Overcoming infertility
Infertility: the causes and options.
(Getty Images)
There are few things as distressing, heart breaking and lonely as failing to fall pregnant, month after long month. Unnecessary pressure from friends and family often makes the heartache and guilt worse.

And yet infertility is remarkably common. As many as one in seven couples experience fertility troubles at some stage, says acclaimed Cape Town fertility specialist Dr Sulaiman Heylen, of the Cape Fertility Clinic. And in many cases there is a medical reason for the infertility and a way to fix it.

The good news is that for the majority of infertile couples there is light and the pitter patter of little feet, at the end of the tunnel.

What is infertility?
If you've been having unprotected sex for 12 or more months without falling pregnant, you are considered to be infertile. If you are over 35 years of age, this time period drops to six months.

This doesn't mean there's definitely a problem. What this does mean is that it is time to see a fertility specialist who can work out what the problem is, and if there is a straightforward cure. Remember even fertile people have only a 25% chance of falling pregnant in any one month.

I haven't fallen pregnant yet, so now what?
After years of trying to fall pregnant naturally, it is time to let an expert check that both you and your partner are in good working order.

They will take a detailed history from both partners and a medical examination which might include blood tests (to measure your hormone levels), an ultrasound to check on the state or status of your uterus and ovaries, and an analysis of your partner's semen.

In 95% of infertility cases, one of the following are behind your difficulties in falling pregnant:
# Your ovulation
# Your fallopian tubes
# Your uterus
# Endometriosis. This is a common disorder which occurs when the tissue lining of the uterus grows outside the uterine cavity. It can cause infertility, among other problems.
# The health of your partner
# Your partner's sperm count.

I need medical help, what are my options?
Because there are a number of fertility treatments available it can be pretty bewildering at first. But apart from having complicated names, fertility treatments are pretty simple.
More on
cape town

Read Parent24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
NEXT ON PARENT24
Kinds of infertility
Most Read
Most Commented
 

week-by-week

Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?

 
 
 

Directories

Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.

Jobs - Find your dream job

Financial Adviser

Gauteng
Sanlam
R10 000 - R50 000 Per Month

Article Clerks

Nelspruit
Dante Personnel Recruitment
R4 500 - R6 500 Per Month

Cost Engineer

Gauteng
Red Pebble Recruitment
R50 000 - R70 000 Per Month

Property - Find a new home