerns such as endometriosis.

 

Hysterosalpingograms (HSGs)

Another imaging procedure which can be used to look for potential fertility problems is a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. This is a type of x-ray in which a contrast dye fills the uterus and fallopian tubes in order to show the shape and size of your reproductive organs, as well as to locate any potential blockages.

 

Ovulation Induction

One of the most common reasons for infertility is a problem with your ability to ovulate, or to allow an egg to descend and be available for fertilization. In this case, there are several medications which can be used to induce ovulation. The most common choices include letrozole and clomiphene citrate, but another option (often used when the clomiphene citrate is not successful) is a group of drugs called gonadotropins. These are administered as a series of injections at specific times in the menstrual cycle. Ovulation induction can be performed either to facilitate natural conception or to increase the number of eggs for use in assisted reproductive technologies (or ART) like in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

 

Infertility FAQs

What happens if testing cannot find the cause of my infertility?
While determining the root cause of infertility can allow for more targeted and sometimes simpler treatment, pregnancy can often be achieved even if no cause is found, often as a result of the more direct and hands-on approach of ART. Surgical options, such as minimally-invasive laparoscopy, may be recommended to treat a variety of gynecological conditions in addition to unexplained infertility.

Is there anything I can do at home to improve my fertility?
In some cases, fertility can be affected by lifestyle choices, so living more healthily can improve your ability to conceive. Though it’s still a good idea to get your gynecologist’s recommendation, both men and women may be able to improve their fertility by reaching a healthier weight (if you are either overweight or underweight), doing more or less exercise (if you currently exercise too much or too little), limiting your alcohol intake, and quitting smoking and/or using illegal drugs.

 

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Contact Information


Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett
601 Professional Drive, Suite 330
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30046   
Phone: 678.380.1980   
Fax: 678.380.7348

Our Hours

Monday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Tuesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Wednesday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Thursday 8:30AM–4:30PM
Friday 8:30AM–12PM
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

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