What is Infertility?
Infertility can be diagnosed when you have been attempting to conceive unsuccessfully for a year or more. If you’re over 35, you can be diagnosed at 6 months or more. When you have become pregnant one or more times but haven’t been able to carry through a pregnancy, you may also be diagnosed with infertility. Not being able to get pregnant at all is called primary infertility. If you have had at least one successful pregnancy and then become infertile, this is known as secondary infertility. Infertility is not just a problem for women but for men too. The chances of either gender being infertile are equal.
Causes of Female Infertility
Infertility will be caused if any of these biological processes are interfered with or effected:
Circumstances that can affect these processes are:
- Ovulation disorders (polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal imbalances)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine fibroids
- Premature ovarian failure
- Scarring from a previous surgery
Medications and Drugs:
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Frequent use, long-term use , high-dosage use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Antipsychotic medications
- Recreational drugs such as marjiuana and cocaine
Risk Factors that increase your chance of infertility include:
- Increasing age
- Smoking cigarettes
- Alcohol abuse
- Weight problems (being obese and overweight or very underweight)
- Sexually transmitted infections that can cause damage and effect the reproductive system
Testing for Infertility
If you suspect that you are infertile and have been trying for a pregnancy for over a year (or 6 months if you’re over 35) it’s good to go and see a doctor. A women’s fertility decreases around age 30.
Testing will probably begin with a pelvic exam to check for abnormalities. These could include endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease. Your ovulation cycle will also be checked to make sure you’re ovulating every month.
An ultrasound may be done to check the ovaries and uterus. Other testing that is commonly done to check fertility include hysterosalpingography, laparoscopy, ovarian reserve testing.
Treating Female Infertility
Treatment is approached depending on what the conditions of infertility are and the results wanted from the patient. These factors include:
- Infertility cause (if known)
- The amount of time pregnancy has been attempted for
- The ages of both partners
- The health overall of both partners
- What outcome you and your partner are looking for
The treatment for females can include surgery, medication and reproductive assistance. At times a combination of these are used.
Surgery is used in infertility cases for correcting abnormally shaped uterus, unblocking fallopian tubes and removing fibroids. Although this is an effective treatment, other methods have improved so that surgery is no longer required.
Assisted reproduction is very common but there are multiple methods. A few include:
- Donor insemination – Injecting sperm into the female during ovulation time
- IVF – extracting sperm and egg then combining the outside the body. When the embryo is formed it is placed into the womb.
- Surrogacy – a third party to carry the baby
Medication is used during treatment to assist and/or add to the naturally present hormones in the body. This is to encourage/regulate ovulation.
There are also many natural treatments for infertility. Noticed natural methods are:
- Fertility diets to stay healthy and enhance bodily function
- Vitamins – Folate, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Iron
- Essential oils and yoga are used to decrease stress levels and promote relaxation through aroma therapy and breathing.
The most effective natural method for treating infertility is acupuncture. Acupuncture focuses on blood flow and energy in the body. Inserting needles into energy meridians within the body to promote and balance flow. In Traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncture is assisted with Chinese herbs which can also be used to treat infertility. The focus of these two methods are to restore the body’s functioning instead of replacing it like Western medicine does. At Centre of Balance we proudly treat infertility with Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you’d like to know more give us a call or check out our website to learn how we can help you.
Our Offer to You
Fill in our online questionnaire for free – and save the $135 it would cost you to do this detailed medical history in person with a practitioner. You can request a phone call from a practitioner after they have read your online form, or just book your initial exam for $40. Call us on 07 846 7956 to book, or fill in the questionnaire now.