What is Reproductive Medicine?
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. Professionals for Women's Health 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. Contact our office in Columbus, OH, today to schedule your appointment with a member of our experienced staff.
"This is the most wonderful place! Everyone is friendly and professional. I see Lindsay Randolph who is awesome and always make sure I get the best gyno care. I have to give a special shout out to Cathie who did my mammogram this last visit. This was year 11 for mammograms for me, and I always dread it because it is usually extremely uncomfortable and a bit painful. This time was completely painless. I don't know how she does it, but I will never schedule these with anyone else! I recommend anyone looking for new services for women's health absolutely visit Professionals for Women's Health."- W.S. / Google / Nov 07, 2020
"Everyone here was AWESOME!!! I went in for one thing and they ended up helping me out and we did my complete wellness exam. Cathie made the mammogram painless and quick. They were my doctors when I gave birth to my daughter 6 years ago and still just as professional today. Plus they were able to me quickly."- K.G. / Google / Oct 29, 2020
"I've always had great experiences here. Everyone has been supportive and authentic from the front office and nursing staff to Dr. Rahl. My recent onsite mammogram with Cathie was awesome - no pain or discomfort at all."- K.A. / Google / Oct 22, 2020
Do I Need Reproductive Medicine?
14% 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% of women over 35 experiencing infertility problems. 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.
It is helpful when couples seek help together and understand the available treatments. In 40% of cases, the male has a problem. In another 40%, it is the female, and in 20% of cases, both partners 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.
How is Infertility Diagnosed?
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.
Initial blood work may be done to evaluate your thyroid and pituitary gland. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus done in the radiology department of a hospital. The test, which is conducted near the end of the 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.
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 ovulation 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.
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.
How Can Infertility Be Treated with Reproductive Medicine?
Males may have a sperm problem, such as a low sperm count, sperm with lower than normal sperm motility, or an unusual form of the sperm. 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.
Females, on the other hand, usually suffer from one of two complications. First, abnormal ovulation 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.
The second potential problem, blocked fallopian tubes, can 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 may be used to detect the problem. Treatment usually requires specialized surgery.
Will my Insurance Cover Reproductive Medicine?
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.
Start Your Family Today
Through the use of reproductive medicine, the talented team at Professionals for Women's Health is often able to grant our patients the families of their dreams. If you or your partner have so far been unsuccessful in your quest to get pregnant, consider undergoing infertility treatment to identify the problem. Call our facility in Columbus, OH, today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards being a new parent.