Dr. Celso Silva, who sees patients in SGF’s Tampa, FL location, joined The Morning Blend to explain when to see a fertility specialist and the three basic tests used to determine a patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Watch the full segment: here.
Q: How common is infertility?
Dr. Silva: “Infertility is a very common condition and does not discriminate. Anyone—independent of their sex, religion, or socioeconomic background—can be affected by this condition. 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility and there’s some data starting to show that the condition may be increasing in frequency because women are delaying childbearing. They want to have a career and end up postponing their dreams of having a child.”
Q: When is the right time to see a fertility specialist?
Dr. Silva: “Age is a very important factor as we talk about infertility. We use age as a criteria to indicate when a patient should come to see a specialist. For women who are less than 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for a year without success, it’s probably time for them to come and see us. For a woman between the ages of 35 and 40, 6 months of unprotected sexual intercourse without success is a sign that they should come to see a specialist. If a woman is above the age of 40, we think they should come and see us immediately because age is such an important predictor of the success patients will have with fertility treatment.”
Q: Are there certain conditions that warrant seeking a fertility consult earlier?
Dr. Silva: “There are certain conditions that if a woman knows that she has, she should come and see us early. For example, endometriosis, if you have a history of recurrent pregnancy loss, or if you have a history of a prior tubal ligation. These are conditions that if you know you have them, it makes more sense for you to come and see a specialist sooner rather than later.”
Q: What can patients expect during fertility testing?
Dr. Silva: “When a patient comes to our office, there are three basic tests. There’s bloodwork and an ultrasound, an x-ray called an hysterosalpingogram (HSG), and a semen analysis. These are the basic infertility tests that give us a very broad idea about the patient’s reproductive status. We like to do the work-up for the couple. As an infertility specialist, the couple is our patient. It’s not only the male and it’s not only the female.”
Q: What are the most common causes of infertility?
Dr. Silva: “We can tell a lot from the test results. For the vast majority of our patients, after these basic tests, we will know and understand what’s preventing them from getting pregnant. Probably the two most common diagnoses nowadays are egg-related infertility, which is caused by advancing (maternal) age and a decline in egg quality and quantity. The second one is Fallopian tube obstructions. Those are probably the two most common diagnoses we see in the office.”
Q: How does SGF approach fertility care?
Dr. Silva: We strive to always do what’s in the best interest for our patients. This means utilizing an individualized approach to care, recommending patients begin with the simplest, most effective treatment options first based on your medical history, diagnosis, and personal circumstances.
Many patients start with a more basic treatment, such as ovulation induction or superovulation, coupled with intrauterine insemination (IUI). In fact, approximately 25 percent of patients at Shady Grove Fertility achieve a pregnancy through simpler treatment options.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with an SGF physician, please contact our New Patient Call Center at 1-877-971-7755 or complete this brief online form.