Facing Fertility Challenges? Discover Solutions and Support
Facing Fertility Challenges? Discover Solutions and Support

If conceiving a child has been more challenging than you anticipated, you’re not alone. Fertility issues affect around 48 million couples and 186 million individuals worldwide. 

Infertility can be a deeply emotional and isolating situation, and it’s completely normal to feel the way you do. But remember, you’re not alone. With the right support and solutions, you can overcome these hurdles and build the family you’ve always wished for.

Whether you’re just beginning to explore options or have been on this path for some time, understanding the causes and seeking appropriate medical advice are crucial steps toward achieving your goal of starting or expanding your family.

Our team at Premier Health and Wellness Center made this guide to cover various aspects of infertility, from common causes to available treatments and offers insights into finding the right support system to accompany you on your journey.

What is Infertility?

Infertility is a medical condition affecting both men and women, characterized by the inability to conceive a child after a prolonged period of trying. For couples under 35 years old, this period covers one year of regular, unprotected intercourse without conception. Couples over 35 only need six months to determine whether or not they are infertile. 


What Causes Fertility Issues?

Many factors influence your ability to conceive, from lifestyle choices to medical conditions. Let’s identify what could be preventing you from conceiving:

1. Age

It is natural for fertility to decline with age, especially in women. The quantity and quality of eggs decrease as we grow older, making conception more challenging.

2. Health Conditions

Medical conditions such as thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can interfere with ovulation, implantation, or the ability of the uterus to sustain a pregnancy.

3. Lifestyle Factors 

Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, poor nutrition, and high levels of stress have adverse effects on fertility in both men and women. 

4. Genetic Factors

Some fertility issues have a genetic component, either inherited from one or both parents or arising spontaneously due to genetic mutations. Genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, Turner syndrome, and chromosomal abnormalities can impair reproductive function in both men and women.

5. Environmental Factors

Exposure to toxins, pollutants, and chemicals also affects fertility. Pesticides, heavy metals, endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in plastics, and industrial pollutants (collectively known as endocrine disruptors) have been linked to infertility and an increased risk of reproductive disorders.

 Additionally, certain occupations that involve exposure to radiation, chemicals, or high levels of heat (e.g., welders and firefighters) may pose a risk to fertility.


How to Diagnose Infertility

Identifying the root causes of infertility is a critical step toward finding the right solutions. Let’s take a closer look at how fertility consultants diagnose fertility issues with various tests and assessments.

1. Medical History and Physical Examination

A detailed medical history helps healthcare providers assess factors such as menstrual history, sexual habits, past pregnancies, surgeries, and any underlying health conditions that may impact fertility. A physical examination may include pelvic exams for women to evaluate reproductive organs and assess for signs of conditions such as endometriosis or fibroids.

2. Fertility Testing

Fertility testing evaluates various aspects of reproductive function in both men and women. Some may include:

  • Hormone Testing

Blood tests to measure hormone levels, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, and progesterone, which play crucial roles in ovulation and overall reproductive health.

  • Ovulation Tracking

This fertility test for women uses basal body temperature monitoring, ovulation predictor kits, and ultrasound monitoring to assess ovulatory function and ovulation timing.

  • Imaging Studies

Doctors may use ultrasound imaging to assess the structure of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes in women. Other imaging studies, such as hysterosalpingography (HSG) or sonohysterography, provide detailed images of the uterus and fallopian tubes to detect abnormalities.

3. Diagnostic Procedures

In some cases, invasive procedures may be necessary for further evaluation. These may include:

  • Hysteroscopy

A minimally invasive procedure where a thin, lighted instrument (hysteroscope) is inserted through the cervix into the uterus to visualize and diagnose conditions such as uterine polyps, fibroids, or adhesions.

  • Laparoscopy

A surgical procedure where a doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube with a camera (laparoscope) through small incisions in the abdomen to examine the pelvic organs, identify abnormalities, and potentially treat certain conditions such as endometriosis or pelvic adhesions.

4. Genetic Testing

When there is suspicion of a genetic disorder contributing to infertility, doctors may recommend genetic testing to identify chromosomal abnormalities or mutations that could impact reproductive function.


Types of Fertility Treatments

A whole spectrum of treatment options is available, depending on your specific situation. Here are some treatments fertility specialists recommend that have helped many couples overcome infertility: 

1. Fertility Testing and Counseling

Addressing fertility concerns begins with comprehensive testing and counseling. Fertility specialists conduct thorough evaluations to identify the root causes of infertility and provide personalized guidance and support. Counseling sessions may offer emotional support, education about fertility, and advice on lifestyle modifications to optimize reproductive health.

2. Lifestyle Modifications

Positive lifestyle changes can significantly impact fertility outcomes. Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins improves overall health and fertility. Maintaining a healthy weight also requires regular exercise and avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption. 

Additionally, activities such as meditation, yoga, and counseling help decrease stress levels. It’s essential to manage stress as it can have a negative impact on fertility.

3. Medications for Ovulation Enhancement

Fertility specialists may also prescribe medications such as clomiphene citrate or letrozole to stimulate ovulation. These drugs work by regulating hormone levels and stimulating the release of mature eggs, increasing the likelihood of conception.

4. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

Fertility centers provide a comprehensive range of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to help individuals and couples conceive.

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

This method involves placing washed sperm directly into the uterus during the woman’s fertile window, bypassing the cervix, and increasing the chances of sperm getting into the fallopian tubes and fertilizing an egg.

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

Considered one of the most advanced and widely used fertility treatments, IVF involves stimulating the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, retrieving the eggs, fertilizing them with sperm in a controlled setting, and implanting the resulting embryos within the uterus. IVF is especially beneficial for individuals or couples with conditions such as tubal factor infertility, endometriosis, or unexplained infertility.

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

A fertility doctor injects a single sperm directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization. Experts recommend this technique when there is a male factor infertility, such as a low sperm count or poor motility of the sperm.

  • Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT)

PGT involves screening embryos created through IVF for genetic abnormalities or chromosomal disorders before implantation. This assessment helps identify healthy embryos for transfer, reducing the risk of miscarriage and genetic conditions.

5. Egg or Sperm Donation

When an individual or couple can’t produce viable eggs or sperm, your doctor may recommend using donated eggs or sperm to increase the chances of conceiving a healthy baby.

6. Surrogacy

Surrogacy is an arrangement in which another woman, known as a surrogate, carries and delivers a child on behalf of an individual or couple. You can consider this option if pregnancy poses significant risks due to medical reasons or recurrent pregnancy loss.

7. Surgical Interventions

Some cases may require surgery to address anatomical issues impacting fertility. For example, procedures such as laparoscopic surgery may be necessary to remove uterine fibroids, treat endometriosis, or repair blocked fallopian tubes, making natural conception or assisted conception more successful.


Trusted Fertility Expert in Bermuda

Are you exploring options for fertility treatments? Start your journey by searching for a ‘fertility doctor near me’ or ‘fertility clinic near me’ to find specialized care close to home. 

If you’re in Bermuda, Premier Health and Wellness Center’s Dr. Samar Shefta offers expert advice and assessments for women trying to conceive or exploring their fertility treatment options.

To get started with our healthcare services at PHWC, call 441-292-5111 or fill out our online form. You’re welcome to visit our Bermuda healthcare clinics at the following locations:

  • Hamilton: 38 King Street, Hamilton HM12, Bermuda
  • St. Georges: The Bank of Butterfield Building, 1 King’s Square St George’s Bermuda GE05

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