Why You’re Not Getting Pregnant
From irregular ovulation to poor diet and nutrition—and the leading cause: male factor—we caught up with three top fertility doctors and a holistic fertility specialist to get the lowdown on the most common causes (and best treatments) of infertility.
What came first, the stress over your infertility diagnosis, or infertility because of your stress? Although we know much more about the leading causes of infertility today than we did 10 years ago, it’s still a very complicated disease. But thanks to advancements in assisted reproductive technology (ART)—and more folks being proactive about it—couples are seeking, and often receiving, the help they need. According to the CDC, over one percent of infants born in the U.S. every year are conceived using ART.
Though it seems to be more prevalent in pop culture now because of celebs who’ve gone public like Nicole Kidman, Giuliana Rancic and Rosie Pope, “infertility is not a novel discipline,” Dr. Brian Kaplan, a founder of the Fertility Centers of Illinois, points out. “Infertility dates back to the beginning of time,” he says. “If you read the bible, the Book of Genesis, Sarah had infertility issues with Abraham—she needed a surrogate.”
Today nearly seven million American women suffer from infertility; that’s one in eight in the U.S. alone. Infertility is no longer a taboo topic: we’re on information overload about the leading causes—and most effective treatments—of this disease of the reproductive system that affects both women and men equally, but especially those of advanced maternal age. But there are no absolutes here. “Infertility is a multi-factorial problem—it’s a combination of things,” Dr. Kaplan explains. “It’s important for people to understand that.”
It’s advised that couples under age 35 trying to conceive for a 12-month period seek the help of a fertility specialist as soon as they detect a problem. “Push your ob/gyn to have a plan—be proactive,” cautions Kaplan, “particularly older patients.” When the woman is over 35, Kaplan encourages her to seek help after about six months of trying to conceive naturally, but the sooner you get to a diagnosis, the better the outcome will be.