Be Encouraged, Medications and Lifestyle Changes May Help with Infertility

The journey to becoming a mother is different for all women and if you are not having success getting pregnant, scientists say be encouraged.


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines infertility as “not getting pregnant after one year of having regular sexual intercourse without using birth control.” But infertility is more common than most people think, experts say. In fact, infertility affects  10 to 15 percent of American couples, according to the Mayo Clinic

According to the CDC, infertility is higher among Black women than in white women, and it is steadily increasing.,However, according to Statnews, the actual numbers of infertile Black women remain unclear because so few women of color have been included in infertility research and studies.

“African American women have been grossly underrepresented, so it’s really hard to quantify the rates. It could be twice as high for African American women, or even higher,” said Yetunde Ibrahim, a reproductive endocrinologist and assistant professor in the obstetrics and gynecology department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Dr. Esther Eisenberg, director of the Reproductive Medicine and Infertility Program at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, weighs in on how to increase fertility naturally, drugs that may increase chances of pregnancy, and how to know when you need extra medical assistance.

How to increase fertility naturally?

“Infertility can result from problems in a woman, a man or a couple,” Eisenberg said in an extensive Q&A with the Office on Women’s Health. Males who face infertility likely have sperm cells that function incorrectly. Females living with infertility often struggle with ovulation. However, sometimes medical professionals can’t identify the cause. That’s called “unexplained infertility.”

Lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle can also affect your fertility, ACOG states. “Women, discuss your weight and exercise routine with your doctor. If you’re overweight or underweight, or if you exercise too much, that may decrease your chances of getting pregnant. Smoking tobacco may also reduce fertility, so talk to your doctor about a plan to quit. And either avoid or only have a small amount of alcohol. Both women and men should stay away from illegal drugs.”

Treat any health obstacles

The following health challenges can affect female fertility:

  • Hormone issues
  • Conditions that involve the thyroid gland
  • Conditions that involve the pituitary gland
  • Scarring in the fallopian tubes (from sexually transmitted infections or endometriosis)
  • Blockages in the fallopian tubes (from sexually transmitted infections or endometriosis)
  • Any other health challenge that involves the reproductive organs

Men who are infertile often have issues with blockages in the tubes that lead to the testicles.


ACOG lists the following surgical procedures as treatment for female infertility:

  • Surgery on the fallopian tubes to fix anything blocked or damaged (possibly by scarring)
  • Surgery for endometriosis, where the extra tissue is removed
  • Surgery on the uterus, to get rid of fibroids and/or polyps

Men may need surgery on the scrotum. Swollen veins may contribute to infertility. However, dedications may also help – especially for women that stimulate the ovaries to release an egg.

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