Written by Marizza Espinosa
Infertility. One word that can make your heart sink in. One word that can make you believe that all of your hopes of taking that next step in womanhood and becoming a mother are instantly crushed. This is something many women fear to speak up about, but it happens, and for some women it is a very ugly truth.
Infertility, by definition, means “ the inability to conceive children, often defined as not conceiving after having regular unprotected sexual intercourse without the use of birth control. Women who can get pregnant, but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile.”
Many women are left to believe they are alone with this issue, when in reality, infertility is very common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, About 10 in 100 (6.1 million) women in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty becoming pregnant or staying pregnant.
Some have the misunderstanding that it’s only one factor that may cause a woman to be or become infertile, when in actuality there are numerous causes such as:
- Damage to a woman’s fallopian tubes
- Hormonal problems
- Cervical issues
- Uterine troubles
- “Unexplained” infertility
There are some symptoms one may begin to experience that may lead to believe you are infertile, all pertaining to a change in a woman’s menstrual cycle and ovulation. Experiencing abnormality, irregularity, or no period at all, pain during sex, and hormone fluctuation are just a few signs of possible infertility issues. If you see patterns that aren’t particularly “normal” within your body, don’t ignore tell tell signs, understand what is happening with your reproductive health, and find solutions.
Some tests that can assist women in finding out whether or not you are at risk of infertility are a pap smear, a Hysterosalpingography (HSG) or a Laparoscopy. A Pap smear is used to detect a few issues, such as, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, or any other issues with a woman’s cervix. HSG is refereed to and is a “tubogram,” which is a of X-rays of your fallopian tubes and uterus. A Laparoscopy is explained as an operation in which small incisions are made in the abdomen which can check your entire pelvis and potentially correct problems, such as endometriosis, a disease that affects the uterus.”
Infertility is a tough discussion, but it is a necessary one. Thousands of women suffer from the issue, but it doesn’t have to bring a journey to motherhood to an abrupt stop. Medical research, treatments, and science over all is advancing daily, and leaves women with a few options:
- Egg donor – “55 percent of women using fresh donor eggs will give birth”
- Surrogate – “On average, live birth rates range from 5 to 30 percent per cycle.”
- In vitro fertilization – “Forty-one percent of women (under age 35); 32 percent (ages 35 to 37), and 23 percent (ages 38 to 40) become pregnant.”
- Fertility drugs – “40 to 45 percent of women who take the pills and ovulate get pregnant; as many as 50 percent of women who ovulate as a result of the shots get pregnant.”
The processes for these options are lengthy, a serious waiting game, and often times very costly, but the results could be worth it. Infertility is common, but never becoming a mother doesn’t have to be, so be sure to educate yourself on your options, pull from different resources, and find the option that works best for you and your growing family.