COMMONLY ASKED INFERTILITY QUESTIONS
The issue of infertility can be a difficult and emotional topic to discuss, even with a trusted and experienced fertility doctor like Dr. Sam Najmabadi. At the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology, we hear many of the questions listed on this page from our fertility center patients in Beverly Hills and Sherman Oaks. It is our hope that these frequently asked questions help educate our clients and any other couples struggling with fertility problems. If you have more questions or would like to learn more about what may be causing your own infertility, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a consultation.
What is infertility?
Infertility is the inability to carry a pregnancy to term or the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. However, when a woman is over the age of 35, infertility is declared after 6 months without conception. This 6 month time period for infertility also applies to couples where the male has a low sperm count or the woman has had miscarriages, pelvic inflammatory disease, irregular cycles, or painful periods. At the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology, our patients from Beverly Hills and other Los Angeles areas have a wide range of options when it comes to infertility or reproductive treatments or assisted reproductive technology.
How common is infertility?
Roughly 10% of women in the United States (6.1 million) between the ages of 15-44 struggle with infertility or difficulty becoming pregnant or maintaining pregnancy.
Can infertility affect men as well as women?
Yes. In fact, in roughly one-half of infertile couples, male infertility is a factor. We recommend both female hormonal testing and male hormonal testing when a couple is having fertility issues so that we can determine the cause or causes of infertility and the best treatment plan for that particular couple’s unique situation.
Is age a factor in infertility?
The short answer is, yes. Aging has a pronounced effect on the ovaries. Studies have shown that in women, fertility begins to decline at age 35 and then increases to decline more rapidly as the woman ages.
What are the most common causes of infertility?
For males, the most common causes of infertility are low sperm count, poor sperm motility, and abnormal semen levels. For women, the most common causes of infertility are low ovarian reserve, ovulation problems (often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome – PCOS), fallopian tube problems, and endometriosis.
What factors can contribute to female infertility?
There are a number of factors that can affect a woman’s fertility, such as:
- Athletic training
- Being overweight or underweight
- Excessive alcohol use
- Health problems that lead to hormonal changes
- Poor diet
- Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
What can cause male infertility?
A man’s health and lifestyle can have an effect on the health of his sperm. Some factors that may reduce the number or health of sperm may be:
- Environmental toxins
- Health problems or serious diseases such as mumps, hormone problems, or kidney disease
- Heavy alcohol use
- Radiation treatment or chemotherapy
What kind of infertility testing can I expect at the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology?
The first step in fertility testing at our Los Angeles-area fertility centers is to take a detailed medical, surgical, and family history of each partner. Then, we recommend a fertility work-up, which may include hormonal testing, ovarian reserve screening, semen analysis, and other possible tests necessary to determine the cause of infertility.
What is in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process where eggs are removed from the ovaries during surgery and fertilized with sperm outside the uterus, usually in a petri dish. In Latin, “in vitro” means “in glass”. Once the eggs are fertilized and become embryos, they are implanted in the woman’s uterus in the hopes of beginning a successful pregnancy.
Who is a candidate for IVF?
IVF is the treatment of choice for a number of types of infertility for couples who are unable to conceive naturally. To learn whether you are a candidate for IVF, contact us at our Beverly Hills or Sherman Oaks fertility clinics to schedule a consultation.
Is your IVF laboratory accredited?
At the Center for Reproductive Health & Gynecology, our IVF laboratory is FDA compliant, California licensed Tissue Bank, CLIA and CAP certified. We offer a full range of reproductive technologies and are fully staffed with board-certified fertility doctors and clinical laboratory staff.
What is a surrogate?
A surrogate is a woman who agrees to become pregnant for another woman. Doctors retrieve the surrogate’s egg and the other woman’s partner’s sperm, and the child born is genetically related to the surrogate and the male partner. Once the baby is born, the surrogate gives the child to the parents.
How is egg donation different from surrogacy?
With egg donation, a woman donates her eggs, which are then fertilized with a man’s sperm and implanted into his female partner’s uterus. With surrogacy, the surrogate donates her eggs and also carries the baby to term.