Southcoast Health: Addressing Infertility for Patients in Southeastern MA & RI
Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. For women younger than 35 years of age, this means trying to conceive without success for one year. The time is shorter (six months) for women 35 years and older.
About 10% of American couples deal with infertility and the challenges that go along with it. The condition is emotionally stressful, and it can take a toll on both individuals and their relationship. Finding social and emotional support is as important as medical treatment to successfully manage infertility. At Southcoast Health, we offer both diagnosis and support services for infertility in North Dartmouth and the surrounding areas of MA and RI.
Risk Factors & Causes
Infertility isn’t just a woman’s problem. About 30% of the time it’s due to a female reproductive issue, and another 30% of the time it’s a male issue. In the remaining 40%, both partners contribute to infertility or doctors can’t explain the cause.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of infertility developing include:
- Age — as a women ages, the ovaries release fewer eggs and the eggs are not as healthy
- Alcohol use — even moderate use
- Emotional stress
- Environmental factors, such as exposure to chemicals or radiation
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Weight, either being very overweight or very underweight
Symptoms of Infertility
The main symptom of infertility is the lack of pregnancy after a year of unprotected sex. If other symptoms are present, they depend on the cause of infertility. For example, an infertile woman may have irregular periods. An infertile man may notice problems or changes in ejaculation. However, many times there are no other symptoms.
Infertility Treatment Options
Treatment of infertility depends on the cause. Your doctor at Southcoast can help diagnose the issue, then we may refer you to a specialist in the area for more customized treatment. Treatment options may include one or more of the following:
- Medications treat female infertility by stimulating and regulating ovulation.
- Surgery can treat physical problems in both males and females that contribute to infertility.
- Artificial insemination involves placing specially prepared sperm directly into a woman’s uterus.
- Assisted reproductive technology is a group of procedures that involve removing eggs from a woman’s ovary.
- In most procedures, the eggs are fertilized with sperm in the laboratory. Then, doctors return the growing embryos to the woman’s body. Examples are IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).
To find specialized care for infertility in southeastern Massachusetts, contact us to find a doctor near you.
Patients can rely on Southcoast Health for effective infertility diagnosis and treatment in North Dartmouth and across the South Coast of MA and RI.