When to Seek Infertility Treatment
You may want to seek care from a fertility specialist if you and your partner:
- Have been unable to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex
- Are over age 35 and have been unable to conceive after six months of unprotected sex
- Have infertility risk factors including:
- Concerns about your reproductive health
- A medical condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or fibroids
- You have undergone cancer treatment
- Repeated miscarriages
- Suspected or known male infertility
If you are part of an LGBTQ+ couple seeking fertility options, you may want to meet with a fertility specialist to understand your options for starting or growing your family.
If you are single and want to start a family, we help create an individualized plan to help you reach your goal.
Our team of fertility specialists can evaluate your situation, conduct tests to determine if there is an underlying cause of your infertility, and recommend a range of infertility treatments to help you conceive and have a baby. At the same time, because infertility can cause anxiety and put stress on relationships, our psychologist can help you with this process through consultations, individual and couple support groups, and more.
Fertility Evaluation and Testing
The first step is a consultation with one of our fertility specialists. They will evaluate your medical history, conduct a physical exam, and get a better understanding of your circumstances. They will also recommend tests to identify whether a medical condition is causing your infertility.
Initial fertility testing may include semen analysis, ovulation testing, hormone testing, and tests to estimate your egg count.
Your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries can be safely and painlessly evaluated using a vaginal ultrasound probe. Ultrasounds are performed throughout the fertility testing and treatment process.
A hysterosalpingogram uses X-rays to evaluate your fallopian tubes and the inside of your uterus. A contrast dye is injected into the uterus through a thin tube that is threaded through the vagina and cervix. The dye helps show the outline of the fallopian tubes and can identify a blockage or abnormality. This test is performed in the comfort of our clinic by one of our doctors.
This procedure uses ultrasound to evaluate your uterus and the shape of your uterine cavity. A saline solution is put in the uterus through a thin tube that is inserted through the vagina and cervix. The solution fills the uterus and allows your doctor to see any abnormalities in the uterine cavity, such as fibroids, polyps or scar tissue.
Treating Infertility at the Duke Fertility Center
Additional Infertility Options
You may choose to freeze eggs, sperm, or embryos for transfer at a later date.
- You can undergo egg harvesting followed by egg or embryo freezing prior to chemotherapy or radiation, or preserve their fertility options as they age.
- People can freeze their sperm, eggs, or embryos before transitioning.
- Cryopreservation of sperm can be considered if you are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation or need to undergo testicle removal.
- Sperm cryopreservation can also be used to assist in conception when a partner is frequently unavailable due to commitments.
We work closely with Duke male infertility specialists because evaluating and correcting male infertility at the same time as the female evaluation can expedite the process of achieving a successful pregnancy.
Individuals or couples who need a donor egg because of age or other factors can arrange to have a friend or relative act as an egg donor, or apply to be matched with someone from the local area who has volunteered to be an anonymous egg donor.
Gestational Carrier Counseling and Screening
If you want to work with a surrogate -- meaning another person carries and delivers a child for you -- we will perform medical and psychological screening to verify your gestational carrier is appropriate and well prepared for this experience. We also help you contact local legal resources to handle all the appropriate legal arrangements.