Struggling to get pregnant? Here’s when to consider an infertility evaluation.
Infertility in opposite-sex couples may be caused by many factors. Female factors are the cause of infertility about one third of the time, and male factors about a third of the time. For the remaining couples, infertility may be caused by a combination of factors in both partners or an unknown cause.
The most common cause of female infertility is a problem with ovulation; for men, it’s a problem with sperm cells. Other factors may include:
- Age: For healthy couples in their 20s or early 30s, the chance that a woman will get pregnant is about 25 to 30 percent in any single menstrual cycle. This percentage starts to decline in a woman’s early 30s. By age 40, the chance of getting pregnant drops to less than 10 percent per menstrual cycle.
- Lifestyle: Women who are underweight, overweight, or exercise too much may have a harder time getting pregnant. Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using marijuana can affect fertility in both men and women.
- Health problems involving reproductive organs, hormones, and the thyroid or pituitary glands.
When to consider an infertility evaluation
Experts recommend an infertility evaluation if you have not gotten pregnant after 1 year of having regular sexual intercourse without using birth control. If you are older than 35, an evaluation is recommended after 6 months of trying. If you are older than 40, talk with your OB-GYN now about an evaluation.
At Clark Just for Women Health Solutions, we can initiate fertility testing for women who are having difficulty becoming pregnant. We may refer you to a specialist, but we can do much of the initial workup right here at Clark.
Dr. Katie Shannon is an OB-GYN with Clark Just for Women Health Solutions.