by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Infertility is often defined when a couple has 1 year of regular intercourse without contraception and has been unable to conceive. Primary infertility is seen when a couple has never been able to conceive, where as secondary infertility is difficulty conceiving after already having conceived and carried a normal pregnancy. Technically, secondary infertility is not present if there has been a change of partners. Infertility can be an issue for both men and women.
In women, having an abnormal menstrual period is a good place to start. A regular 28 to 30 day cycle with good quality fertile mucus right before ovulation, relatively no premenstrual symptoms and a pain free period with efficient bleeding indicate a balanced hormonal cycle.
Physical examination and routine laboratory tests for women include:
1. Genetic testing: this is done to determine whether there’s a genetic defect causing infertility.
2. Hormone testing: this may be done to check levels of ovulatory hormones, thyroid and pituitary hormones.
3. Hysterosalpingography: This exam evaluates the condition of the patient’s uterus and fallopian tubes by indicating if there is any blockage in these areas.
4. Laparoscopy: this procedure involves inserting a thin viewing device into the patient’s abdomen and pelvis to examine the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. Performed under general anesthesia, the most common problems identified by laparoscopy are endometriosis and scarring.
5. Ovulation test: this blood test is used to measure hormone levels to determine whether patient is ovulating or not.
6. Ovarian reserve test: this test begins with hormone testing early in a woman’s menstrual cycle. Testing may be done to determine the potential effectiveness of the eggs after ovulation.
7. Pelvic ultrasound: is performed to look for uterine or fallopian tube disorders.
If no physical illness is found, a regimen of proper diet, detoxing, exercise, and plenty of rest and water is a good start. Try to manage stress and balance situations around you.
In man, symptoms of infertility may have some signs of hormonal problems such as changes in hair growth or sexual function. The quality, quantity, morphology and motility of a man’s sperm is also looked at.
1. Physical examination and routine laboratory tests for men include:
2. Hormone testing: a blood test is done to determine the level of testosterone and other male hormones.
3. Physical examination: includes the genitals and questions about medical history, illnesses and disabilities, medications and sexual habits.
4. Semen analysis: is the most important test for men. Your doctor will ask for one or more semen samples. The laboratory determines the number of sperm present and any abnormalities in the morphology and motility of the sperm. Sperm counts can fluctuate from one sample to the next.
5. Ultrasound: a transrectal and scrotal ultrasound can help the doctor look for evidence of conditions such as retrograde ejaculation and ejaculatory duct obstruction.
A variety of factors can result in infertility in men. Approximately 25% of infertility is directly due to the male partner. Low sperm count or anatomical abnormalities are often the two main reasons for male infertility.
Andrew is a specialist in treating infertility, naturally. Are you ready for something different?