However, women aren’t alone as the cause of infertility, and in approximately 40% of infertile couples, men are either the sole cause of infertility, or at least a contributing factor. In fact, in about 25% of all infertile couples, there are more than one element that contribute to the infertility. So, with all of the possible causes, how do we know when and where to start in order to help you?
Infertility workups are undertaken when between 6-12 months of unprotected intercourse doesn’t result in successful pregnancy. We generally begin our workup looking at the 3 basic parts of infertility. First, let’s get the men’s part out of the way since it’s easy (insert your joke about guys always being easy here). Essentially, a semen analysis can let us know if there are adequate sperm numbers and whether they look and move normally. It’s simple, noninvasive and relatively cheap.
Like the women we test, the female evaluation is a little more complex than the male’s and involves two separate components. First, we want to know if the woman is ovulating as well as the quality of eggs that she has. This functional aspect is often checked using a Day 21 progesterone and an AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) level. There is also a structural component to check, and this can be done using various imaging studies depending on provider preference and clinical suspicion.
After the evaluation is done, there is good news for most couples. Between 85-90% of couples are able to conceive with either medication (ie clomid, letrazole, etc) or minimally-invasive surgical intervention (ie myomectomy, tubal ligation reversal, etc). Even for those couples who require IVF, we are now able to refer to infertility specialists who come to Idaho Falls monthly, so a trip to Salt Lake is no longer required.
Whether you’re just beginning the evaluation, or if you need medical assistance with ovulation or the latest in robot-assisted surgical intervention, make an appointment with Teton Women’s Healthcare to learn about all of your infertility options. You can also check out resolve.org for more information.