Facing Fertility: A Top 10 List

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Guest Blog by Dr. Bradley Miller, a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

As couples seek to begin a family they sometimes face challenges with fertility. Delays or complications with conceiving a child can leave a couple with feelings of isolation and failure.

It is important for couples to recognize that they are not alone in this process and that other couples have been successful in beginning families with the assistance of fertility experts.

Below are the Top 10 things for couples to consider as they begin planning in their journey towards beginning a family:

  1. How long have you been trying? Couples should seek a medical evaluation if they have been trying for greater than a year, and, are under 35 years old and six months for anyone 35 and older.
  2. Are you having regular cycles? Irregular cycles or ovulatory dysfunction is a common cause of having difficulty to conceive. This alone may warrant a visit to your gynecologist.
  3. Is there a family history of infertility or endometriosis? Endometriosis is another common cause for infertility. If there is a family history of endometriosis she may want and be evaluated by a gynecologist.
  4. Do you have any other chronic medical conditions? Chronic medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes not only make it difficult to conceive but also may put the pregnancy itself at risk. These types of patients are better served by seeing a high risk pregnancy specialist prior to conception.
  5. Have you had any STD’s or pelvic inflammatory disease? Sexual transmitted diseases are a common cause of tubal disease leading to infertility. If you’ve had a history of any type of STD or pelvic inflammatory disease she should consider having a hysterosalpingogram performed.
  6. Does your husband have any difficulty with erection or ejaculating? Though many men may be reluctant to seek care for these symptoms it is highly recommended that men having any issues with erections or ejaculation be evaluated by an urologist.
  7. Have you been able to document ovulation with ovulation predictor kits? These kits are relatively inexpensive and are a good way to document that you’re having regular ovulation.
  8. Stress, how are you managing it? Stress alone rarely leads to infertility. However, it certainly can affect couples going through treatment. I strongly recommend that couples have some form of stress reduction and seek counseling from a professional if needed.
  9. Marriage. Keep the lines of communication open and honest. Getting help from a professional sooner rather than later can make all the difference.
  10. Have depression? If you believe you have depression or symptoms of depression, seek help from a licensed counselor. Medication may be needed.

Sharing these suggestions with your spouse will offer reassurance that many couples have successfully achieved conception, and, that there is a structural and social support network to help guide you through this process.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 7.24.17 PMDr. Bradley Miller is a Reproductive Endocrinologist who has been in practice for 18 years. Throughout his career over 2,000 babies have been born as a result of his care. He is the Managing Partner at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan, one of the leading fertility centers in Michigan. Learn more about Dr. Miller and follow his blog to discover more answers to your infertility needs and questions.

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