A woman or couple desirous of getting pregnant and having a child would naturally be distressed at her inability to get pregnant. So what is infertility and when is time to meet the doctor to see what options for correcting the situation are available?

It is generally recommended that if a woman is unable to get pregnant even after 6 months of trying, she should see a doctor about finding out what is the matter. The doctor will begin by checking the health and histories of both partners.

Semen may be checked to gauge the health of the sperm. Tests may have to be run if it is a lack of ovulation that is causing the infertility.

After isolating the factor responsible for the infertility, the following options may be tried:

Medications: Depending upon the cause for lack of ovulation, appropriate formulations may be prescribed: Clomid could be prescribed for problems with the pituitary gland or for PCOS.

The injectible Human Menopausal gonadotropin could also be used to stimulate ovulation. If a woman does not ovulate each month or is found to be ovulating before the maturity of the egg, gonadotropin releasing hormones may be prescribed.

Metformin is prescribed if a woman is seen to be resistant to insulin or has PCOS since it can reduce male hormone levels in women and help them ovulate. Sometimes it is high levels of Prolactin (milk producing hormone) that causes problems with ovulation, in which case Bromocriptine may be prescribed.

Intrauterine Insemination or Artificial Insemination: In this procedure, sperm is specially treated and then injected into the woman. This procedure is used when women have problems with cervical mucus that makes the area inhospitable for sperm.

Or it could be used when there is mild infertility or low sperm count found in the male partner. Sometimes it is not clear why conception is not taking place, and in case of unexplained infertility as well this method may be used. This method is sometimes used in conjunction with medications that encourage ovulation.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART): This is the term used to describe a number of different methods that could help infertile couples.

Embryos are prepared in the laboratory by taking the eggs from the woman and the sperm from the man. After the embryos are successfully created, they are then inserted into the woman’s uterus.

The kind of solution for infertility used is dependent on the cause of infertility, the age of the partners, and other circumstances.