Common Infertility Factors
A woman’s fertility will be adversely affected if her pelvis, especially the ovaries and tubes, are diseased. Common factors include prior pelvic infection, STDs, history of pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, infection from an IUD or a prior tubal pregnancy.
We understand how important your reproductive health is, and we want to ensure that any past or present pelvic disease is considered in your treatment plan. Your fertility doctor will conduct an examination and take a thorough health history, and then discuss potential treatment options with you.
Cervical Factors and Fertility
Cervical factors can sometimes play a role in a woman’s fertility. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a sexually transmitted infection that can cause changes to cells in the cervix. HPV is incredibly common — some reports quote infection rates to be as high as 90% in women who have been sexually active. Much of the time, HPV shows no symptoms and goes away on its own without requiring treatment.
However, HPV causes persistent abnormal cells in the cervix, called cervical dysplasia, which, IF HIGH GRADE, should be treated by a doctor. The abnormal cells are removed from the cervix through different modalities: freezing (CRYO), cutting with heat (LEEP), or cutting with a knife (CONE). Since the cervix is permanently changed during this procedure, there may be risks to future fertility and increased odds of preterm delivery. We believe it is extremely important to review your individual health history to see if any past cervical infections or surgeries are a factor in your fertility, and always take this information into account when devising a fertility treatment plan that is right for you.
Endometriosis and Pregnancy
Endometriosis is a common condition that affects about one in every 10 women. And while it does increase the odds of infertility, rest assured that you can get pregnant if you have endometriosis.
The process is quite simple. A catheter is inserted through the cervix into the endometrial cavity (inside of the uterus). Saline is injected through the catheter to better outline the cavity. Your doctor can then look for fibroids, polyps, and scar tissue, as well as outline the shape of the uterus. In this way, treatable issues that may be affecting your fertility can be quickly and easily addressed
In order for your fertility doctor to get a better idea of the health of your uterus and your fallopian tubes, we use a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
Traditionally, the HSG is performed in a radiology center, where x-ray dye is used to see inside the uterus. The uterus and tubes are then imaged with fluoroscopy, which provides a picture of what’s happening inside your body. At WCWRC, we prefer to perform the HSG in the comfort of our facility, utilizing a combination of saline (saltwater) and air, imaged through an ultrasound, to provide a much better view of your pelvis, uterus, and fallopian tubes. We can also visualize the space behind the uterus utilizing this technique.
In this manner, we can perform the HSG without x-ray dye and without a trip to the radiology center. Also, a fertility physician is conducting the test in real-time, resulting in an accurate, firsthand understanding of what’s happening with your reproductive organs.
Fibroids, Conception and Pregnancy
Fibroids are extremely common in women. A fibroid is a non-cancerous tumor of smooth muscle, usually found in the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 70 or 80% of women will be diagnosed with fibroids in their lifetimes — so if you have them, know that you’re not alone.
Whereas some fibroids may not interfere with conception and pregnancy and don’t need to be removed, others may distort the uterine cavity or block implantation and may need to be taken out surgically to improve fertility.
Much like real estate, location and size of the fibroid are extremely important. When analyzing a fibroid, we examine several factors to determine the potential impact on the patient’s fertility, including fibroid history, amount, size, location, and if the cavity is distorted or not.
We understand how important your reproductive health is, so if you’re experiencing fibroids, or if you have yet to conceive and are wondering if you may have fibroids, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our team at West Coast Women’s Reproductive Center is happy to answer any questions you may have, and work with you to develop a custom treatment plan to ensure that you have the greatest chance of conception possible.
How Do Polyps Affect Fertility?
Polyps are one of several benign (non-cancerous) tumors that have the potential to grow in the uterine cavity, possibly affecting fertility. Polyps can interfere with a woman’s fertility by growing in the same site in the uterine wall that the embryo needs to implant in and grow.
Because of this, it is recommended that polyps should be removed. Luckily, the removal of polyps is a fairly easy procedure, conducted in an outpatient surgery called a Hysteroscopy.
Fertility Doctor Tina Koopersmith
Discusses Pelvic Disease & Infertility
Together We’ll Find A Way
Our experienced fertility specialists will conduct an examination and take a thorough health history, and then discuss potential treatment options with you. We can also answer any questions you may have on this process.
We look forward to meeting you, learning about you, and helping you to be healthy and happy. To schedule an appointment you can call the West Coast Women’s Reproductive Center at (818) 616-9277 or make an appointment online.