Reproductive Health 101

A woman’s reproductive health is often an overlooked piece of the ever-changing healthcare puzzle. The reality is that 1 in 10 women in the US struggle with fertility. A women’s reproductive anatomy is complicated. Each healthy birth is a small miracle when you consider the numerous steps that must occur optimally during the reproductive process to result in a full-term pregnancy. From the ovaries to the fallopian tubes, medical issues with the body parts in charge of ovulation often require help from a fertility specialist to both diagnose and treat.

When we think of infertility it is frequently in conjunction with the inability of a woman to become pregnant for more than a year after actively trying with her partner.  Infertility also includes 15-30% of pregnancies that end in a miscarriage. Collectively, the loss of two to three pregnancies before 20 weeks as well as difficulty conceiving after a year are the key reasons women seek fertility evaluations.

Evaluations for women with challenges conceiving should include the male partner. Male factor infertility can be effectively determined with a semen analysis. Dr. Singleton offers this test in the office or patients may pick up a kit to collect at home. Effective treatment for male factor infertility can include artificial insemination in mild cases and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in more significant circumstances.

If a woman is over the age of 35, the risk for infertility increases. The amount of eggs and the quality of eggs decreases as we age. Early evaluation is key. Women with known possible fertility complications, such as endometriosis, and women expecting a later start to having a family, may opt to freeze their eggs for future use. Cryopreservation allows a woman to freeze eggs in the “prime” of their reproductive health.

The advancements in reproductive endocrinology continue to provide present day women and future women the help they need to make the dream of parenthood a reality.