Preconception health is an early opportunity for you improve your health and ensure you are in the best possible medical position to have a baby. This can be useful if you have previously had trouble conceiving or you are worried that you may pass on a genetic condition. Whatever your reasons, we are here to help you make informed choices and start your new chapter in the best possible way.
Pregnancy and birth can be a complicated time for a woman and her body. The ChristianaCare Center for Reproductive Health is able to support women during this time & offer treatments tailored to each woman’s needs.
What is Infertility?
Infertility is a problem of the reproductive system. It affects the body’s ability to reproduce. It could be caused by a problem with the man’s system, the woman’s system, or both. For a pregnancy, the following must happen:
- The man must make healthy sperm.
- The woman must make healthy eggs.
- The fallopian tubes must be open to let the sperm to reach the egg.
- The sperm must be able to fertilize the egg.
- The fertilized egg must implant in the uterus.
- The embryo must be healthy.
If you think you are not able to get pregnant, see your healthcare provider early. The age of the woman and how long the couple has been trying to get pregnant may affect treatment.
What causes infertility?
Many things can cause infertility. It can be a problem in the female reproductive system, the male reproductive system, or a mix of the two. These are some examples of how female factors can effect infertility.
- Ovulation problems.
- Anatomical problems.
- Birth defects.
- Immune system problems.
What are the symptoms of infertility?
A couple is believed infertile if conception does not happen:
- After one year of unprotected sex.
- After 6 months in women over age 35.
- If there are known problems causing infertility.
Types of treatment for women
ChristianaCare can offers varies forms of treatment to women with fertility struggles. These include:
- Intrauterine insemination – This method uses a small flexible tube called a catheter to place specially washed and prepared sperm directly into the uterus.
- Ovulation medicine – These medicines help regulate the timing of ovulation.
- Surgery – Surgery may be used to treat or repair a condition such as blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART) – For some couples, more extensive treatment is needed.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) – This involves removing a woman’s eggs and fertilizing them in the lab with sperm.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) – In this procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
- Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) – This involves using a fiber-optic instrument called a laparoscope to guide the transfer of unfertilized eggs and sperm into the woman’s fallopian tubes.
- Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) – This involves fertilizing a woman’s eggs in the lab.
- Donor eggs – This involves transferring an embryo from a donor to an infertile woman.
- Embryo cryopreservation – In this method, the embryos are frozen for transfer at a later date.
For more information, please take a look at our detailed page on infertility: