Fertility Blog

Understanding the Basics of Infertility and Fertility Care

Everyone’s path to parenthood is unique, which can make it challenging to understand the basics of infertility and fertility care. Whether you're just starting out or have been struggling to conceive for some time, it's important to learn about infertility and the various types of fertility care options available to you.

For National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW), we want to spread awareness about infertility and fertility care. This knowledge can help you make informed decisions about your family-building options.

What Is Infertility?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive, sustain a pregnancy, or impregnate. In many cases, it’s diagnosed after one year of having regular intercourse without birth control, or six months if the female patient is 35 or older. According to the World Health Organization, around 17.5% of the adult population experiences infertility globally.

About one-third of infertility cases stem from male reproductive issues like low sperm count, another one-third from female reproductive issues like endometriosis, and the remaining one-third are due to a combination of these or undetermined problems. Your doctor may recommend testing to try to get to the root cause of your infertility.

Basic Fertility Care

A reproductive specialist may recommend various types of fertility care. Basic fertility care options are non or minimally invasive and include:

  • Fertility medications: Some women have trouble conceiving due to irregular ovulation. Fertility medications can help in conjunction with timed intercourse.
  • Intrauterine insemination {IUI}: During IUI, a catheter enters through the cervix to deposit washed sperm directly into the uterus.
  • Lifestyle changes: Losing weight, reducing stress, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes can help improve fertility outcomes.
  • Supplements: Folic acid, Vitamin D, and other supplements can improve the chances of conception.

If these methods don’t result in a successful pregnancy, a fertility specialist may recommend more advanced fertility procedures.

IVF and Advanced Fertility Care

More advanced fertility care may include in vitro fertilization {IVF}, which involves combining egg and sperm in a laboratory to produce an embryo. A doctor then implants the embryo into the uterus for conception. You can also use an egg or sperm donor or consider a gestational surrogate to grow your family.

Get the Fertility Support You Need

Navigating infertility can be an emotional rollercoaster. No matter what type of fertility care you need, you can count on Washington Fertility Center to be there for you every step of the way. Contact our expert team today for more information about our fertility services like IVF or IUI.