Infertility is a disease in which the ability to get pregnant and give birth to a child is impaired or limited in some way. For heterosexual couples (man and woman), this is usually diagnosed after one year of trying to get pregnant (but may be diagnosed sooner depending on other factors). For heterosexual couples, one third of causes of infertility are due to a male problem, one third are due to a female problems, and one third are due to combination or unknown reasons. When the cause of the infertility is found to come from the female partner, it’s considered female infertility or “female factor” infertility.
Fertility for women relies on the ovaries releasing healthy eggs. The reproductive tract must allow an egg to pass into the fallopian tubes and join with sperm for fertilization. The fertilized egg must travel to the uterus and implant in the lining. Tests for female infertility try to find out if any of these processes are impaired.
You may also be asked about any past pelvic infections or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some questions may include:
- Have you had any previous pregnancies or miscarriages?
- Is your menstrual cycle normal and regular or painful and irregular?
- Do you have heavy bleeding or abnormal discharge?
- Do you have any pelvic pain?
- Have you had any abdominal surgeries in the past?