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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Holidays can be difficult for those trying to get pregnant without success

Dr. Robert Wool

Girl holding bright lights
The holidays are traditionally a time of joy, but for couples trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, it can also be a time for uncomfortable queries and conversations. It often starts with that one well-intentioned, but often intrusive, question from family and friends: when are you going to have a baby? It’s a query that can bring unintended pain for those who have been trying, without success, to get pregnant.

About 12 out of every 100 couples will have trouble getting pregnant. It’s not an uncommon problem, and it affects both men and women.

There can be many reasons for reduced fertility including irregular ovulation, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes or physical problems with the uterus or other reproductive organs in women, and low or no sperm count in men. Age, past illness and certain lifestyle factors can also affect the fertility of both women and men, including smoking, heavy alcohol or drug use, being over- or underweight, stress and poor diet, among others.

Fertility testing
If you’ve been trying to get pregnant without success for 12 months, or six months for women older than 35, it’s a good idea to see your provider for fertility testing. For women, we take a detailed medical and family history, and perform a pelvic exam to start. We may also recommend imaging studies to view the fallopian tubes and other structures to look for potential issues. Men should be tested with a semen analysis.

Although testing often reveals where the trouble lies, there are times when no specific cause is found. The good news is that most infertility issues can be addressed with medication or surgery.

Unsuccessful attempts at pregnancy can be hard emotionally, but it’s important to remember no one is to blame and there are a wide variety of options available to address many of the most common causes. If you are having trouble getting pregnant, schedule an appointment and we’ll work with you to diagnose the issue and develop a treatment plan.