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Prenatal Vitamins to Boost Your Fertility: What Works and What Doesn't

Infertility Resources & Support

Prenatal Vitamins to Boost Your Fertility: What Works and What Doesn't

There's no doubt that a healthy diet holds many benefits, from lowering heart disease risk to supporting mental health. Nutrition also plays a role in fertility and reproductive health. 

While you may not have control over some of the factors involved in fertility — like your age or a medical condition — several vitamins may help boost fertility when you're trying to conceive.

Six Vitamins and Nutrients to Help Boost Fertility

In recent years, much research has been done on the relationship between diet, nutrition, and fertility. Let's look at critical vitamins and nutrients that could benefit people who want to build a family.

Folate (Folic Acid)

woman buying leafy greens to boost fertility

Folic acid is commonly found in prenatal vitamins. Pregnant women should take folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy since adequate B vitamin levels can help prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida

Research suggests folic acid may also increase the likelihood of getting pregnant. Folic acid supplementation may help increase progesterone levels and support regular ovulation, which can bolster fertility. 

Folate, or vitamin B9, is the vitamin form that occurs naturally in food. When you take a folic acid supplement, your body converts it into folate so it can be used. 

Where to get it:

Folate is naturally present in dark leafy green vegetables, beans, sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, whole grains, and eggs. You'll want to take a folic acid supplement if you're pregnant or trying to conceive. Folic acid is found in most prenatal vitamins. 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats the human body can't produce. This means we must get omega-3s from our diets. Omega-3 fatty acids have numerous benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and supporting brain health. 

Although it's unclear what role omega-3 fatty acids play in natural fertility, some research suggests that omega-3 supplementation may increase an infertile woman's probability of pregnancy following in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Where to find them:

Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and several other fish are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Some plant foods also provide them, such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, and walnuts. There are many popular over-the-counter supplements available as well.

CoQ10

woman taking prenatal vitamins to boost fertility

Sperm function and motility can play a role in infertility. According to an analysis of several studies, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) significantly increases sperm concentration and motility.

Studies suggest that CoQ10 may also benefit women trying to get pregnant through IVFWomen who took CoQ10 for two months before undergoing IVF had higher egg quantity, improved ovarian response, and more high-quality embryos. However, it's unclear if CoQ10 is helpful for women who are trying to conceive naturally.

Where to find it: 

CoQ10 can be taken as a dietary supplement or obtained from foods like salmon, tuna, organ meats, and whole grains.

Selenium

Selenium is another nutrient that's excellent for male infertility. One study determined that supplementation with this important trace element improves sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm quality in men. 

It's unclear whether selenium benefits fertility in women. However, another study suggested that selenium deficiency could increase a woman's risk of luteal phase deficiency. This can affect the ovulation cycle and uterine lining, putting her at risk of infertility. So it could be worth supplementing.

Where to find it: 

Besides over-the-counter supplements, selenium is present in foods like brazil nuts and seafood.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is important for healthy bones and helps the body retain calcium and phosphorous. Some research suggests vitamin D may play a role in reproductive health. For example, vitamin D may impact hormone levels in men and women and affect semen quality. 

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a chronic health condition that can cause infertility. Vitamin D supplements may help with menstrual frequency and metabolic issues in women with PCOS who are vitamin D deficient, potentially boosting fertility. However, it's unclear if vitamin D improves fertility generally, especially if a person is not deficient. Still, it doesn't hurt to up your vitamin D intake, especially if you live with PCOS.

Where to find it: 

Your body makes vitamin D with sun exposure, but it may be hard to get enough sun, especially during winter in colder climates. There aren't many foods with vitamin D, so it's a good idea to supplement or eat foods fortified with vitamin D. 

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that helps with cell function, immunity, healing, and metabolism. According to some research, zinc may also play a part in egg quality, and zinc deficiency could contribute to male infertility. 

Where to find it: 

Zinc is found in dietary supplements, as well as chicken and red meat. 

Things to Avoid When You're Trying to Conceive

woman exercising and getting nutrients to boost fertility

Ultimately, there isn't one single vitamin or supplement that will guarantee fertility. 

But some other dietary factors could affect your chances of getting pregnant. For example, one study found that women who ate more fast food and less fresh fruit took longer to get pregnant. Interestingly, another study found that replacing animal protein sources with plant protein may lower the risk of ovulation-related infertility. 

The bottom line is that a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables promotes overall health and well-being. Regarding fertility and reproductive health, a wholesome diet is essential for people of all genders. It can also help maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and reduce stress if you're trying to conceive. 

