Unfortunately, about 10% of women age 15-44 in the United States have difficulty getting or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Infertility is defined by not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying, or six months for women 35 and older. Although a common problem, infertility can be devastating for couples looking to conceive.

Risk Factors for Infertility

The risk factors that accompany infertility affect men and women differently. For women, inability to ovulate is the most prevalent sign of potential infertility. Signs that a woman is not ovulating include irregular or absent menstrual periods.

Other causes of infertility in women include:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes (from conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and ectopic pregnancy)
  • Uterine fibroids, non-cancerous muscle and tumors on the uterine walls.
  • Physical problems with the uterus

Lifestyle factors can affect fertility. Smoking cigarettes, marijuana and excessive alcohol can affect sperm count and movement in men. For women, being underweight, overweight or exercising too much has been linked to issues with fertility.

Your Infertility Visit

An infertility evaluation assesses the underlying causes of why you and your partner haven’t been successful in getting pregnant.

During your first infertility visit, you and your partner will be asked questions pertaining to your health and sexual history.

Health questions include:

  • What medications are you taking, including OTC, prescription and herbal remedies
  • Occupation
  • Use of tobacco, illicit drugs or alcohol
  • STIs
  • Illnesses
  • Past surgeries
  • Past pregnancies and family history of birth defects

Questions about you and your partner’s sexual history include:

  • Birth control methods
  • Difficulties with sex, and frequency
  • Prior sexual relationships
  • How long you’ve been trying to become pregnant
  • Illnesses
  • Past surgeries
  • Past pregnancies and family history of birth defects

Testing for Infertility

Certain tests are used to determine infertility. These tests may include blood and urine testing for hormones and thyroid function.  An ultrasound will likely be ordered and depending on your unique situation some or all of these test may not be ordered.

Urine Tests

A urine test can determine an increase in the levels of luteinizing hormone. A surge in this hormone triggers the release of an egg, so if this test result is positive, it suggests ovulation will in the next day or two days, allowing you to better plan for successful conception. These tests can be purchased at any drug store for home evaluation.

Basal Body Temperature

At the time of ovulation, a woman’s body temperature increases and remains elevated for the entirety of her menstrual cycle. Charting monthly temperature changes can confirm ovulation, but, unfortunately, cannot predict it.

Thyroid Function Tests

An improperly functioning thyroid can lead to problems with fertility. A thyroid function test can check the levels of your hormones to determine if your thyroid is working normally.

Men’s Testing for Infertility

A semen analysis is often ordered for men who suspect they may have issues with fertility. This analysis determines the amount of sperm, its shape, and its mobility.

HSG – Hysterosalpingogram

This is a test done in radiology to look for uterine anomalies and tubal patency. Where or not the fallopian tubes are open or blocked.

Choose Sylacauga OB-GYN for Your Fertility Options

Sylacauga OB-GYN provides effective, compassionate care for your fertility concerns. For over a decade, we’ve been Sylacauga’s first choice for high-quality women’s health.

Call us today to discuss your fertility options or schedule an appointment today or email us at [email protected].