An individualized evaluation conducted by a fertility specialist can help ease frustration and worry by providing information, answers and direction as to further diagnosis and treatment. Evaluation is the first step to taking full advantage of reproductive potential and timeline. A fertility evaluation will take into account:
Illness, birth defects, or acquired anatomical disorders can interfere with conception and healthy pregnancy. We are fortunate that even the most challenging conditions, such as blocked fallopian tubes, absence of a uterus or egg follicles or absence of sperm, can be treated by fertility therapy.
This is a key consideration in evaluating fertility. Conception and healthy fetal development depend primarily on the quality of a woman's eggs, and egg production and quality in turn is largely dependent on a woman's age. One of the most frustrating aspects of older parenthood is the simple fact that egg quantity and quality declines with age. While a woman is born with about 2 million eggs, this number declines to about 300,000 at puberty. A woman will ovulate her healthiest eggs during her 20s and early 30s. By the mid 30s the remaining eggs are of lower quality, and by the early 40s only eggs with very low fertility potential are available for ovulation. As eggs age, they are more likely to have abnormal numbers of chromosomes, leading to failure of a fertilized egg to develop to the point of implanting in the uterus and to a higher likelihood of miscarriage. Age also may affect the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are essential to establishing and maintaining pregnancy.