The diagnosis of infertility can be reached after completing various testing.
There are some tests that women can do at home to begin with before going to see an infertility specialist. There are ovulation predictor tests that can give a woman an idea of her body's ovulation cycle, if there are any abnormalities in the cycle or any ovulation happening at all. Other tests that are available for the home include the Cervical Mucus test, and an Ovarian Reserve Test.
After a year of trying to conceive by themselves, a woman or couple may then decide to go straight to an infertility specialist for an evaluation. An infertility specialist will look at the medical background of the couple, will complete a comprehensive medical exam of both the woman and the man and will order and complete several tests for both partners in order to come up with the diagnosis.
Some of the female testing may include a complete physical, a work up on the female hormone system, will look into any obstructions in the women's reproductive system, and testing for any underlying medical issues. For the men, the most common testing done is a semen evaluation along with a comprehensive physical.
Some of the most common reasons for a diagnosis of infertility are:
- Endometriosis: Not all women with endometriosis have fertility issue, however, a large number of women do. Endometriosis causes tissue to build up outside a women's uterus and can also grow on a women's ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterine wall causing not only painful and irregular bleeding but also infertility.
- Anovulation: This is when there is an absence of ovulation which causes infertility.
- Blocked Fallopian Tubes: This is a problem in which the fallopian tubes are partially or completely blocked not allowing plantation. This diagnosis can be corrected through surgery and can improve fertility.
- Age: Although there is not much one can do about their age, there are ways a woman can help increase her fertility. A woman who is in good health, eats right, and exercises can increase her fertility. A woman may also be able to help her fertility by fertility medications and/or hormone therapy.
- Sperm viability: In some cases, fertility medication may be given to stimulate sperm production. In some cases, surgery may be done to fix a male fertility issue. Also, if IVF is chosen, a Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection can help in help in normalizing fertility.
No one wants to hear that diagnosis of infertility. However, there have been and continue to be so many advances in medical procedures that allow women/couples to naturally have a child of their own. For those who choose to not continue with infertility procedures, many choose adoption or foster care in order to become a family or in cases of secondary infertility, add to the family.