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If you're having trouble conceiving, you have options
By Missy Jaramillo
Despite the fact that billions of women have given birth throughout our long existence, every pregnancy is its own personal, special experience. However, some women may have difficulty getting pregnant, and if you're one of them, you shouldn't feel alone, and you shouldn't feel helpless. Infertility affects millions of women, and there are more ways to overcome it now than ever before. Medication, surgery and in vitro fertilization can all assist you in having a child. You may have a number of options available to you - and some of them may not even involve medical care.
If you're worried about the potential effects of IVF, you should know that it's only necessary in a small percentage of women. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine noted that only 3 percent of mothers treated for infertility required the procedure, while 85 to 95 percent involved more conventional methods like surgery or medication.
If you need IVF, though, you should know the risks. As you may be aware, IVF often results in multiple babies. Usually this only happens when more than one embryo is implanted in your uterus. Additionally, your child may be delivered with a low birth weight. That being said, miscarriages and birth defects are no more of a problem for mothers undergoing IVF than mothers who conceive naturally. So you should take extra care to regularly visit your physician so he or she can monitor your week to week pregnancy, and you might want to stock up on extra diapers, but don't let IVF worry you too much.
Rather than undergoing IVF, physicians may be able to solve your problem with surgery or, more commonly, fertility drugs that stimulate the ovaries. The Mayo Clinic noted that medication is often used when you have an ovulation disorder. Resolving the condition can help you conceive.
You may also be surprised to know that your weight and habits can affect your fertility. In 12 percent of all fertility problems, having too much weight or too little is the cause, while 13 percent of all cases may be the result of smoking, as noted by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Adjusting your weight or quitting cigarettes may enable you to have a baby without medical treatment.
Perhaps it's not you, it's him
Something else you should keep in mind is that your partner could be the one with fertility problems. While many men wouldn't like to admit it, they could have a low sperm count or some other issue affecting their ability to conceive. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 40 percent of the time, the man is the reason why a couple is infertile. Your partner may have a condition such as azoospermia, which means he doesn't ejaculate sperm. Blockages such as scarring or even the absence of the vas deferens - the tubes that carry sperm - can prevent him from naturally impregnating you. He may still be producing sperm, but is unable to release it naturally from his body. If this is the case, it can be surgically removed to fertilize your eggs.
Keep in mind that 50 to 60 percent of the time a man is sterile, physicians are unable to identify the cause, according to a recent article from the Washington Post. So although you and your partner should be checked for infertility, your doctor may not be able to tell you why he's sterile.
Are you considering fertility treatment? Do you have any pregnancy questions for some who experienced IVF? Fill us in with a comment below!