Support Your Fertility and Grow Your Family

Of course, infertility happens for many reasons, and your diet and nutrient intake may or may not be a factor. If you've been trying to conceive for more than a year or experiencing infertility due to a medical condition, speak to a fertility specialist.

At Advanced Fertility Care, our dedicated and experienced team will answer any fertility questions and support you on your journey to becoming a parent. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Can I Use My Own Eggs for IVF After 40 Years Old?

Fertility Treatments

Can I Use My Own Eggs for IVF After 40 Years Old?

Deciding to start a family is an exciting yet highly personal decision. Many people delay trying to get pregnant until later in life. You may have decided to wait because of your career, life goals, relationship status, or simply because you weren't ready. 

If you're over age 40 and want to get pregnant, you likely have questions about your chances of pregnancy. Fertility treatments, like in vitro fertilization (IVF), can help couples and individuals finally become parents. However, how do you know if you should use your own eggs or when to consider donor eggs?  

In this article, we'll look at some challenges of getting pregnant after 40 and when to consider an egg donor. 

The Challenges of Getting Pregnant After 40

woman over 40 talking to doctor about getting pregnant

Being over 40 doesn't mean you can't build the family you desire. However, fertility does decline with age. So, if you're struggling with infertility, you're not alone. 

Statistics show that the odds of getting pregnant decrease significantly as time goes on. The chances of getting pregnant naturally each month for women over 40 are only about 5%. About 22% of all women struggle with infertility after age 35, and up to 29% by 40. Over 40, the likelihood of a successful pregnancy decreases every year, so it would make sense not to delay any attempts at conception and to pursue a fertility evaluation and treatment early on. 

So why, exactly, does fertility decrease as time goes on? There are several reasons this occurs. 

Uterine, Hormone, and Menstrual Changes

Issues like endometrial polyps and fibroids can increase with age, potentially contributing to infertility. Decreased ovarian sensitivity to certain hormones can also play a role, as well as changing hormone secretion levels.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve

However, the main reason women struggle more over age 40 with fertility is the natural decline in both egg number and egg quality. Every woman is born with a limited supply of oocytes (immature eggs), which she will have for her lifetime. Women typically have 1-2 million oocytes at birth. The amount of eggs decreases with age, falling from 500,000 by puberty to 25,000 around age 37. 

Some women may experience a low egg count, also known as diminished ovarian reserve. While all women have some decline in fertility with age, for some, it happens sooner than for others. If there are a lower number of eggs in your ovarian reserve, it could decrease your odds of conceiving. However, your egg count is not the only factor in fertility. 

How do you know if you have a low ovarian reserve? Usually, there are no symptoms other than having difficulty getting pregnant after trying for months or even years. Some people can experience irregular menstruation, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Low egg count can be caused mainly by aging but also by some cancer treatments or autoimmune disorders.

Egg Quality

The quality of your eggs also contributes to infertility. As a person ages, the eggs that are ovulated are more likely to be genetically abnormal, which of course, means that it will be more difficult to achieve pregnancy. Since the quality of your eggs is closely tied to how genetically normal they are, having a high number of abnormal eggs makes it harder, on average, to end up with a normal egg that can fertilize and end with the successful birth of a child. This is also why we see higher miscarriage rates as women age. 

Despite these challenges, there are also effective ways to treat infertility and achieve pregnancy after 40. 

Paths To Getting Pregnant After Age 40

At Advanced Fertility Care, we offer several fertility treatments to help you start a family.

Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a treatment where sperm are collected from either a donor or a partner, then isolated, washed, and concentrated. Then, they're placed into the uterus around the time of ovulation. Typically, our patients undergo treatment with fertility drugs in combination with IUI. This is meant to help bodies ovulate more than one egg each cycle, giving you more chances that month of getting pregnant. While IUIs have a lower success rate than in vitro fertilization, that does not mean IUI won't work for you even if you're over 40. For those at 40, IUI is considered to have about an 8-10% success rate compared to 15-20% success found with IVF.

In Vitro Fertilization

45 year old woman holding newborn after getting pregnant with donor egg IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is another method that involves fertilizing eggs with sperm in a laboratory, then transferring the best resultant embryo into the uterus using a thin tube. First, eggs are extracted from the ovaries, typically after taking fertility medications. The eggs are then isolated and fertilized in a laboratory, becoming embryos. 

One of the real advantages of IVF is what is known as preimplantation genetic testing or PGT

•      With PGT, a few cells from the part of the embryo that eventually becomes the placenta are removed and sent for genetic (chromosome) testing. 

•      With PGT, we can identify which embryos have the right number of chromosomes and which ones have an abnormal number of chromosomes. If an embryo has an abnormal number of chromosomes, it won't result in a pregnancy, or if it does, it would be very likely to miscarry. 

