Infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States—about 10% of men and women of reproductive age. A fertility specialist is usually an obstetrician-gynecologist (specialist in women's reproductive health) with advanced education, research, and professional skills in reproductive endocrinology.
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Birth Control Intrauterine Devices (IUDs)IUDs (intrauterine devices) are small T-shaped plastic devices that is placed in the uterus for birth control. Currently in the United States, two types of IUDs are available, copper (ParaGard) and hormonal (Skyla or Mirena). Side effects include heavier periods and worsening menstrual cramps and irregular periods.
Birth Control Barrier MethodsThe practice of birth control is as old as human existence. Birth control barrier methods include: the male condom, female condom, diaphragm, cervical cap and sponge.
Birth Control Medications (Contraceptives)Birth control (contraceptive) medications contain hormones (estrogen and progesterone, or progesterone alone). The medications are available in various forms, such as pills, injections (into a muscle), topical (skin) patches.
Birth Control OverviewMany different types of birth control are available, and include hormonal methods, barrier methods, and behavioral methods. The type of birth control depends on the method or options a woman chooses. Common side effects of the birth control pill (the most common form of birth control used by women in the US) include, fluid retention, breakthrough bleeding, missed periods, anxiety, mood changes, and decreased sexual desire (libido).
Birth Control Behavioral MethodsThe practice of birth control is as old as human existence. Behavioral methods that don't use hormones such as birth control pills or mechanical devices such as condoms are in use throughout the world, especially in underdeveloped nations.
Birth Control FAQsThe practice of birth control is as old as human existence. Your choice of birth control method involves factors such as how easy it is to use, safety, risks, cost, and personal considerations. Each form of birth control has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Birth Control Permanent MethodsPermanent methods of birth control include tubal ligation or implants for women and vasectomy for men. Pre-procedure, procedure, and post-procedure information should be reviewed with your physician to discuss effectiveness of the procedure, recovery time, and any other necessary concerns in regard to the procedure.
EndometriosisEndometriosis is a disease in which abnormal endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus and other organs commonly found in the pelvic area. Some women with endometriosis have no symptoms, but others with the disease may experience pelvic pain, pain during intercourse and during pelvic exams, cramping during sex, bowel movements, or while urinating. The four stages of endometriosis are minimal, mild, moderate, and severe. Medications and surgery are treatments for endometriosis. Endometriosis is a chronic condition and there is no cure.
Birth Control Hormonal MethodsHormonal types and of options for birth control, and include patches, rings, implants, injections, and the birth control pill. Common side effects of hormonal methods of birth control are headaches, anxiety, acne, weight gain, mood changes, decrease in sex drive, heart attack, and stroke. No birth control methods is 100% effective, nor does it protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
In Vitro FertilizationIn vitro fertilization (IVF, artificial insemination) is an assisted reproductive technology (ATR) technique used to help a woman become pregnant. Factors to consider with IVF include age, multiple births, cost, reduced need for surgery, success rate, and safety. IVF involves several steps. There are rare risks associated with IVF. Success rates for IVF depend on the age of the woman.
MiscarriageA miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) is a pregnancy that spontaneously ends before the fetus can survive. There are classifications of miscarriage that include threatened, inevitable, incomplete, and complete miscarriage. There are a variety of causes of a miscarriage. Causes of miscarriage include defective genes of the fetus, chronic illness, including diabetes, severe high blood pressure, kidney disease, lupus, and underactive or overactive thyroid gland, acute infections, including Germany measles, CMV, and mycoplasma (walking pneumonia), diseases and abnormalities of the internal female organs, and other factors, including certain drugs like alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine. Symptoms of a miscarriage are vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, and cramping. If a woman thinks she may be having a miscarriage, she should seek medical care with her doctor or go to an emergency department.
Birth Control SpermicidesSpermicides are chemicals that are used during sexual intercourse that prevent conception by rendering sperm ineffective. They come as jellies, films, suppositories, foams, or tablets. Spermicides don't work as well as other reversible barrier methods of birth control.
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Infertility Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Cetrorelix is a man-made form of a protein that blocks the effects of certain hormones in the body that control ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary)....learn more »
Follicle stimulating hormone is used to treat infertility in women who cannot ovulate. This medicine is not effective in women with primary ovarian f...learn more »
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman's ovary, and stimulates the release of the egg duri...learn more »