Infertility

  • Alternative Names

    Inability to conceive; Unable to get pregnant


    Prevention

    Because sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often cause infertility, practicing safer sex behaviors may minimize the risk. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are the two most common causes of STI-related infertility.

    STIs often don't have symptoms at first, until PID or salpingitis develops. These conditions scar the fallopian tubes and lead to decreased fertility, infertility, or an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy.

    Getting a mumps vaccine in men has been shown to prevent mumps and its complication, orchitis. The vaccine prevents mumps-related sterility.

    Some forms of birth control, such as the intrauterine device (IUD), carry a risk for pelvic infection, especially in women with more than one sex partner and when sexually transmitted infections occur.

    Maintain a healthy diet, weight, and lifestyle to optimize your chances for getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy.

    Remember to take either prenatal or multivitamins containing folate starting before you are trying to become pregnant to decrease your risk for miscarriage and problems with the baby.


    References

    Jose-Miller AB, Boyden JW, Frey KA. Infertility. Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(6):894-856.

    Lobo RA. Infertility: etiology, diagnostic evaluation, management, prognosis. In: Katz VL, Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007: chap 41.

    Speroff L, Fitz M, eds. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005.

    Brassard M, Melk YA, Baillargeon JP. Basic Infertility Including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Medical Clinics of North America. Sept 2008;92(5).