Many causes of infertility are not preventable, but health and lifestyle options can help to improve fertility in men and women.
Help Reduce Your Risk of Infertility
Although many forms of male infertility are not preventable, men should avoid drug and tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. In addition, high temperatures can affect sperm production and mobility, so men should avoid hot tubs and steam baths during attempts to conceive.
Women can increase their chances of becoming pregnant by maintain a healthy weight, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, limiting medications and caffeine consumption, avoiding street drugs and exercising in moderation.
Tests and Screenings for Infertility
Tests and screenings for fertility issues can involve long, expensive and uncomfortable processes for both men and women. For men concerned about their fertility, they can expect to undergo a general physical examination, a semen analysis and, if necessary, hormone testing or a transrectal and scrotal ultrasound.
Women undergoing tests for fertility will also undergo a general physical examination, a regular gynecological examination and specific fertility tests that include:
- Ovulation testing: A blood test to measure hormone levels to determine whether you are ovulating.
- Hysterosalpingography: An X-ray examination with a contrast that evaluates the condition of your uterus and fallopian tubes.
- Laparoscopy: A procedure performed under general anesthesia that involves inserting a thin viewing device into your abdomen and pelvis to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus.
- Hormone and genetic testing
- Ovarian reserve testing: A procedure to test the potential effectiveness of the eggs after ovulation.
- Pelvic ultrasound: An ultrasound to look for uterine or fallopian tube disease.