Infertility is deeply frustrating, striking at the very core of who you are, what makes you human, and how you feel about your body. Many couples spend years taking pregnancy tests at the very first sign of a pregnancy or missed period. Some begin testing as soon as the woman ovulates. So the faint pink or blue line on a pregnancy test can spark jubilation, especially if you’ve previously seen dozens of negative tests. Yet false positives do happen. Medications can cause a false positive pregnancy test, turning your hope and jubilation into despondence and disappointment.
A miscarriage can be devastating. Women who have tried for a long time to get pregnant or who were relatively far along in their pregnancy may feel deeply traumatized. While miscarriage is tragic, it’s also common. About 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. So while you might feel alone, you’re not. A miscarriage does not mean you’re not able to get pregnant.
It’s a scene that plays out in thousands of homes every month -- a ritual, of sorts: the home pregnancy test. For couples with infertility, the absence of two lines can come to feel like a sign of personal failure. Month after month, frustration can turn to exhaustion, depression, and deep sadness. Infertility can be deeply isolating, but you are not alone.
Trying to get pregnant is an exercise in deep and intense emotions. In the first few months, you may feel excited and overwhelmed. Perhaps you even begin shopping for the nursery or stocking up on baby clothes. After all, the baby will be here soon, right? Yet for many couples, this excitement eventually gives way to frustration, and even demoralization. About 15% of couples struggle with infertility, even after a year or longer of trying to get pregnant. Advice about infertility often focuses on the woman. But in at least 20-30% of cases, the issue is solely with the man. And in 20-30% more, there’s an issue with both the man and the woman.
Infertility can be deeply isolating, but it’s actually very common. Sixteen percent of couples are unable to get pregnant after a year of trying. Eight percent are still struggling after two years. One of the most frustrating aspects of trying to get pregnant is the age factor. Remember learning to ride a bike or read?
When you were in school, you were likely taught about the birds and the bees. The facts as they were presented to you were that if a man and a woman engage in sexual intercourse, the woman would get pregnant.
Women are often diagnosed with infertility based on how long they have been trying to get pregnant without seeing the results they are hoping for. If she has been trying for at least one year (or for 6 months if she is over the age of 35), she will be diagnosed with infertility. She may also be considered infertile after multiple miscarriages occur. Female infertility is the result of age, physical problems, hormone imbalances or issues, lifestyle, and environmental factors.
Can a gynecologist test for infertility? The answer might be more complex than you expect. That’s because infertility is a symptom, not a single diagnosis. So while your gynecologist might be perfectly qualified to test for, and even treat, certain types of infertility, your gynecologist doesn’t have the skills necessary to treat other forms of infertility. And because a person can have several different factors playing a role in infertility, even if they do have a type of infertility a gynecologist can treat, their doctor can easily miss other forms of infertility.
It can be a very difficult thing when you're having trouble conceiving a child. Many couples have experienced a lot of stress in their relationships over the disappointment of months going by without conception taking place. At some point on your journey of trying to achieve pregnancy, you might wonder if there is anything you can do to better your chances of conceiving.
When you’re trying to have a baby, there is nothing more frustrating than a long string of negative pregnancy tests. At some point you might start wondering - “Is something wrong with me?” You might even wonder if it’s your partner. To help you stop the guessing game, today, we’ll cover the most common causes of infertility.