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What Are My Options If I’m Infertile?

When your doctor tells you that you’re infertile, you may feel broken and hopeless. Even though up to 15% of couples in the United States fall into the infertile category, the diagnosis still makes you feel overwhelmingly alone and cut off from a dream that you’d always regarded as a given: to create and give birth to your own family.

Advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART) as well as treatments for the physical causes of infertility, however, open you to more options than ever. Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev — OB/GYNs and fertility experts at OC Fertility — base their treatment recommendations on the causes behind your infertility. 

Physical abnormalities in the reproductive system

When you come for an infertility workup, we examine you and your partner. Both women and men can have abnormalities in the structure of their reproductive systems that could affect their ability to conceive a child. Abnormalities in women’s reproductive systems include:

Abnormalities in men’s reproductive systems include:

We may recommend surgical correction, such as removing uterine fibroids, to improve your chances of conceiving. If a problem with the woman’s uterus can’t be rectified, we may also recommend gestational surrogacy, where we fertilize your eggs with your partner’s sperm and then transfer the embryo to a surrogate’s womb.

Too few, or poor quality, eggs

If you’re over age 37, you may not have enough high-quality, healthy eggs to produce an embryo. Even younger women may have low ovarian reserves, which impairs their fertility. As a first step, we may recommend ovulation induction, which helps you produce at least one mature egg during your cycle.

Another solution is using donor eggs from a healthy young woman who’s been pre-screened.

You may use an anonymous donor whose attributes match yours. You may also choose to ask a friend or family member to donate eggs for you. Those donors must also go through our screening process. 

Although your baby won’t have your DNA if you use eggs from an unrelated donor, it would still have your partner’s DNA. If a blood relative donates eggs, your baby will share some of your DNA. 

We fertilize your donated eggs with your partner’s sperm and then implant the embryo in your uterus. You can freeze eggs for later use, too.

Too few, or abnormal sperm

Just as your eggs must be plentiful and of high quality to increase your chances of conception, the same is true for your partner’s sperm. As part of your fertility workup, we test your partner’s sperm for:

If your partner’s sperm count is low, we may recommend artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF). If your partner has abnormal sperm or no sperm, we recommend donor sperm.

Unbalanced hormones

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects your fertility. When your body produces too much testosterone, you may have irregular cycles that make it difficult to predict when you’re most fertile.

To balance your hormones and increase your chances of conception, we may recommend short-term treatment with hormonal contraceptives. Once your hormones are in balance, you discontinue the birth control and try to get pregnant naturally.

Underlying medical conditions

If you’re not healthy, your body might not be able to take on the extra burden of creating and growing another human. Some medical conditions also affect your hormones and, therefore, your fertility. Health conditions that may stop you from getting pregnant include:

When we identify a medical condition, we help you get treatment or manage it to improve your overall health. In many cases, that’s all you need to restore your fertility and conceive a child.

Unknown causes

“Unexplained infertility” is one of the most frustrating diagnoses to receive when looking for answers to why you haven’t yet become pregnant. Basically, unexplained infertility means that neither you nor your partner have any obvious abnormalities that would prevent you from conceiving and carrying a child full-term.

If you’re among the 15% to 30% of infertile couples who’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, we may recommend further testing to identify factors that could negatively influence your fertility. Such factors could include:

To set up a fertility consultation, call us at 949-706-2229 or book an appointment on our website. We also offer educational Virtual Events that help you learn more about your options for creating a family. 

To find out if can make your dreams for a family come true, schedule an appointment with us today. Call us at 949-706-2229 or book an appointment on our website.

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