•      PGT also helps us identify embryos with an abnormal number of chromosomes that can result in a live birth. The one everyone is aware of is Down Syndrome. This type of thing is seen more often in women over 40. 

Suppose we can identify an embryo that is chromosomally normal with PGT. In that case, your success rates can be as high as 70% when you have your embryo transfer, and you have to worry less about things like Down Syndrome during pregnancy. Success rates aren't 70% for everyone with IVF because many patients will do the IVF but won't end up with any normal embryos. 

IVF can have excellent success rates. However, the success of IVF often depends on factors such as egg quality and your response to ovarian stimulating medications. So how do you know when to consider using donor eggs instead of your own? 

When Should You Consider Donor Eggs?

It's entirely possible to get pregnant using your own eggs over 40. Yet, for some people, there seems to be an egg quality or quantity issue that we can't overcome. This is especially true for women over age 43 or 44. Donor eggs in this situation could greatly increase the chances of getting pregnant through IVF. 

It may be worth considering using an egg donor, especially if you have a diminished ovarian reserve or demonstrated poor egg quality. Ovarian reserve testing is one way to estimate whether your ovaries match your age which would give us a good indication of how you might respond to fertility treatment. Some testing results might indicate that it is unlikely that fertility treatment will increase the chances of you getting pregnant using your own eggs. 

At Advanced Fertility Care, we offer an in-house Donor Egg program which provides those in need of an egg donor a variety of high-quality egg donors available for matching. Preview our available egg donors here.

Ovarian Reserve Testing

Ovarian reserve testing can help determine how many eggs you may have left. Screening for diminished ovarian reserve can tell you whether the ovarian stimulation medications used in IVF treatments might work for you. A low egg count could mean your ovaries won't respond as well to these treatments, decreasing your chances of pregnancy. 

Ovarian reserve testing can also help guide your decision to undergo fertility treatments, as it may suggest how likely you'd be to get pregnant without some kind of fertility treatment. 

To test your ovarian reserve, your provider performs blood tests to assess your levels of certain hormones. Your provider may also perform a vaginal ultrasound to look at your ovaries and count the number of follicles you have. The number of follicles you have in your ovaries at the beginning of a menstrual cycle represents the number of eggs that are available to your body for fertility treatments. The higher the follicle count, the more eggs we have to work with. 

While ovarian reserve testing doesn't definitively say whether or not you'll be able to conceive, it can help you decide if using an egg donor may be a better option than pursuing an IVF cycle with your own eggs. If the tests reveal a diminished ovarian reserve, you may consider using a donor to increase your chances of getting pregnant through IVF.

Advanced Fertility Care is Here to Support Your Fertility Journey

No matter your situation, our caring and professional team at Advanced Fertility Care is here to support you in getting pregnant. We offer IUI, IVF, a donor egg program, and more. Building a family is within reach, even if you're over 40. 

To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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Top Frequently Asked Questions About PCOS

Infertility Resources & Support

Top Frequently Asked Questions About PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a common disorder that can contribute to infertility and long-term health risks. If you think you may be dealing with symptoms of the disorder, you're certainly not alone. In fact, as many as 12% of women of reproductive age in the U.S. live with PCOS. 

If you have PCOS, you may have many questions about the condition, its treatment, and what it might mean for your chances of getting pregnant. In this article, we'll answer some common questions about PCOS.

What Is PCOS?

PCOS is a multi-system disorder affecting many women of reproductive age. The cause of the disorder is unknown, but people with PCOS commonly exhibit imbalances in certain reproductive hormones, such as androgens. As the name implies, people with PCOS often have large numbers of follicles which are the small egg-containing cysts found in the ovaries. During a normal menstrual cycle, your ovaries mature and release an egg every month. Due to the effects of PCOS, your ovaries may be unable to make or release an egg regularly. This can result in infertility issues.

What Are the Symptoms of PCOS?

Woman talking to doctor about PCOS signs and symptoms and risk level

PCOS symptoms vary between individuals and can range from mild to severe. Many people may experience irregular periods, erratic ovulation, infertility, oily skin, extra hair on the face or body, hair loss on the scalp, and weight gain. More recently, PCOS has been linked with depression or mood disorders. Some people with PCOS are overweight, although people who are not overweight can have it also. Being overweight can make the signs and symptoms of PCOS worse. 

A common problem in people with PCOS is insulin resistance (more on this below). People with insulin resistance can often find darkening of the skin along creased areas like the groin or neck can occur, as well as the development of skin tags.

