While couples shouldn't rush to the nearest infertility clinic after failing to conceive for a month or two, there's no reason to be shy about asking a doctor for advice even before trying to get pregnant. A doctor may know things from a medical perspective that are relevant to your chances of having a healthy baby.
It's not uncommon for "infertile" couples to have their problems resolved after a 5-minute consultation. Some people, for example, use commercial lubricants and are unaware that they may kill sperm or reduce sperm motility (the ability to swim around). If you are using a lubricant, check with your doctor to see whether you should continue. Never starting or quitting the use of illicit drugs (e.g., cocaine, marijuana) can help prevent future infertility problems.
The most important way to prevent infertility is to practice safer sex. Because sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility, it is important to protect yourself against them, and to have them quickly diagnosed and treated if they occur. Excessive amounts of exercise reduce fertility in both men and women. Also, if weight fluctuates a lot, hormones may be thrown out of balance. You should talk to your doctor if you think these factors might be playing a role.
Sometimes, infertility can be treated in the operating room. A laparoscopy can identify endometriosis, which may be treated at the same operation. Fibroids or scarring inside the uterus may also be treatable with a hysteroscope. In men, surgery may be used to repair varicose veins in the testes and mechanical problems of ejaculation in men.
Women dealing with infertility, and especially women who have suffered repeated miscarriages, may have an immune reaction to the pregnancy itself. There are many tests and treatments for these problems. Women who have tried in-vitro fertilization (IVF) but have found that apparently healthy embryos fail to implant in the uterine lining should also consider this possibility.
There are several hormone treatments that are sometimes used to treat infertility in women, and these treatments are available as pills and injections. Hormone treatments are typically less expensive than other fertility treatments. However, when you factor in the fees for procedures that enhance fertility, such as a sperm wash and IVF, the cost quickly adds up. Fertility medications may also increase the chance of a multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets, etc.). Careful monitoring will be required by your physician.
There are several techniques to increase the chance for a woman to become pregnant. In IVF, hormones are used to stimulate the production of many eggs, which are then removed from the body. In one technique, the eggs are placed in a dish to which sperm are added. Technicians determine which eggs have become fertilized (embryos), and the fertilized egg(s) are inserted into the uterus. Extra fertilized eggs can be frozen for insertion in a later cycle. This is called an embryo transfer. In another technique, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), the eggs are removed from a women's body and one sperm is injected into one egg. This is done for several eggs in cases of very low sperm counts, or when there has been failure of the sperm to fertilize the egg in IVF.
The costs and potential health coverage of these procedures vary by province in Canada. Some private insurance plans may also pay part of the cost. The chance of a successful pregnancy depends on the age of the woman and whether male causes of infertility are involved. Only the fertility specialist can estimate each individual's chances of success. While IVF has a high success rate, couples who are considering this procedure should realize that it is not 100% successful.
Over the years, 25% of IVF pregnancies produced twins, compared to only about 1% of unassisted pregnancies. Triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets are also a likelihood with IVF. Multiple pregnancies tend to result in premature delivery, more miscarriages, and higher risk of birth defects. Therefore, fertility clinics and specialists are extremely careful to reduce this possibility by transplanting the minimum number of embryos necessary to give a reasonable chance of success. You will be involved in the decision-making of how many embryos are transferred. Eggs that are not transferred are often frozen and can be used in another cycle.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Infertility