Even those who are conceiving naturally vs. through IVF may find that there are problems that are making it either difficult to become pregnant or, once pregnant, to carry a baby to term.

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.

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.

Miscarriage: The Symptoms, Causes, and Next Steps

A miscarriage is the loss of a clinically confirmed pregnancy. For women hoping to conceive, it is important to have accurate information regarding pregnancy loss including prevalence, common causes, warning signs, and management options. An understanding of what to expect after miscarriage and what physical and emotional factors should be considered before trying to conceive again can also be highly beneficial.

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.

What is Reproductive Immunology?

Reproductive immunology is a subspecialty of reproductive medicine that aims to help individuals or couples using assisted reproductive technology (ART) achieve successful pregnancy outcomes. The components of understanding reproductive immunology include how the immune system affects human reproduction, what a reproductive immunologist does, and why a woman may choose to consult with a reproductive immunologist.

Natural Killer Cells, Fertility, and Pregnancy

For some potential parents, the innate immune system—including immune cells called natural killer cells (NK cells)— may play a role in whether or not a pregnancy can be achieved. Knowing what natural killer cells are, the tests for these cells, and possible treatments for high natural killer cell levels can help intended parents better understand their fertility options.

Getting Pregnant via Sex

Despite a commonly held perception, it is not always easy to get pregnant. Individuals can increase their chances of getting pregnant if they know when, how, and how often to have sex. There are also lifestyle tips and tricks that can be helpful in optimizing natural fertility, potentially leading to a positive pregnancy test and a viable birth. Most women who have been trying for only a few months to get pregnant should not be concerned if they have not yet conceived. However, after trying to get pregnant for a lengthier time (more than 6-12 months), it can be helpful to know what some of the indicators are that point towards consulting a health care professional who can provide medical advice regarding fertility issues.

Getting Pregnant: From Fertile Window to First Trimester

Getting pregnant may seem like a simple matter for most people, yet it is far from a simple process and in fact has a number of steps that require just the right timing. Many factors contribute to whether or not an egg will get fertilized, develop into an embryo, and result in a live birth. Whether an individual is trying for pregnancy or thinks she may already be pregnant, understanding the fundamentals of conception can help when seeking medical advice to ensure optimal reproductive health.