Common Question About Fertility
Will conception be difficult
Because I have painful or heavy periods
- Probably not, but if you have severe symptoms see your doctor to rule out an underlying cause such as fibroids, endometriosis or a pelvic infection.
Because my periods are infrequent or irregular
- Possibly, irregularly makes it harder to plan a pregnancy. You may need medical advice to work out whether you ovulate.
Because both my partner and I are over 30
- Male fertility is not greatly affected by age, but the fertility of women over 35 does gradually decline.
Because we both lead very busy, stressful lives, and hardly ever feel like making love
- Too much stress can put you off sex, and may also make your periods irregular. Regular exercise such as yoga and swimming can help to relieve stress. If regular sex is unlikely, find out when you ovulate and try to make love then.
Because my partner had a sperm test and was told he had a low sperm count
- A low sperm count reduces a man’s fertility and usually means that your partner needs special tests, and maybe treatment. There are several causes, simple treatment includes wearing looser underwear and reducing cigarettes and alcohol.
Because I recently had a pelvic infection
- Severe or recurrent pelvic infections may lead to blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes.
What can reduce my chances of conception
- Even if you are having sexual intercourse regularly, three main factors can reduce your chances of becoming pregnant, irregular or non- existent ovulation, damage to the Fallopian tubes and reduced numbers of, or poor quality sperm.
When should we consult a doctor
- Don’t worry if you do not become pregnant at once. You have a 90 percent chance of becoming pregnant within one year and a 95 percent chance within two years. However, you should probably consult your doctor after trying for one year. If either of you suffers from a medical condition or if you are over 35 years old, ask for specialist advice earlier.
My partner is going to have a sperm test what is this
- If you have had problems conceiving, a sperm test will determine your partner’s fertility. The sperm will be examined to see how well they move and how many abnormal sperms there are. The lower the proportion of healthy sperm, the more difficult it is to get pregnant, and the longer it may take.
My fallopian tubes are blocked, does this mean I am infertile
- The egg travels from the ovary to the womb through a Fallopian tube. This can be blocked or damaged by pelvic or abdominal infections, or an ectopic pregnancy, which reduce your chances of pregnancy.
When are fertility drugs used
- Fertility drugs are used when hormonal problems prevent ovulation(the release of eggs from the ovaries).
If I take fertility drugs, will I have twins or more
- Not necessarily, although the odds do increase, your chance of having twins is one in ten, compared to one in 90 for women who do not take fertility drugs.
What other options are there to help me conceive
- If simple treatments fail, options include surgery to unblock your fallopian tubes, stronger fertility drugs, or your partner having treatment to improve his sperm count. If these fail, you may be offered assisted conception.
What is assisted conception
How is conception assisted
- Conception can be assisted by a number of methods including GIFT or IVF methods. GIFT(Gamete Intra- Fallopian Transfer) is a method whereby sperm and eggs are taken and mixed externally, then injected back into a Fallopian tube. IVF, which means in Vitro(in glass) Fertilization, involves eggs being removed and fertilized by sperm. As many as ten, or as few as three resultant embryos(fertilized eggs) are replaced in the womb. A new technique called ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) injects sperm directly into the egg and has revolutionized the treatment of male infertility.
When is assisted conception an option
- Assisted conception can be considered after a couple has been trying to conceive, without success, for several years, or when tests suggest that you are unlikely to become pregnant naturally.
What is the success rate
- The success rate varies widely depending on why you are having fertility treatment and the treatment you ultimately receive. One treatment cycle for IVF results in approximately a 25 percent chance of pregnancy, with GIFT there is 20 percent chance. Becoming pregnant, unfortunately, does not guarantee ” success” in the form of a healthy, term baby. Be sure to ask about both pregnancy and birth rates.
Will my pregnancy be any different from one that happens normally
- Medically, the pregnancy should be no different. However, you might be more worried about the chance of miscarriage, and inevitably, your emotional investment will be higher, especially if you see this as your last chance to have a child, or you feel that time is running out.