Reproductive Medicine Overview in Columbus, OH

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Reproductive Medicine

We Know How to Help You

When you decided to start a family, you may have assumed that you would soon conceive. The surprise of infertility causes concerns and even fears.

You may feel isolated when facing infertility, yet you are not alone. PWHealth has helped many couples overcome this situation.

This material reflects some of our experience in determining and treating physical causes of infertility, which has given us the understanding to help you deal with the emotions you face.

When To Seek Medical Help

You need to consult a provider if you have had intercourse two or three times a week around the time of monthly ovulation for at least a year without conception. Although you still may become pregnant without medical assistance, the chances of that happening are decreasing. Medical help can make all the difference.

Fourteen percent of couples between the ages of 15 to 44 who want to have a child are infertile. For women, infertility increases with age, with about 25 percent of women over 35 experiencing infertility problems.

It is helpful when couples seek help together and understand the available treatments. In 40 percent of cases, the male has a problem, in another 40 percent, it is the female and in twenty percent are couples in which both have problems. Many couples have more than one cause of infertility. However, in some cases, no cause can be identified, even after extensive testing.

In any case, emotional issues arise. Both men and women need the love and support of their family and significant other.

Evaluation

Please call to schedule a consult with your provider. After the consult, depending on your individual history and physical, the diagnostic tests will be ordered and evaluated. Unfortunately, infertility is a diagnosis of exclusion. Once your provider diagnoses your infertility problem an individual plan will be establish.

One last note…

You will want to contact your insurance company prior to any infertility work-up to determine your coverage. Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not pay for any infertility testing or treatment. Many insurance companies also may require a referral, pre-authorization, or a particular hospital and lab for testing. Please check with your insurance company so that you are aware of your coverage.

Common Causes

A Male Factor

Males may have a sperm problem, such as a low sperm count, sperm with lower than normal sperm motility or unusual sperm morphology (shape or form).

Few treatments are available to raise the sperm count, but successful pregnancy often still can be achieved. Sperm motility may be improved with medication, surgery or special techniques in semen preparation.

Professionals for Women's Health also can refer you to providers of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) procedures.

Abnormal Ovulation

This may be the result of a hormonal imbalance and usually results in irregular menstrual periods. Problems with ovulation are also associated with low body weight, being overweight or drastic weight loss or gain, as well as other causes.

The treatment of abnormal ovulation may be relatively simple or more involved, requiring a specialist.

Blocked Fallopian Tubes

When fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, it may interfere with the egg and sperm uniting or with proper embryo development and implantation in the uterus. Tubal damage can occur following a pelvic infection resulting from an IUD or bacteria such as chlamydia, mycoplasma or gonorrhea.

The patient may experience no symptoms of the infection and may not know about the problem until an infertility evaluation is performed. An x-ray of the tubes (called a hysterosalpingogram) and diagnostic laparoscopy (surgery through a small incision below the navel) may be used to detect the problem.

Treatment usually requires specialized surgery.

Diagnosis

Male Factors

A semen analysis can be performed at any time. You will receive instructions and a collection cup for the semen, which the lab then evaluates.

You will be responsible for calling your insurance company to verify which facility they will cover for semen analysis.

Female Factors

Initial blood work Initial blood work may be done to evaluate your thyroid and pituitary gland.

Hysterosalpingogram HSG (hysterosalpingogram) is an x-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus done in the radiology department of a hospital. The test, which is conducted between days 7 and 9 or end of menstrual cycle, provides information on the condition of the fallopian tubes and the contour of the uterus.

Please call the office on the first day of bleeding to schedule this test. (Let us know if your insurance specifies which hospitals you can use.) Our office nurse schedules the test for you.

Most patients experience a small amount of discomfort with this test, which may be minimized by taking a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil® before the procedure.

Ovulation Prediction You will need to purchase an ovulation predictor kit to pinpoint ovulation. The instructions are enclosed in the kit. By using the ovulation kit properly, you know when your body has its LH surge, which means that ovulations is likely to occur within the next 24 to 36 hours.

The timing of the rest of the infertility evaluation depends on the day of the LH surge, so you need to call our offices that day to schedule the remainder of your workup. If the test fails to show an LH surge, this useful information should be reported.

Serum Progesterone Test A serum progesterone test is a blood test done seven days after the LH surge. It is used to evaluate the quality of ovulation.

This test is scheduled when you call to report the LH surge. A nurse draws blood, so you do not need to see your provider for this test.

Related Procedures

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.