May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day

May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day: We're Here for It.

May 1st Is National Infertility Survival Day

National Infertility Survival Day is acknowledged annually on the Sunday prior to Mother’s Day. This year on May 1, 2023, we recognize women and men who are struggling physically and emotionally due to their troubles conceiving.

Infertility is common. Among married women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, about 1 in 5 (19%) are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Also, about 1 in 4 (26%) women in this group have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term (impaired fecundity). Infertility is not always a woman’s problem. Both men and women can contribute to infertility.

How long should couples try to get pregnant before seeing a doctor?

A woman’s chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 30. Most experts suggest women younger than age 35 with no apparent health or fertility problems and regular menstrual cycles should try to conceive for at least one year before seeing a doctor. However, for women aged 35 years or older, couples should see a health care provider after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully. Women over 40 years may consider seeking more immediate evaluation and treatment.

What are some health problems that may increase the risk of infertility?

Couples with the following signs or symptoms should not delay seeing their health care provider when they are trying to become pregnant:

For women:

Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
A history of pelvic inflammatory disease
Known or suspected uterine or tubal disease
A history of more than one miscarriage
Genetic or acquired conditions that predispose to diminished ovarian reserve (chemotherapy, radiation)

For men:

A history of testicular trauma
Prior hernia surgery
Prior use of chemotherapy
A history of infertility with another partner
Sexual dysfunction

How is infertility treated?

Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intrauterine insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility on the basis of:

  • The factors contributing to the infertility.
  • The duration of the infertility.
  • The age of the female.
  • The couple’s treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.

Where can I get support and help?

RESOLVE is a national consumer organization that offers support for men and women dealing with infertility. Their purpose is to provide timely, compassionate support and information to people who are experiencing infertility and to increase awareness of infertility issues through public education and advocacy.

It is a good idea for any woman and her partner to talk to a health care provider before trying to get pregnant. They can help you get your body ready for a healthy baby, and can also answer questions on fertility and give tips on conceiving.

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the Baby Blues?

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the "Baby Blues"?

How is Postpartum Depression Different from the Baby Blues?

Having a baby is challenging and every woman deserves support, including emotional support. Depression or anxiety during and after pregnancy is common and treatable. Everyone feels sad sometimes, but these feelings normally pass within a few days. Depression is a serious mood disorder that may last for weeks or months at a time.

Some people may experience a few symptoms, and others might experience many. How often symptoms occur, how long they last, and how intense they may feel can be different for each person.

Depression symptoms can include:

  • Having a lasting sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
  • Feelings of irritability or restlessness.
  • Problems concentrating, recalling details, and making decisions.
  • Loss of energy.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or sleeping too much.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
  • Aches or pains that do not get better with treatment.

Postpartum depression is different from the "baby blues".

Postpartum depression is depression that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues,” a term used to describe the worry, sadness, and tiredness many women experience after having a baby.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

The symptoms of postpartum depression are similar to symptoms of depression, but may also include:

  • Crying more often than usual.
  • Feelings of anger.
  • Withdrawing from loved ones.
  • Feeling distant from your baby.
  • Worrying or feeling overly anxious.
  • Thinking about hurting yourself or your baby.
  • Doubting your ability to care for your baby.

Depression during and after pregnancy is common and treatable!

Effective depression treatment can include a combination of medication therapy, counseling, and referrals. is talking to your health care provider. After your visit, make sure to follow-up on all referrals and treatment that he or she suggests. When discussing medications with your provider, let her or him know if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding. You and your provider can decide if taking medicine while pregnant or breastfeeding is right for you.

If you are experiencing emotional changes or think that you may be depressed, make an appointment to talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. Most people get better with treatment and getting help is the best thing you can do for you and your baby.

March is #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth!

March is Endometriosis Awareness Month!

March is #EndometriosisAwarenessMonth!

This month and every month we’re advocating for endometriosis awareness, advance research, and educating patients about a disease that is still mistreated and little known.

Endometriosis can affect more than 11% of American women between 15 and 44. It is especially common among women in their 30s and 40s and may make it harder to get pregnant. Several different treatment options can help manage the symptoms and improve your chances of getting pregnant.

