Diagnosis of Female Infertility

Roughly 40% of all diagnosed infertility stems from the female partner. Because of this fact, both partners should fully participate in diagnostic procedures anytime conception difficulties are present.

The following is for you if:

  • You are just starting to wonder about underlying causes of your inability to conceive;
  • You are not happy with your current diagnostic/treatment plan or practitioner and are wondering which direction to turn;
  • You want an idea of what to expect when you see a fertility specialist.

(Be sure to follow the links for more detailed information on each topic.)

What Are They Looking For?

The possible causes of infertility are many and varied. If you have been unable to conceive or for some reason suspect that you may have a problem getting pregnant, understanding how your body works is the first step. While we all think we know everything necessary to get pregnant, there's nothing like infertility to show you there is a lot more to it than what we were taught in school health class.

Specifically, you'll want the diagnostic phase to answer these questions:

  • Are you ovulating regularly?
  • Are your eggs able to unite and grow normally with sperm?
  • Are there obstacles to implantation and pregnancy maintenance?

Your practitioner may be looking for the following potential causes of infertility (and not necessarily in this order):

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometrial tissue problems such as endometriosis or underdeveloped uterine lining
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Poor egg quality or premature ovarian failure
  • Structural anomalies such as tubal blockage, fibroid tumors, scar tissue or adhesions
  • Cervical factors resulting in mucus problems
  • Hormonal imbalances and irregularities, such as luteal phase defect and hyperprolactinemia
  • Immune system dysfunctions, such as lupus
  • Untreated chronic disease such as diabetes, thyroid disease, and kidney disease
  • Lifestyle, occupational, or environmental factors, including prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drug use, toxin exposures, stress, and nutrition.