April 22-28 is National Infertility Awareness Week. Many couples struggle with infertility. In the United States, about 10 to 15 percent of couples have infertility problems. This can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety.
How do you know if you or your partner have an infertility problem?
If you have been trying to get pregnant for several months without any luck, you may start wondering if that’s normal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. Infertility problems affect both men and women. About one-third of the cases are due to female factors, and male factors account for one-third of the cases. The rest of the cases are a combination of factors or the causes cannot be identified. There are many factors that can affect fertility, such as:
- Problems with ovulation
- Blocked or damage Fallopian tubes
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Low sperm count or mobility
- Problems in the delivery or production of sperm
- Certain environmental exposures
What can you do?
If you and your partner have been trying to get pregnant for 3-4 months, don’t give up and keep trying. You may just need a little more time. Talk to your provider if you’re worried that it’s taking too long. You and your partner should schedule a visit with your provider if:
- You are a woman who is younger than 35 and have not been able to get pregnant after trying for 12 months.
- You are a woman who is 35 years old or older and have not been able to get pregnant after trying for 6 months
Your provider may do some tests to help identify if there’s a problem. You can also learn more about certain lifestyle changes that can help you and your partner lower the risk of having fertility problems.
For more information:
- American Fertility Association
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
- Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology