Being aware of how certain conditions can impact the ability to conceive can help inform a woman’s decision on what pre-emptive actions to take, even before pursuing pregnancy.

Can STIs (STDs) Cause Infertility? 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can potentially damage the reproductive organs and lead to infertility. It is crucial for sexually active individuals, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation to undergo STI testing regularly in order to proactively take responsibility for their sexual health. Early diagnosis and management of STIs are essential for avoiding long-term harm to reproductive organs and for maintaining fertility. This article covers what STIs are, how they may impact fertility, and options for their prevention and treatment.

Vasectomy Reversal: What to Know

Though a vasectomy was formerly considered a permanent sterilization procedure, modern developments have made reversal possible. This article will outline the various procedures for reversing a vasectomy and the likelihood of success in restoring fertility, including a comparison to alternative fertility options.

Endometrial Receptivity Analysis Explained

ERA, which stands for endometrial receptivity analysis (previously known as endometrial receptivity array), is a diagnostic tool intended to determine how “receptive” the maternal uterine lining (endometrium) is towards implantation of a transferred embryo.i,ii ERA evaluates the expression of genes involved in endometrial receptivity during the window of implantation (WOI). These results are then used to determine whether a patient should have a frozen embryo transfer with standard timing, or if timing needs to be adjusted to account for a displaced WOI, a process known as personalized embryo transfer (pET).

Acupuncture for Fertility

Acupuncture is a type of complementary medicine involving the insertion of small needles into specific acupuncture points in the body. It is believed to work by stimulating the nervous system, which can then affect muscles and glands. It has been estimated that over 30 percent of women undergoing fertility treatment will access an alternative medical approach such as acupuncture during their treatment.i  Fertility acupuncture gained popularity in North American around 2009. Since then, research of varying quality has been conducted to assess the role of acupuncture in both male and female fertility. Its effectiveness in helping improve fertility, especially with respect to IVF success rates, remains unclear.

Uterine Lining: Thickness and Pattern for Implantation

For clients going through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or any type of fertility treatment, the associated clinic will build a comprehensive plan to examine all risk factors, health conditions, and reproductive issues that may interfere with the ability to conceive. Much of what is assessed will be associated with the physiological form and function of the reproductive system. The uterine lining is one component of the reproductive system that will be assessed.  

The endometrial lining changes in thickness and appearance in response to the changing hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle and therefore is used as part of the assessment for how a patient is responding to treatment; as such, it is an important aspect to examine as one part of the reproductive system as a whole.  

Egg Freezing: What Is It and What Is Involved?

Egg freezing is a fertility preservation technique that was first made available in the late 1990s to women undergoing cancer treatments that could potentially affect their fertility. While this remains an impetus for the procedure, egg freezing is now also used by women to preserve their fertility for a wide range of reasons. Previously considered experimental, egg freezing is currently considered to have minimal risk, and is even covered by some employers in the U.S. through health insurance.

Stages of Embryo Development from Fertilization to Blastocyst

Read through the different stages of embryo development and what happens after egg retrieval in IVF. Day-by-day outlines and more from researchers in the field.

Recurrent Implantation Failure: The Causes, Tests, and Treatments

Embryo implantation is a complex process and a significant step towards achieving a viable pregnancy. Implantation requires good quality embryos (both genetically and structurally normal), a receptive endometrium, and complex communication between the embryo and the uterine lining.i The term “implantation failure” describes the lack of a positive pregnancy test (increased human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels) or the lack of an intrauterine pregnancy seen on ultrasound following in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo transfer.ii Recurrent implantation failure (RIF) is sometimes called repeated implantation failure, and the terms can be used interchangeably.

What Is the Difference Between Follicles and Eggs?

For women who are thinking about in vitro fertilization (IVF), there is a great deal of information to absorb at once, and much of it can be confusing. In particular, the discussion of an egg (oocyte) vs. follicle involves a significant dive into the mechanisms of IVF. While women may know they are born with all the eggs they will ever have, they may not necessarily understand how their eggs differ from follicles and how these terms are used during IVF. Understanding what each term entails can make the process easier to navigate.

What Is Asherman’s Syndrome?

Asherman’s syndrome is a rare condition defined by the formation of scar tissue in the uterine cavity. It does not have a genetic predisposition and can affect any woman, with a potential impact on fertility. Most cases develop in women who have undergone uterine surgeries. If a woman has received an Asherman’s syndrome diagnosis and is concerned about its impact on her fertility, it is beneficial to understand the symptoms, causes, and range of potential reproductive outcomes.

What Is Turner Syndrome and How Does it Impact Fertility?

Monosomy X is a chromosome abnormality that occurs randomly during fertilization and affects only females. Also known as Turner syndrome (TS), this is a genetic condition that if present in a fetus causes significantly increased risk for miscarriage and prenatal complications, like heart defects. After birth, individuals with Turner syndrome are at increased risk for growth issues, learning disabilities, and infertility as adults. Fortunately, with proper early intervention and counseling on reproductive options and risks, women with TS may go on to have successful pregnancies.

What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) and How Does It Impact Fertility?

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) refers to an infection of the female reproductive organs. PID can occur without symptoms but may also cause mild to severe pelvic pain. In rare cases, it can lead to chronic complications.i PID is also a risk factor for female infertility. Understanding what causes PID and how it is treated can help women avoid the long-term complications related to this disease.

What Is Endometriosis and How Does it Impact Fertility?

Endometriosis is a medical condition that affects millions of women worldwide, who can develop endometriosis at an early age. Not only can endometriosis lead to severe pain (including pelvic inflammatory disease) and painful menstrual periods, but it can also negatively affect fertility. Many reproductive-age women who have previously not been formally diagnosed with endometriosis may not realize that they have it until they experience struggles as they attempt to conceive children. In order to recognize and subsequently treat endometriosis, it is critical to first understand the various types of endometriosis symptoms, surgical therapies, and fertility treatments available. In some cases, the most effective treatments are minor surgical procedures. What is most notable is the fact that due to medical advances, there are treatments currently available to effectively manage and treat endometriosis pain.

Ovarian Stimulation: The Purpose and Process

A physician may recommend medicated ovulation induction, timed intercourse, intrauterine insemination (IUI), therapeutic donor insemination (TDI), and/or in vitro fertilization (IVF) to assist in becoming pregnant as part of a reproductive medical treatment plan. During treatment, a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) may prescribe ovarian stimulation in order to maximize the number of eggs produced.

What is a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and What Does it Measure?

Difficulty with conception can at times be traced to issues within the structure of the reproductive tract, such as the shape of the uterus or blocked fallopian tubes. If a doctor suspects that to be the case, a hysterosalpingogram may be recommended. The hysterosalpingogram is a relatively common diagnostic procedure in reproductive medicine, which gives doctors the ability to see how the uterus and fallopian tubes are shaped.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that is often associated with having a negative impact on a woman's ability to conceive. This syndrome is characterized by a range of symptoms, from unwanted hair growth to challenges when trying to conceive, and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.