What is Endometriosis?

The uterus, or womb, is the place where a baby grows when a person is pregnant. The uterus is lined with tissue (endometrium). Endometriosis is a disease in which tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other places in your body. These patches of tissue are called "implants," "nodules," or "lesions." They are most often found:

  • On or under the ovaries
  • On the fallopian tubes, which carry egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus
  • Behind the uterus
  • On the tissues that hold the uterus in place
  • On the bowels or bladder

In rare cases, the tissue may grow on your lungs or in other parts of your body.

Who is at risk for endometriosis?

Endometriosis can affect anyone who menstruates. Certain factors can raise or lower your risk of getting it.

You are at higher risk if:

  • You have a mother, sister, or daughter with endometriosis
  • Your period started before age 11
  • Your monthly cycles are short (less than 27 days)
  • Your menstrual cycles are heavy and last more than 7 days

You have a lower risk if:

  • You have been pregnant before
  • Your periods started late in adolescence
  • You breastfeed your babies

What are the symptoms of endometriosis?

Endometriosis is more than just painful menstrual cramps. Endometriosis Research Center provides the following list of signs and symptoms of endometriosis and what is considered not normal and should be paid attention to.

The following symptoms are NOT normal and are common signs of endometriosis:

  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Pelvic pain that gets worse after sex or a pelvic exam
  • Abdominopelvic pain apart from menses
  • Chronically heavy or long periods
  • Bowel or urinary disorders, often associated with periods
  • Painful sexual activity, particularly with penetration
  • Significant lower back pain with menses
  • Allergies, migraines or fatigue that tends to worsen around menses
  • Crippling menstrual pain that causes missed school, work, and activities
  • Catamenial pneumothorax (with lung endometriosis)

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

Surgery is the only way to know for sure that you have endometriosis. First, however, your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history. You will have a pelvic exam and may have some imaging tests.

The most common surgery to diagnose endometriosis is a laparoscopy. This is a type of surgery that uses a laparoscope, a thin tube with a camera and light. The surgeon inserts the laparoscope through a small cut in the skin. Your provider can make a diagnosis based on how the patches of endometriosis look. He or she may also do a biopsy to get a tissue sample.

The average delay for endometriosis diagnosis from onset of symptoms to official diagnosis is 7 to 12 years.

What are the treatments for endometriosis?

There is no cure for endometriosis, but there are treatments for the symptoms. Your provider will work with you to decide which treatments would be best for you.

Treatments for endometriosis pain include:

  • Pain relievers, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen and a prescription medicine specifically for endometriosis. Providers may sometimes prescribe opioids for severe pain.
  • Hormone therapy, including birth control pills, progestin therapy, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. GnRH agonists cause a temporary menopause, but also help control the growth of endometriosis.
  • Surgical treatments for severe pain, including procedures to remove the endometriosis patches or cut some nerves in the pelvis. The surgery may be a laparoscopy or major surgery.

Treatments for infertility caused by endometriosis include:

  • Laparoscopy to remove the endometriosis patches
  • In vitro fertilization

Can I get pregnant if I have endometriosis?

Yes. Many women with endometriosis get pregnant. But, you may find it harder to get pregnant. Researchers think endometriosis may affect as many as one in every two women with infertility.

No one knows exactly how endometriosis might cause infertility. Some possible reasons include:

  • Patches of endometriosis block off or change the shape of the pelvis and reproductive organs. This can make it harder for the sperm to find the egg.
  • The immune system, which normally helps defend the body against disease, attacks the embryo.
  • The endometrium (the layer of the uterine lining where implantation happens) does not develop as it should.

If you have endometriosis and are having trouble getting pregnant, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend treatments, such as surgery to remove the endometrial growths

Endometriosis Treatment at WHS of Dallas

If you’re experiencing pelvic pain and other worrisome symptoms associated with endometriosis, visit the Women’s Health Specialists of Dallas for the highest standard of gynecological care. You may call us at  (214) 363-4421 to schedule an appointment.

For more information visit the Office on Women's Health, Endometriosis FAQ's.