Who is at Risk for PCOS? 

The condition affects women of all ethnicities and can develop at any time during reproductive years or any time after puberty. The precise cause of PCOS is unknown. However, you may be at higher risk if you have a family history of the disorder.

As noted above, people with PCOS often have insulin resistance. People with insulin resistance can make insulin, but their cells don't respond to insulin as they should. As a result, insulin levels in the body may increase. This can cause the ovaries to produce higher levels of a group of hormones known as androgens which causes some of the symptoms of PCOS like unwanted hair growth. 

In addition to PCOS, other factors can contribute to insulin resistance such as being overweight, having an unhealthy diet, or a family history of diabetes. These people can see a worsening of their symptoms of PCOS. It's important to take action if you have high insulin or blood sugar levels since this may increase your risk of developing diabetes. 

How Is PCOS Diagnosed? 

Since PCOS is a syndrome with many different signs and symptoms, not all experts agree on the criteria to diagnose PCOS. The three most commonly used criteria are seen here.

As you can see, some criteria rely on blood tests, others rely on ultrasound, and still, others emphasize signs and symptoms. Therefore, your doctor may perform an exam and discuss your medical history to diagnose PCOS. They may perform a pelvic ultrasound to examine your ovaries and do blood tests to determine your hormone levels. These exams and tests will help rule out any other possible causes of your symptoms. 

How Is PCOS Treated?

There is no total cure for PCOS. But fortunately, you can take steps to manage or improve your symptoms. Getting adequate exercise, managing your weight, and eating a healthy diet can all help. You may also be able to take medication to lessen physical symptoms, like hair growth and acne. Making lifestyle changes can lower your long-term risks like type 2 diabetes. 

It's not easy to hear that you may have PCOS, but you can talk to your doctor about how to lessen your symptoms. Some simple lifestyle changes may improve things.

Can You Get Pregnant if You Have PCOS?

Woman with PCOS with positive pregnancy test smiling

It's possible to get pregnant if you have PCOS. While PCOS can cause infertility struggles, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of pregnancy. 

Having irregular ovulation will make it harder to track the fertile phase of your menstrual cycle. Even so, you could still be able to get pregnant naturally. If this doesn't happen, there are fertility treatment options available. 

Can Fertility Treatments Help You Get Pregnant With PCOS?

Absolutely! If you're having trouble getting pregnant, one possible option is in vitro fertilization (IVF). During this advanced fertility treatment, a doctor extracts your eggs, fertilizes them in a laboratory with collected sperm, and transfers the fertilized egg into your uterus. IVF bypasses the fallopian tubes, enabling a fertilized egg to be placed directly into your uterus, where it can implant. IVF can be an effective choice for many people, including those with PCOS, endometriosis, or damaged fallopian tubes.

However, many patients don't require IVF to get pregnant. 

Reducing insulin resistance by lifestyle changes or medication can often result in more regular ovulation and pregnancy. Another alternative is ovulation induction with intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI). For this procedure, you take fertility drugs to induce ovulation before having intercourse or undergoing artificial insemination so that your eggs can become fertilized.

Does Having PCOS Increase Your Risk of Pregnancy Complications? 

If you have PCOS, there can be some increased risk of certain complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia during pregnancy. However, this does not always happen, and you can reduce your risks by maintaining a healthy weight and making sure your blood sugar levels are normal before trying to become pregnant. 

No matter your situation, the team of caring professionals is here to support you on your fertility journey. We would be glad to answer any questions you may have about PCOS, infertility, and fertility treatment options. Explore our website or schedule a consultation with our experts today if you'd like more information.

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Infertility in the U.S.

Infertility Resources & Support

Infertility in the U.S.

Who Faces Fertility Issues?

More than 48 million couples struggle with infertility worldwide. In the U.S., one in eight couples faces fertility issues.

Who Is Using Fertility Services?

Fully one-third of Americans have either used fertility services themselves or know someone else who has.

How Long Does it Take to Get Pregnant with Fertility Treatment?

With treatment, 85% of couples will succeed in getting pregnant within the first year and 7% during the second year.

What’s the Average Age to Have a Baby with Fertility Treatment?

The odds of conceiving depend on various factors, including underlying causes and treatment types. For IVF, the age range with the greatest success is age 30 to 33.

Need help? Contact us today.

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Everything You Need To Know About Fertility Evaluations (Including When to Get One)

Infertility Resources & Support

Everything You Need To Know About Fertility Evaluations (Including When to Get One)

Those experiencing fertility challenges while trying to build their family may have many questions about fertility. One common question is about fertility testing and the evaluation process. Without the correct information, couples or individuals may delay consulting an infertility specialist for a fertility evaluation. We compiled specific details in this guide to help you make the proper decisions and get started with a fertility evaluation. You will learn more about the fertility evaluation process, what to expect, and the tests involved.

