Newton-Wellesley

Infertility

At Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN, our team of OB/GYN physicians offers a wide range of infertility services, including physical evaluation, male and female testing, and genetic risk profiling.

According to the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, infertility is a term used to describe the inability of a couple to get pregnant or the inability of a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. Clinically, infertility is defined as not being able to achieve pregnancy after 1 year of having regular, unprotected intercourse, or after 6 months if the woman is older than 35 years of age.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility is a complicated medical condition, and there sometimes isn’t a clear cause. Since both you and your partner contribute to the conception process, infertility is the result of many different factors. Excluding issues with your partner’s sperm, infertility can be caused by:

Hormonal Problems

If you have an underlying hormonal condition or a health problem that affects your hormones, your body might not be able to prepare for or sustain a pregnancy. Hormonal issues can affect the viability of your eggs, your uterus, or your body’s ability to nourish a fertilized egg.

Fallopian Tube Damage

As the key pathway through which your eggs reach your uterus, your Fallopian tubes can become damaged or scarred from conditions like endometriosis or pelvic surgery. As a result, sperm may not be able to reach your egg.

Uterine Abnormalities

If you have fibroids or polyps on your uterus, this can prevent you from being able to get pregnant.

Cervical Conditions

Certain women have a condition that prevents sperm from getting through the cervical canal and into the uterus.

Unknown Reasons

For other couples — about 20% — infertility can’t be explained by any logical medical reason.

Diagnosing Infertility

During your consultation, your Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN physician will ask you questions about your health history, including questions about prior pregnancies and prior miscarriages, the regularity of your period, the presence of pelvic pain, whether you have had abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge, and whether you have had a history of pelvic infection or previous pelvic surgery.

Your doctor will also perform a pelvic exam or request a pelvic ultrasound, a Pap test, and order blood tests to look at your overall health.

Treatment Options for Infertility

Whatever the cause of your conception challenges, your physician works with you to enhance your fertility based on your unique circumstances. Some screening and treatment methods may include:

  • Male and female fertility testing
  • Semen analysis
  • Ovulation monitoring
  • Genetic carrier screening

Additionally, your physician will order imaging studies to identify any anatomical irregularities and will order bloodwork to determine if there are hormonal imbalances that could be causing infertility.

If necessary, you may also get a referral to a  reproductive endocrinologist or a fertility specialist.

The best defense against infertility is early planning. If you’re considering pregnancy, your physician at Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN can also offer preconception screening and counseling, which can help identify and address potential complications or causes of infertility.

What To Expect from Infertility Treatment

Infertility treatment can feel like a long and arduous journey, but each step takes you closer to your desired goal of having a healthy and happy family. Once your physician diagnoses the cause of your fertility problems, the right treatment can take weeks or sometimes months to become effective. If you’re diligent with the testing and treatment process, it’s possible to conceive naturally and have a complication-free pregnancy.

Infertility Testing & Treatment at Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN

Couples should consult with a health care provider about fertility problems if they have had unprotected sex for 1 year without a successful pregnancy. With locations in Newton and Walpole, Massachusetts, our team of OB/GYN physicians at Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN can help you understand the reasons for a delayed or lost pregnancy. Call us in Newton at (617) 332-2345 or in Walpole at (508) 668-5555 to schedule an appointment. For your convenience, you may also request an appointment online.

Hormone Imbalance FAQs

Women who have a hormone imbalance may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Heavy, irregular or painful periods
  • Osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones)
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings and/or depression
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold or heat
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Painful sex due to a lack of
  • vaginal lubrication
  • Decreased sex drive
  • An increase in urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to a thinning of the urethra
  • Breast tenderness
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • Acne during or just before menstruation

There are numerous possible causes of hormone imbalance in women. Some causes are due to external factors, such as stress and hormone medications, and other causes may be due to medical conditions such as

  • Diabetes
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Androgen Excess (an overproduction of male hormones that cause menstrual irregularities, infertility, acne, and male pattern baldness)
  • Hormone Replacement or Birth Control Medications
  • Early Menopause
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Eating Disorders
  • Thyroiditis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Medications
  • Cancer Treatments

During your consultation, your Newton-Wellesley OB/GYN physician may order a blood test for you that checks your estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels, as well as your thyroxin (thyroid hormone), insulin, and cortisol levels. There may be more tests ordered based on your symptoms.

Your doctor will also conduct a pelvic exam to check for any lumps or cysts. A biopsy may be taken of any abnormally appearing tissue. If required, your doctor may order imaging tests such as an ultrasound, MRI, or thyroid scan for an accurate diagnosis.

Treatment for hormone imbalance depends on the cause. Once your doctor figures out what is causing your hormone imbalance, treatment recommendations may include:

  • Hormone control or birth control regulate menstrual cycles and symptoms.
  • Vaginal estrogen reduces symptoms of vaginal dryness.
  • Hormone replacement medications reduce symptoms associated with menopause like hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Eflornithine slows excessive facial hair growth in women.
  • Anti-androgen medications help limit severe acne and excessive hair growth or loss.
  • Clomiphene (Clomid) and Letrozole (Femara) help stimulate ovulation for women suffering from PCOS.
  • Gonadotropin injections increase the chances of pregnancy.
  • Metformin helps manage or lower blood sugar levels.
  • Levothyroxine helps improve symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • In-vitro fertilization may help those with PCOS complications get pregnant.
  • Lifestyle changes (e.g., losing weight, keeping a healthy diet, avoiding stress, getting enough sleep).

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