Are your ovaries workin’ it? How to tell (and why).

How well do your ovaries work?

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A caterpillar workin’ it.

If I had an office visit FAQ, this would be at the top. Women – all ages, all sorts of relationships, all phases of their reproductive lives – want to know how their ovaries are doing. They want hormone tests. They want ultrasounds. They want it all.

Should you want it all too? Moreover, do you need it?

Continue reading “Are your ovaries workin’ it? How to tell (and why).”

Partial Eclipse & Partial Fertility

Did you see the annular eclipse on Sunday? I was temporarily blinded from staring directly into the sun, but I couldn’t help myself. My crisscross stare-through-my-fingers technique didn’t work like I thought it would (novice astronomer). I can happily report, however, that my retinas have made a complete recovery. I hope.

In Los Angeles, we were only privy to a partial eclipse because of the path of the moon. I tried to capture the moment with my iPhone and I think my result, as weighed against the feeble efforts of NASA, are wildly impressive. See if you can figure out which is which…

Sometimes the sun and the moon don’t quite line up quite right for your egg and his sperm either. And while you absolutely shouldn’t assume there’s something wrong the second you’re off birth control and not pregnant, there actually is a recommended time period to give yourself before you should consider seeing a doctor for infertility evaluation.

First though, to be medically accurate, let’s not say infertility. That’s not the best description of this problem because we all know couples who had to see an infertility doctor and they then conceived. Obviously they weren’t infertile. They were subfertile. Subfertility is the new language. And it just sounds nicer.

Now, as to that time period before you call in the specialists: as you probably know, and as I’ve mentioned before, the chances of naturally conceiving decrease as you get older. Also, the longer you try without conceiving, the more those chances diminish … a decrease of 15-25% for each year you try to get pregnant without success.

So, if you and your partner have engaged in regular unprotected sex for a year and you’re not pregnant yet, go see a doctor for a subfertility evaluation.

You should seek an evaluation after 6 months if (and this is for women):

* you are 35 years or older

* you have irregular periods (more frequent than every 21 days, or less than every 35 days. every else in between is ok)

* you have ever had a pelvic infection (like pelvic inflammatory disease or a tubo-ovarian abscess)

* you have been diagnosed with endometriosis

And for men, seek that evaluation if:

* there’s a reasonable suspicion of poor semen quality

And don’t be afraid to see your doctor! That’s what we’re all here for.

Besides, a lot of preliminary tests for subfertility are inexpensive and easy to do. Seeing a doctor for evaluation does not mean you have to undergo treatment, it just means you are getting more information.

And if I could think of a goofy eclipse joke to bring this to a strong close, this is exactly where it would go. Right here. Eclipses and you.

Oh well.