What is Fertility Evaluation?

A fertility evaluation assesses fertility health and involves reviewing medical history, a physical examination, and diagnostic testing. The fertility evaluation process differs for men and women. Through a fertility evaluation, are productive medicine physician can diagnose possible causes of infertility and aid decision-making. After assessing your needs, your fertility physician will recommend the most appropriate treatment plan to reach your family-building goals.

When Do You Need a Fertility Evaluation?

The reasons to seek a fertility evaluation can differ from person to person. The presence and or persistence of these symptoms are typically an indication for a fertility evaluation.

For women, here are some signs you may need a fertility evaluation:

  • If you’ve been actively trying to conceive without success for one year (or six months if you’re over 35)
  • history of uterine or tubal disease
  • irregular periods or no menstrual periods
  • endometriosis
  • history of pelvic inflammatory disease
  • history of having had cancer treatment(chemotherapy or radiation treatment, especially if directed to the abdomen andpelvis)
  • history of multiple miscarriages
  • If you’re 37 or older and want to get pregnant
  • history of genetic diseases that run in your families

Here are some indications for fertility evaluation in men:

  • a history of testicular trauma
  • history of surgery for an undescended testicle or hernia
  • treatment with chemotherapy drugs
  • history of infertility with a previous partner
  • if you’ve been actively trying to conceive without success for one year (6 months if your partner is over age 34)

What to Expect From a Fertility Evaluation?

During your first visit to a fertility clinic, the fertility physician will start with a detailed clinical history to collect your personal health information and identify your unique health needs. The fertility physician may ask you (and your partner) the following:

  • history of medical illnesses, including STDs and past pelvic surgery
  • medication uses
  • sexual history
  • duration of infertility
  • use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs

 For women, the doctor will typically ask about:

  • your last menstrual period
  • menstrual cycle length and frequency
  • birth control methods
  • past pregnancies and their outcomes.

While for men, here are some questions the fertility physicians may ask:

  • history of childhood trauma to the testis
  • history of infections such as orchitis or mumps
  • prior childhood disorders like cryptorchidism
  • history of infertility

After the clinical history, your fertility doctor will perform a physical examination.Clinical history details help direct the physician to examine particular organs. For example, males with testicular symptoms may require further urologic examination.

To aid the accuracy of clinical diagnosis, your doctor may recommend a series of diagnostic tests.

What is Fertility Testing?

A fertility specialist uses your medical history obtained when consulting with you to help choose the most suitable diagnostic tests that fit your personal situation. Hence, consulting with a fertility specialist early in the process may save you time and money and keep you from having any unnecessary testing.

Fertility testing involves a combination of laboratory tests and imaging studies to try to identify an explanation for your struggles to conceive. The results of these tests often point to a cause of your infertility, though it is important to know that at least 20% of the time, there is no explanation identified becauseall of the tests come back normal. The testing results will help your fertility provider know what treatments are available to you and will also help them know what treatment they would recommend as the most appropriate.

Fertility testing procedures are obviously different for men and women and best requested by fertility physicians.

Fertility Testing for Women

Female fertility testing entails using specific tests and radiological procedures to assess the ovarian function of your fallopian tubes and the integrity of the uterine cavity. Here are specific tests often performed in a complete fertility evaluation:

Assessment of Ovarian Function and Reserve

Ovulation— the release of a mature egg from the ovaries occurs at a specific time point in the monthly menstrual cycle. Ovulation testing helps to determine if a female is ovulating or not. It involves hormone testing on specific days in the menstrual cycle.

Ovarian reserve testing— women, lose the ability to get pregnant as they get older due to a decline in their ovaries and egg quality. Testing of your ovarian reserve is performed using a combination of blood testing of reproductive hormones and ultrasounds assessing what is referred to as your follicle count. 

Follicles are fluid sacs with an egg, which are visible on ultrasound early in your cycle. The number of follicles you have represents the number of eggs available to your body for ovulation that month. Typically, women start with a relatively large number of follicles, even if they ovulate only one egg at a time.

Hormone testing is another important part of evaluating ovarian function. These blood tests assess the level of hormones such as follicle stimulating hormones( FSH), antimullerian hormone (AMH), and estrogen levels in the blood.

Most of these ultrasounds and hormonal blood tests must be performed on a particular day of your menstrual cycle. AMH testing, however, can be done at any time in the menstrual cycle.Your fertility physician interprets the results from these hormone tests and determines if the ovarian function and reserve are within normal range.

