Oasis Women's Health
Heather Skanes, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist located in Birmingham, AL
More than six million women of childbearing age in the United States struggle with infertility. With advances in treatment options, infertility doesn’t mean you can’t have a baby. At Oasis Women's Health in Birmingham, Alabama, Heather Skanes, MD, takes a patient-centered approach to care to help her patients struggling with female infertility. Call the office or book an appointment online today.
What is infertility?
Infertility occurs when you’re unable to get pregnant or stay pregnant after a year of trying, or six months in women 35 and older.
Many women may feel as though infertility is a female problem. However, one-third of cases are due to female infertility, one-third male infertility, and the last third a combination of both.
What causes female infertility?
Most cases of female infertility develop because of problems with ovulation. To get pregnant, your ovaries must release an egg. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle or you go months without your period, then your infertility issue may be due to problems with ovulation.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
PCOS is the most common cause of infertility in women. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance that affects normal ovulation.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
With POI, your ovaries don’t function as they should. POI isn’t the same as menopause because it occurs in women before they reach age 40.
Structural abnormalities that affect your reproductive system may also cause female infertility, such as fibroids or fallopian tube scarring from endometriosis.
What happens during an infertility consultation?
When it comes to female infertility, Dr. Skanes takes a patient-centered approach to care. She asks detailed questions about your sexual, gynecological, and medical history, as well as your family history.
Dr. Skanes performs a physical and pelvic exam and may run various diagnostic tests to confirm or rule out a diagnosis to explain your infertility. Testing may include blood work to check hormone levels or an ultrasound to look for structural abnormalities.
She may also recommend infertility testing for your partner to confirm or rule out all potential causes.
What are the treatments for female infertility?
Dr. Skanes develops individual treatment plans for female infertility based on the underlying cause of your struggles. Treatment may include medications that stimulate ovulation.
For women with PCOS, she may prescribe metformin to help improve hormone balance and chances of pregnancy.
To improve your chances of conception when taking ovulation-stimulating medications, Dr. Skanes may recommend intrauterine insemination (IUI). During the procedure, she injects specially prepared sperm into your uterus during ovulation.
If you continue to struggle with infertility after medical interventions, Dr. Skanes may suggest assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
You’re not alone with your struggles with infertility. Call Oasis Women's Health or book an appointment online to get the care you need.