Fertility isn’t something most people think about. Men and women alike typically assume they can produce a child when they want to, although women do take their biological clock into account as they get older. However, there are couples who find that getting pregnant isn’t as easy as they always assumed, and they need medical help to have the child they dream of. What do these couples need to know about fertility levels, finding out what they are and how to work with them?
Different Tests Might Be Needed
Talk to any woman who has undergone fertility testing, and she likely had a blood test done to determine her level of anti-Mullerian hormone. The woman’s eggs release this hormone, and the number drops when her egg count decreases. This provides information about how many eggs remain in the body and is a good way to compare one woman’s level against those of her peers. However, this is only one of many tests that a doctor may conduct to determine the lady’s fertility. There are others every female should be aware of.
The blood test may likewise be used to determine her follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH levels. As the egg count declines, the FSH hormone increases in the body. If the problem does not appear to be in the egg count, other tests will be needed. These might include a urine test, additional blood tests to look for other medical tests or hysterosalpingography. This is an x-ray done of the fallopian tubes and uterus to determine if there are any blockages or physical abnormalities. A male partner might need to produce a sample of his semen as well to check the quality and quantity of sperm. MCRMFertility.com performs these tests and more for patients every day.
There Is No Magic Number
Ask a woman when her fertility starts to decrease and the answer will likely be at the age of 35. However, this is not necessarily true. Each woman is unique. While the quality and quantity of a woman’s eggs do start to decrease at this time, many other things have an impact on a woman’s fertility. For instance, a woman may go through early menopause or a 45-year-old might discover she is unexpectedly pregnant with baby number four.
Numerous medical conditions also impact a woman’s fertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome is one example of this. A woman may have this condition and not be aware of it, but it is having a negative impact on her fertility. Endometriosis is another condition that can negatively impact a woman’s ability to get pregnant, while a blood clotting disorder that can easily be treated may be the reason a woman suffers multiple miscarriages without even knowing she was ever pregnant.
Speak to a doctor to find out what could be impacting your specific fertility problem. It may be hormone levels that cannot support a pregnancy, a fertility treatment that simply isn’t working or a clinic with a low success rate. Until this has been determined, the problem likely won’t get any better.
Insurance Can Be an Issue
While many insurance companies do cover infertility treatments, there is a catch that couples need to be aware of before proceeding. The insurance company often requires a patient to go through inexpensive treatment options before more expensive ones will be covered by the policy. What they fail to take into account is different treatments are needed for different problems. A good example of this is when the insurance company requires a couple to try insemination before other procedures. Although this might work for some who are trying to have a baby, if the woman suffers from endometriosis it will not be of any help.
Time may be of the essence for a couple wishing to have a baby. Undergoing treatments that will not be effective means it will take longer for them to hold a baby in their arms if they are ever able to actually do so. This is due to the numerous breaks that a woman or man undergoing fertility treatment must take to allow the body to recover from medications, the emotional stress of the treatments and more. For this reason, a couple needs to be prepared to pay out of pocket for certain expenses rather than waiting for their insurance company to agree to pay for them. This ensures the man or woman can have the right treatment at the right time based on the level of fertility regardless of what the insurance company agrees to or refuses.
Doing Too Much
Gymnasts and other athletes in their teens might not get the period when their peers do if they are training hard for upcoming competitions. However, this problem does not go away when the female hits a certain age. A woman who is training for a marathon, for instance, might find her period becomes irregular or stops completely. A woman’s fertility level is dependent on many things. Irregular menstrual cycles might be a sign the body is forced to use the available energy to help heal any injuries and to recover from the training. There may not be enough energy left for the body to give the signal that an egg is to be released.
There are other reasons why a woman may have irregular periods or miss one or more cycles completely. A doctor needs to be seen to discover the underlying cause. The missed or irregular cycles may be due to a lack of estrogen in the body, and this can lead to other medical conditions along with infertility. Missed periods are sometimes a sign of adrenal or ovarian cancer, which is why seeing a doctor is critical when a woman experiences this problem.
Couples should not give up on their desire to have a child of their own until all options have been exhausted. Thanks to advances in medical technology and knowledge, more people are finding they can have the child they have dreamed of. The more one knows about fertility, the easier it becomes to make decisions that are right for the couple. Learn all you can and you may find you have your own bundle of joy in your arms in less time than you could have imagined.