Assessment of the Uterine Cavity

There are different methods for assessing the uterus. Typically, fertility experts use imaging tools to inspect the uterine cavity for abnormalities such as congenital uterine defects and adhesions. In addition, fertility doctors typically use a hysteroscope (a long lighted, flexible tube) to visualize the interior layers of the uterus. The procedure is called hysteroscopy. 

There is also a specialized ultrasound that is performed at the same time saline is instilled into your uterus to better determine if there is anything abnormal that may be keeping you from getting pregnant.This is known as a saline sonohysterogram.  Your physician will determine which of these tests is/are most appropriate.

Assessment of the Fallopian Tubes

Fallopian tubes are typically assessed in the clinic with a procedure known as a hysterosalpingogram or HSG. This fertility test aims to inspect the fallopian tubes for occlusions or blockages.The fallopian tubes can become blocked due to prior pelvic infections, endometriosis, or prior pelvic surgeries.  

An HSG involves using X-rays and X-ray contrast to outline the fallopian tubes and uterus. This test is typically done in the week or so after your period ends but before ovulation occurs so that there is no chance you are pregnant when you have it performed.

Laparoscopy (an actual surgery) is another method your fertility physician may decide to use to assess the fallopian tubes. However, it is invasive and not often the first choice.

Fertility Testing for Men

Semen analysis is the primary method of male fertility testing. The andrologist analyzes the semen for various characteristics such as the quality and quantity of sperm cells. Before the test, you or your partner will be counseled to abstain from sexual activity for 2-5 days. Your fertility doctor interprets the semen analysis result to determine the impact.

Here are the specific components of a semen analysis test.

Sperm Count

What most people refer to as a “sperm count” is technically a measure of the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate. It is reported as the sample's number of sperm cells per milliliter. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the normal sperm cell count should beat least 15 million cells per milliliter. If the sperm cell count is below this level, the fertility doctor will typically assess the possible causes and recommend the most suitable therapeutic intervention.

SpermMotility

Sperm motility evaluates the movement pattern of sperm cells in the ejaculated semen.A sperm sample should have at least 40% progressive sperm motility, which does mean that it can be normal if over half of the sperm in the sample is “dead.”

Unlike conventional laboratory evaluation of sperm motility, computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) uses digital technology to provide an in-depth kinetic analysis of sperm cells. CASA provides details on the sperm head motion patterns and a quantitative overview of the sperm cell kinetics.

Sperm Morphology

The word morphology means the shape, and so when your sperm is assessed as part of the analysis, we take a look to see what percentage of your sperm looks normal in every respect. Here the concept is that it is only normally shaped sperm that are capable of fertilizing an egg. 

Any defects or abnormalities in the sperm head, neck, body, or tail typically affect sperm quality and increase the risk of male infertility. A normal semen analysis should have at least 4% sperm cells with a normal shape.

Other features assessed in a semen analysis include:

  • pH:Normal range is 7.0-8.0
  • Volume:Normal should be at least 2 mls per ejaculated semen
  • White blood cells: White blood cells are typically absent in semen. The presence of white cells indicates an infection.
  • Sperm viability: Some of the sperm ejaculated are simply dead. The viability assay helps determine if there is too high of a percentage of sperm that are dead when ejaculated.

Do You Need a Fertility Evaluation?

Fertility evaluation involves a review of your medical history, a physical examination, and specialized diagnostic tests. This process helps a fertility physician to evaluate your fertility status and offer solutions to any fertility problems.

Getting a fertility evaluation starts with consulting a fertility expert and choosing a fertility clinic with a team of professional fertility experts with a proven track record of helping couples or individuals start and expand their families. The proper fertility evaluation is essential to move you towards achieving your dream of starting or growing your family.

The first step in your fertility journey to parenthood is an initial consultation with one of our fertility specialists at Advanced Fertility Care. We have dedicated fertility professionals who assess our patients using the most recent reproductive technology solutions. We provide personalized fertility evaluations and testing that fits your unique health needs. Schedule your initial consultation today to get started on realizing your dreams of parenthood.

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Understanding Male Infertility: Diagnosis and Treatment

Infertility Resources & Support

Understanding Male Infertility: Diagnosis and Treatment

Starting and expanding a family is a dream come true for many couples. Unfortunately, infertility impacts one in eight couples in the U.S. and many who desire to start a family or expand their family size may face challenges in conception. Male factor infertility is responsible for about 20-30% of infertility cases. Genetic and acquired medical conditions that affect the reproductive tract in males are responsible for male infertility.In this article, we discuss the common causes and diagnosis of male infertility as well as the therapeutic interventions available.

