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Doctor Works to Treat Mystery of Infertility

Fairfield resident Dr. Andrew Levi of Park Avenue Fertility and Reproductive Medicine has helped many couples experiencing problems in conceiving and starting families. However, it turns out, after all the tests and procedures, a patient's guess might be nearly as good as his as to the cause of the infertility.

"For many of our patients, the testing fails to diagnose the cause. We call this unexplained infertility," said Levi. The science behind fertility treatments is expanding, and at the microscopic level, there are often no clear indicators. "We see a lot of young couples come in, and the testing fails to diagnose the underlying cause, but we know there is a problem or they wouldn't be here," he said.

Diagnosing the problem ends up being a doctor's biggest challenge. Patients come to him for cut-and-dry answers, and sometimes he can't give them one. But even though they may not be able to identify the cause of the infertility, doctors in Levi's field can pursue a number of treatments, and often with results. "We can't always invent the test, but we can invent the treatment," Levi said.

Treatment often begins with putting the patient at ease. One half of the couple is usually convinced he or she is the problem and fear being told so. Levi said it is often harder to get the men into the office than the women.

When a problem is acknowledged, part of the process to conception may involve lifestyle changes in addition to starting medical treatment. Levi said he can't promise that switching to boxers will help, but it probably won't hurt. He said rumors about various fruits and delicacies are largely, if not completely, unfounded.

The key for a couple is to recognize when it is time to see a fertility doctor. "If you've been trying to conceive for six months to a year, you should be coming to see someone like me," Levi said.

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