If you have not been able to have a baby, you are not alone. Starting a family and conceiving a child seems simple and natural, but fertility depends on many factors. Infertility affects 10 to 15 percent of couples of childbearing age1, making it the most common health condition for adults ages 20 to 452.
You and you partner may be diagnosed with infertility if you are not able to conceive a child:
- after one year of trying, or
- after six months of trying if the woman is over 35 years old.
When a couple experiences infertility, most often both partners have fertility issues, therefore both the man and woman must seek medical care. In fact, one-third of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility. With a majority of infertile couples, male infertility is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility for the couple3.
If you are thinking about conceiving, but suspect you may have difficulty because of a history of irregular menstrual cycles, or if you or your partner have a known fertility problem, seek help early in the process.
Treating infertility requires knowing the causes. Some common causes of female fertility problems include failure to ovulate, disease of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, an abnormal uterus, thyroid problems, etc. Some common causes of male fertility problems include low sperm count, poor sperm function, and problems with sperm delivery. The lifestyle factors for both men and women can contribute to a couple’s infertility. These include stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol intake, and illicit drug usage. Likewise, environmental factors like exposure to toxins and chemicals in the workplace, home or surrounding environment also can contribute to infertility.
Hormones control many of the factors in reproductive health for both women and men. Infertility is frequently a result of some of these hormones being out of balance. This is when a reproductive medicine or fertility specialist can work with you and your partner to diagnose and treat reproductive disorders.
When you are trying to conceive, it is normal to experience feelings of depression, jealousy, and anger as the months go by with no success. However, once you begin to explore the medical causes and discover fertility treatments that may be able to help, there is hope for a successful pregnancy.
Your ARC Reproductive Medicine Team
For more than 20 years, Austin Regional Clinic fertility specialist, Dr. Maya Bledsoe, has helped couples successfully become pregnant and create families. You can read more about the families and see photos of the babies that were conceived with help from Dr. Bledsoe on our Fertility Testimonials pages.
During your initial visit, Dr. Bledsoe will talk to you and your partner about your medical history and personal story of trying to become pregnant. Dr. Bledsoe works with both of you since male infertility and female infertility both contribute to a successful pregnancy. She will explore the hormonal imbalances that may be contributing to your infertility as a couple.
Your ARC Reproductive Medicine care team also includes your obstetrician/gynecologists (Ob/Gyn doctors) or primary care doctor who works with Dr. Bledsoe and the ARC staff to coordinate your care. They provide the most up-to-date diagnostic and treatment options available from our doctors at all our locations to meet your goal as a couple to have a successful pregnancy. These highly skilled professionals will help you navigate the health care maze as you grow your family.