What is Male Infertility?

Man upset and worried struggling to conceive

Male infertility occurs when male reproductive factors cause an inability to conceive. Inherited or acquired defects in the male reproductive tract can cause male infertility. Abnormalities may occur at various sites in the male reproductive tract and affect the chances of achieving conception. For instance, male infertility occurs when medical conditions destroy sperm-producing cells in the testis or hinder sperm transport.The clinical symptoms and therapeutic interventions in male infertility differ based on the underlying causes. For example, the therapy for individuals with a primary disorder in the testis is different from those with sperm transport disorder. Resolving male infertility starts with an accurate diagnosis of the cause.

Causes of Male Infertility

There are various causes of male infertility, but unfortunately, in a large percentage of patients, we are unable to identify the exact cause. Fertility experts classify these causes into groups for clinical management purposes. Here is a classification of the common causes that we can identify.

Genetic Causes

Genetic disorders account for 15-30% of male infertility cases. Genetic disorders could result from alterations that disrupt the structure and number of chromosomes (the cellular structure that contain the genes for sperm production). Males with a genetic or sex chromosomal defect are prone to male infertility.These genetic disorders affect the hormonal regulation and quality of sperm produced in the testis. An example of this would be a "microdeletion" of a part of the Y chromosome responsible for sperm production that can lead to very low or even absent sperm numbers. Males with genetic causes of infertility may also have a collection of other co-existing medical disorders. This is called a medical syndrome. Examples are Klinefelter syndrome, Young syndrome, Kallmann syndrome, etc.

Hormonal Causes

Hormones from the pituitary gland and testosterone influence sperm production in the testicles. Medical conditions that alter the blood concentration and balance of testosterone and pituitary hormones cause male infertility. Oftentimes, when these medical issues are addressed, sperm production normalizes.Examples of such conditions are iron overload syndrome, head trauma, intracranial radiation, hyperthyroidism, etc. Included in this category would be problems in sperm production caused by men taking testosterone supplementation. If men take regular testosterone injections or use testosterone gels or creams, sperm production often ceases completely. We, therefore, recommend any man interested in getting pregnant with his partner should not be taking testosterone or other steroids.

Undescended Testis

Typically, during fetal development, the testes descend from the abdomen into the scrotal sac. However, in some individuals, one or two testicles do not fully descend into the scrotum. Males with undescended testes are more prone to infertility, especially if the undescended testicle is not brought down into the scrotum surgically at a very young age.

Blockage in Sperm Transport Tubules

The testicles have tubules that transport sperm after production in the testis. When these tubules are blocked, it leads to infertility. One situation that everyone knows about that fits into this category is having had a vasectomy. Sperm cells are still produced but are unable to enter the ejaculate because the vas deferens (the tube that connects the testicle to the penis) have been interrupted.There can be genetic reasons for this too. Some men who are carriers of Cystic Fibrosis are actually born without vas deferens leading to infertility. Common risk factors of acquired blockages are physical trauma, prior pelvic surgeries, and infections. Chronic infections cause prolonged inflammatory changes that damage men's health and may produce car tissues that block these tubules.Poorly treated sexually transmitted diseases are one of the most common causes of blockage in sperm transport tubules. Thus, if you suspect you could have a sexually transmitted disease, consult your doctor for prompt treatment.

Medical Disorders

Apart from infections, some health conditions cause male infertility. For example, swelling in the veins located in the testis. These are known as "varicoceles." These swollen veins alter the blood supply to your testes. Consequently, impaired blood flow affects sperm production and the quality transported in the tubules. In addition, some immunological disorders and tumors may damage the regulatory hormone-producing glands. Examples are tumors in the testis and pituitary glands.

Medications

Some medications, such as chemotherapy drugs or steroids, affect sperm formation and increase male infertility risk. Discuss therapeutic options with your doctor if your medications adversely affect your fertility.

Exposure to Environmental Toxins

Persistent exposure to Industrial chemicals and radiation disrupts sperm formation in the testis. This results in a reduction in sperm count if unchecked. Periodic health screening in a fertility clinic is beneficial if your profession exposes you to heavy metals and radiation.

Unhealthy Lifestyle and Habits

Young man exercising to boost fertility and combat male infertility

Self-care is critical to your reproductive health. Stay active, eat healthily and avoid unhealthy habits such as alcohol and tobacco intake. We also recommend that you not smoke or use marijuana frequently if you are attempting pregnancy with your partner. Neglecting these self-care practices raises your risk of male infertility. An unhealthy lifestyle may affect the formation and quality of sperm produced.

