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Infertility is a fairly common problem in the United States, with up to one in eight couples struggling to conceive a child. There are various causes of infertility, but the health care providers at The Association for Women’s Healthcare in The Loop in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois are equipped with the latest research and medical technology to get to the source of your problem and help you with getting started on creating the family of your dreams.

Infertility Q&A

What is infertility?

Infertility in women is the inability to conceive a child after a year or more of unprotected sex. For women over the age of 35, that period shrinks to six months. Infertility issues are not uncommon, and there are many ways to address the issue: In fact, of the 40% of women who seek medical help, approximately 65% go on to give birth.

What causes infertility?

Women may experience infertility problems for several reasons, but the chief causes include:

  • Ovulation issues: Infertility is often caused when your ovaries are unable to release eggs (often caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)).
  • Uterine issues: Polyps or fibroids in the uterus can cause blockage, or your uterus may be misshapen.
  • Cervical issues: Abnormalities or blockages of your cervix
  • Endometriosis: A condition where the lining of your uterus grows on the outside.
  • Blocked fallopian tubes: Your fallopian tubes may be blocked by inflammation.
  • Early menopause: Some women reach full menopause before the age of 40.
  • Cancer and its related treatments: Chemotherapy and radiation treatments used to fight cancer of the reproductive organs.

In addition to medical issues, there are a number of factors that may put you at risk for infertility issues, such as:

  • Age: the older you get, the more your egg production slows down
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Weight issues: both underweight and overweight

The Association for Women’s Healthcare’s expert panel of OB/GYNs are highly trained in the field of infertility and will work diligently to get to the source of your problem.

How is infertility treated?

Because the causes of infertility vary, so, too, do the treatments. Therefore, the most common treatments for infertility are:

  • Hormone regulation and fertility drugs that stimulate egg production
  • Corrective surgeries
  • Intrauterine insemination
  • Lifestyle changes

If your practitioner can’t diagnose the causes of your infertility after extensive examination and testing, it becomes a waiting game. Many women in this position eventually become pregnant in time, so patience is key.

Again, treatments for infertility will depend on your medical situation, and OB/GYNs at The Association for Women’s Healthcare will go over all of the available options with you.