Infertility is one of modern medicine’s greatest struggles, and it continues to be a source of frustration and heartache for many couples. It is equally possible for either the female or the male to be the cause of a couple’s inability to get pregnant, therefore, it is very important to consider the types of infertility that you may experience and what therapies are available to you.

Female Infertility – Using Charting to Identify Infertility

If you have tried to conceive for a year without success, the possibility of infertility should be on your mind. There are numerous sources of female infertility, and charting your menstrual cycle can begin to rule out and/or identify many of these.

Simply by taking your waking basal body temperature at the same each morning with a basal body thermometer, you can determine whether or not you are ovulating. If you are reliable temperature-taker, you should see a pre-ovulatory set of low temperatures followed by a post-ovulatory set of higher temperatures. The basal body temperatures generally range from 97 to 98 degrees depending on where you are in your cycle. If you experience no thermal shift, it is possible that you are experiencing infertility because you are not ovulating. This could be the result of a blocked fallopian tube or hormonal problems, among other causes. Armed with your chart, your clinician can help pinpoint what is causing your anovulatory cycles.

If you experience a thermal shift that only differs from pre-ovulatory temperatures by a few tenths of a degree, or if your thermal shift lasts fewer than 10 days, your infertility might be owing to low progesterone, which can result in the sloughing of your uterine lining before a fertilized egg has time to implant and secrete HCG. Administering supplemental progesterone during your luteal phase may be all that is necessary to carry a pregnancy past the crucial pre-implantation period.

Male Infertility – Using Semen Analysis

Men who suspect infertility can have a simple semen analysis performed to identify problems with sperm count, motility, and/or morphology, any of which can contribute to infertility in a couple. If this procedure identifies a severe deficiency in sperm health, lifestyle changes such as avoiding excessive heat, quitting smoking/drinking, or occupational changes may tip the balance enough to successfully father a child. A result of poor quality sperm should be repeated after 2 or 3 months to confirm whether lifestyle changes were sufficient or whether more invasive procedures such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization should be considered.

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