Understanding Infertility

When is it appropriate to see a fertility specialists?

It can be frustrating not to know exactly what is causing the problem. Knowledge is key. Advanced Reproductive Center can help you understand fertility, diagnosis and treatments.


What Defines “Infertility”?

Infertility is defined as not having a child after one year of trying in a woman 34 or less, or after 6 months of trying in a woman 35 or older.  If you meet this definition then seeing a doctor who specializes in fertility medicine is very appropriate.


Some couples don’t meet the strict definition of infertility, but they have a known issue that leads to a decreased chance of having a baby.  These include conditions such as menstrual cycle problems (irregular or absent menstrual cycles), fallopian tube problems including tubal surgery, ectopic pregnancy, tubal ligation (tubes tied), pelvic infections, pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, known sperm problems, trouble getting pregnant in the past and history of treatment with chemo or radiation therapy.  If you have one of these issues or any other issue that is associated with infertility you should see a fertility specialist sooner rather than later.  It does not make sense to wait a year or even 6 months before seeing a doctor because the possibility of conception may be very low.

Trying to have a child and not succeeding is very stressful.  Sometimes I see patients that just have general questions about their fertility.  If you have concerns then seeing a fertility doctor is appropriate.  For most of these patients we never need to start formal fertility treatment.  Often times just seeing a specialist and knowing that there is no major issue can give couples the confidence to try and succeed on their own! 

Fertility Testing

To identify the causes of infertility, Advanced Reproductive Centers performs a thorough infertility workup. 


Fertility Testing

To identify the causes of infertility, Advanced Reproductive Centers performs a thorough infertility workup. 

There are many tests that can be performed to evaluate fertility. Testing should be individualized based on each patient’s history and unique situation. Basic fertility testing includes tests to evaluate the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and sperm. Depending on the situation and the results of the basic work up, other more specialized tests may be performed. Our goal is to guide you through the testing process as quickly as possible so that your treatment and ultimate success is not unnecessarily delayed.


For more information on infertility and specific tests click on the below links:


Fallopian Tubes


Male factors

Causes of Infertility

A variety of issues can appear when it comes to your fertility, Advanced Reproductive Center, after all testing, we perform a comprehensive evaluation on all our patients to target the cause of the infertility.


Causes of Infertility

At Advanced Reproductive Center, we perform a comprehensive evaluation on all our patients to target the cause of the infertility.

The source of the infertility generally falls into three general categories: male infertility, female infertility or a combination thereof. About 30 to 40% of patients with infertility will fall into the female infertility category and about 30 to 40% will fall into the male infertility category. About 20% of the time, infertility is attributed to a combination of both male and female factors.

Sometimes we perform a comprehensive evaluation but all of the tests turn out to be normal. In this case patients fall into the category of "unexplained infertility." At ARC, we have developed a focused expertise aimed at successfully treating unexplained infertility.


Unexplained Infertility

When Advanced Reproductive Center patients are diagnosed and treated for “Unexplained Infertility”, they still maintain a very good chance of success.


Unexplained Infertility

Sometimes we do all of the tests to evaluate a couple’s fertility and they all come back normal. This occurs about 5-20% of the time. When this happens the diagnosis is unexplained infertility. Unexplained infertility means that there is a fertility issue, but we are unable to determine the exact cause of the infertility.

Unexplained infertility can be a very frustrating diagnosis, but it is a classic glass half full or half empty scenario. Unexplained infertility is difficult (glass half empty) because couples are left knowing that they have infertility, but not why they can’t get pregnant. The good news (glass half full) is that unexplained infertility is a very treatable type of infertility.

The bottom line is that when treated appropriately patients with unexplained infertility have a very good chance of success.

Often times we can be successful with low complexity, low cost treatment options such as Clomid and inseminations


To learn more about unexplained infertility, schedule an appointment call us at 815-229-1700, or fill out the form below and we will contact you.

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