Fertility treatment is offered through the expertise of Dan Gehlbach, MD, one of only three board certified reproductive endocrinologist in the metro area.
Hope for the Challenges
One of every seven women in her childbearing years will experience difficulty getting or staying pregnant. 80% of patients who seek help from a fertility specialist achieve the desired result of a healthy baby. Couples should try for at least a year before becoming concerned and talking with a physician. Women age 35 or older should only wait six months. Other problems can increase the risk for infertility, such as irregular periods, endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, and should be addressed earlier.
Testing and Treatment
Approximately one-third of infertility problems can be traced to the female, while another third involves the male. Often issues related to low sperm count, ovulation disorders or blocked fallopian tubes can be corrected. The remainder of infertility cases combine male and female problems or remain unexplained and those are the most difficult to address.
Medication, surgery and behavioral therapy can treat various problems. Options available to couples include;
- Intrauterine insemination - a washed sperm sample is placed into the woman's uterus.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) - eggs are removed from a woman's body, fertilized with sperm to make embryos and one or more are placed into the uterus.
Fertility treatments can increase the chance for multiple births, but newer technology helps to better control that number and therefore ensuring the health of mom and baby.
Fertility Testing Options
Dr. Gehlbach recommends the following strategies that might help you and your partner conceive more quickly.
- Plan ahead. Fertility decreases for women after age 35 and for men after age 45. Talk to your doctor to weigh pros and cons of delaying pregnancy.
- Step on the Scale. Women on both ends of the scale--underweight or obese-- can experience a more difficult time conceiving than women of normal weight. It's also important for women and men to eat a balanced diet and focus on weight issues before trying to get pregnant.
- Kick the habit. Quitting smoking can protect the fertility of both men and women so couples are advised to stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol. Excessive drinking may affect the quality and quantity of sperm. It's also been linked to higher miscarriage rates. Men and women should limit alcohol to a minimum--one daily drink for women, two for men, or abstain completely.
- Curb those coffee and tea breaks. Studies show women who drank seven or more cups of caffeinated coffee or tea daily experienced more difficulty getting pregnant than those who drank fewer. Dr. Gehlbach advises women who are thinking about becoming pregnant to limit or avoid caffeine.