If you’re struggling with fertility and need help getting pregnant, fertility assistance treatments are now available at all of our health centers in San Antonio, Harlingen and Brownsville.
Fertility assistance is the use of medical technology to achieve pregnancy through procedures such as fertility medication and intrauterine insemination. Our fertility assistance treatments can help when an individual or couple have trouble achieving pregnancy or staying pregnant. Obstacles with fertility can happen in both women and men and can have many causes.
Some couples have a hard time getting or staying pregnant. A couple generally requires fertility assistance if they don't get pregnant after 1 year or more of trying, or if they have multiple miscarriages. There are treatments for many kinds of fertility problems, and many people go on to have a healthy pregnancy and a child. For same-sex partners, fertility assistance can help couples become parents regardless of their sexual orientation.
Millions of people -- more than 1 out of 10 couples -- experience fertility problems. It's not just a "woman's problem" or an issue with age. Many factors can lead to fertility problems, and it affects people of all sexes and ages. When a couple has trouble getting pregnant, either individual (or both) is equally likely to be the cause.
There are many possible reasons for fertility problems. Seeing a provider that specializes in infertility can help you figure out the cause and determine the best treatments for you. Sometimes there's no known reason for fertility problems -- this is called unexplained infertility. Unexplained infertility can be frustrating, but there are treatment options still available to you.
Some common reasons for fertility problems in women include:
- irregular ovulation
- blocked fallopian tubes, so sperm cannot reach the egg
- untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea
- the shape of the uterus makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant
- uterine fibroids
- poor egg quality
Some common reasons for fertility problems in men include:
- untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea
- low sperm count (not having enough sperm in the semen)
- poor sperm motility (when sperm doesn't swim well enough to reach an egg)
- sperm that aren't formed correctly
- semen that's too thick for sperm to easily move around in
- no sperm in the semen
Having too much or too little of the hormones that help the body create sperm can also lead to sperm-related problems that cause fertility obstacles.
Fertility problems can also be caused by a problem with ejaculation. If the tubes inside the penis or testicles are blocked, an individual may have a hard time ejaculating, or nothing comes out when they orgasm. Sometimes, ejaculation can send semen backward from the prostate into the bladder, instead of out of the penis.
Gender affirming hormone treatments and surgeries can sometimes lead to fertility problems, but this is not always the case. If you want to get pregnant, speak with one of our clinicians about fertility options. If you don't want to get pregnant, consider finding the right birth control option for you.
There are certain health and lifestyle factors that can increase chances of having fertility problems. They include:
- being older than 35 (for women)
- being very overweight or underweight
- excessive drug or alcohol use
- smoking cigarettes
- chemotherapy or radiation
- exposure to environmental toxins, like lead or pesticides
- not getting recommended testing for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea
- a history of pelvic inflammatory disease
- injury to the scrotum or testes
Thanks to new technology, there are many ways to help people with different fertility issues. The options that are best for you depend on your personal situation. Sometimes only one person needs treatment, and other times both partners will use a combination of treatments together. Fertility treatments often include medications that help women's hormones and ovulation, sometimes combined with minor surgical procedures, to help an individual or a couple have a baby.
Fertility treatment begins with a semen analysis evaluation. Based on the results of both partners, the clinician will recommend the best treatment plan for you. One of the most common fertility treatments is intrauterine insemination (IUI), a procedure where healthy sperm is collected and inserted directly into the uterus during ovulation.
Talking with one of our clinicians who specializes in pregnancy and/or infertility can help you figure out which treatments are best for you. Planned Parenthood South Texas offers fertility medication and intrauterine insemination at all of our health centers. If we determine that in-vitro fertilization is the best option, we can help by referring you to a fertility provider specializing in IVF.