If you are having issues trying to conceive, you are not alone; about 12% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble getting pregnant. Dr. Heather Leslie-Brown, OB/GYN of Brown’s Women’s Care in Monroe, North Carolina, specializes in addressing infertility issues and will work with you to diagnose and treat your problem, putting you on the road to having the family of your dreams.
Infertility Q & A
Infertility is the inability to conceive a child after 12 months of unprotected sex. If you are over the age of 35, this time frame shrinks to six months.
The process of getting pregnant involves several steps, and problems can occur anywhere along the way. These measures include:
Ovulation: an egg is released from one of your ovaries
Fertilization: sperm must reach the egg to fertilize it
Implantation: the fertilized egg needs to make its way through your fallopian tubes and attach itself to your uterine wall
Dr. Leslie-Brown’s goal is to pinpoint where the issue may lie and target that area.
During each step in the fertilization process, the most common problems are:
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): a condition that causes women not to ovulate or to ovulate irregularly
Diminished ovarian reserve: you are born with a certain number of eggs, and that number may be abnormally low
Premature menopause: reaching menopause by the age of 40
Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA): a condition brought on by excessive exercise, stress, or being underweight
Fertilization and implantation:
Blockages: obstructions in your fallopian tubes that prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or the egg from reaching your uterus
Endometriosis: a condition where the lining of your uterus grows on the outside
Abnormal uterine contour: an abnormally shaped uterus or fibroids and polyps in the uterus can prevent the egg from attaching correctly
This list is by no means exhaustive, as medical conditions and history play a vital role in your ability to conceive. Dr. Leslie-Brown will perform some tests and exams to get to the bottom of your issue and work with you on a plan to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Treatments for infertility depend upon the cause of your problem, but the most common treatments are:
- Hormone regulation
- Fertility drugs to stimulate egg production
- Corrective surgeries for abnormalities
- Intrauterine insemination
- Lifestyle changes
Often, the cause of your infertility may not readily present itself and time and patience may be required to correct your problem. Whatever the issue, Dr. Leslie-Brown has an arsenal of tools she can use to increase your chances of conceiving a child.