The Firsts Steps to Understanding Your Infertility

The possibility that you may not be able to conceive a baby can be heartbreaking, especially if you’ve often dreamed of having children. If you experience difficulty getting pregnant, it’s important not to lose hope.

Here at his OB/GYN practice in Tarzana, California, Dr. Jehuda Renan specializes in diagnosing and treating the underlying causes of infertility so you may be able increase your chances of conceiving. Before giving up your dreams of having a baby or two, consider the first steps to understanding your infertility.

An underlying health issue could be the culprit

For many women who experience infertility, the cause is an underlying health issue. In fact, the most common cause of women’s infertility is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone imbalance that often interferes with your normal ovulation cycle. If you don’t ovulate, your body doesn’t provide eggs that can be fertilized.

PCOS causes your ovaries to enlarge and develop small cysts. This condition can lead to irregular ovulation and periods or the absence of them for several months at a time.

Somewhat contrary to popular belief, healthy women without PCOS typically have only about a 15-20% chance of conceiving a baby in any given month. If you do have polycystic ovary syndrome, your chances of becoming pregnant may decrease even more. You could have PCOS and not even realize it, so the first step in understanding your fertility problems is to have a thorough exam to rule out PCOS or any other common infertility culprits, including:

Dr. Renan is an expert at identifying, diagnosing, and treating these underlying health problems so you can increase your chances of conceiving.

Your age may make it more challenging to get pregnant

Today, roughly 20% of women in the United States have their first child after age 35. If you fall into this category, it can be increasingly challenging to become pregnant since your ovaries may have more difficulty releasing eggs. And after age 35, you have a smaller number of healthy eggs that can potentially become fertilized.

Every woman has a finite number of eggs, and as you get older that number dwindles. After 35, you’re also more likely to have existing health conditions that lead to fertility problems since you’re at an age that’s considered “later in life.”

Just because you chose to focus on your education and career, or you hadn’t yet met the right partner, doesn’t mean you can’t still have a successful pregnancy. It just means you may have time working against your efforts. Sometimes, understanding how to be more relaxed and less anxious about when you’ll conceive allows your body to be more prepared to do exactly that.

Your lifestyle may affect your ability to conceive

It’s sometimes obvious, but other times not as much, that certain lifestyle factors could be contributing to your infertility. If you smoke cigarettes, regularly consume alcohol in large quantities, or exercise excessively, it can be harder for you to get pregnant.

If you’re overweight, moderate exercise can actually help improve fertility. However, if you’re already at a healthy body weight and you exercise vigorously for more than seven hours each week, it can impact your natural ovulation schedule and make it harder to become pregnant.

The key to finding the right balance when you’re trying to conceive and you still want to exercise is choosing moderate activities over more rigorous ones. Try walking or yoga instead of jogging, high-impact aerobics, and weight training.

Once you understand what may be causing your infertility issues, it may be easier to overcome them, one step at a time.

If you’ve tried to conceive for at least a year — or six months if you’re over 35 — without success, take your first step. Call to make an appointment with Dr. Renan or request a convenient consultation time by using the online scheduler.

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