Symptoms of Male Infertility

Although the male infertility symptoms vary depending on the cause. Much of the time, there are no symptoms that you would be able to notice. However, here are some signs you may notice:

  • Sexual dysfunction such as difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection.
  • Reduced fluid volume ejaculated.
  • Pain or swelling in your testis.
  • Abnormal breast growth.
  • Decreased facial or body hair.

If you notice any of the symptoms above, consult your doctor for further clinical evaluation.

Diagnosis of Male Infertility

Your doctor typically starts with a thorough clinical history and physical examination before conducting further investigations for diagnosis. During the clinical history, your doctor will take an exhaustive history to understand your unique health needs. Your doctor will ask questions related to your family history, sexual history, social history, and medical history to identify possible risk factors.During the physical examination, your doctor inspects your body for visible signs of defects or features that suggest hormonal imbalance. Also, your doctor may examine your genital for any abnormalities.

Tests You Can Expect for Male Infertility

Semen analysis is the major test for diagnosing male infertility. For your doctor to get the best results, here are some tips:

  • Observe between two and five days of sexual abstinence.
  • Submit semen samples within 30 minutes of collecting the semen.

Sometimes, your physician or laboratory may request you submit two semen samples at an interval of no sooner than one month. Your semen is analyzed for the following:

  • volume
  • pH
  • presence of white blood cells.
  • "Sperm count" or concentration
  • Sperm motility
  • Sperm morphology (shape)

In addition to semen analysis, the clinical findings from history taking and physical examination guide your doctor on the type of investigations to conduct. For example, suppose there is a history of multiple sexual partners with signs of a sexually transmitted infection (S.T.I.). In that case, your doctor may request blood and urine tests for S.T.I diagnosis.If your semen analysis results are significantly abnormal, or if your medical history indicates that you need more intensive assessment, you may be referred to a male infertility urology specialist.Other possible investigations are:

  • Scrotal ultrasound scan
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Hormonal profile.

Your Options for Male Fertility Treatments

Man at doctor for infertility fertility testing

The specific treatment for male infertility depends on the underlying cause. If you have an unhealthy lifestyle, your doctor may recommend adjustments such as weight loss, physical activity, stoppage of alcohol and tobacco smoking, and intake of supplements. Here are some male fertility treatments that could put you on the path to parenthood.

Hormonal Therapy

This is the therapeutic option for males with hormonal causes of infertility. Your doctor may prescribe these medications to normalize the blood concentration of hormones that affect sperm production. Examples of these medications are aromatase inhibitors or Clomid.

Surgical Intervention

There are various types of surgical interventions. For instance, males with varicocele (distended veins in the testis) may benefit from a surgical repair. Also, individuals with obstruction along the transport tubules in the male reproductive tract are sometimes candidates for surgical correction.

Antimicrobial Therapy

These are medications for treating infections caused by microbes. Males with underlying sexually transmitted infections will benefit from antimicrobial therapy.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

This is a procedure in which sperm cells are injected into the egg for fertilization outside the body. This occurs in conjunction with an IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment with your partner. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends intracytoplasmic sperm injection for couples with male factor infertility. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is safe and effective and can often overcome even the most significant male factor.

Assisted Reproduction Technology

The American Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) defines assisted reproduction technology as fertility-based treatments in which the eggs or embryos are manipulated to aid conception. This is what is commonly known as IVF. Here are the stages of an assisted reproduction technology procedure:

  • Stimulation: This involves using medications to boost egg production in the female.
  • Egg retrieval: Here, the fertility doctor conducts a minimally invasive procedure to retrieve eggs in the female.
  • Insemination and fertilization: This step involves placing sperm cells and selected eggs under favorable conditions for fertilization.
  • Embryo culture: After successful fertilization, the fertilized egg undergoes cellular divisions in a regulated environment to become an embryo from the 5th day.
  • Embryo transfer: The doctor retrieves the embryo and transfers it into the uterus for implantation.

Do You Need Help Starting a Family?

Male infertility occurs due to various factors such as genetic or acquired causes such as untreated sexually transmitted diseases, physical trauma, or the use of some medications. If you notice symptoms such as erectile dysfunction, painful swelling in your testis, or abnormal breast growth, see your doctor.As part of men's health awareness, regular clinical screening and checks will aid the early diagnosis of medical conditions that may cause infertility.Your doctor will typically diagnose male infertility after conducting a clinical history, examination, and semen analysis. A fertility expert decides the most effective therapeutic option based on clinical findings and test results.At Advanced Fertility Care, we want to help you start a family. Our fertility experts use evidence-based best practices combined with innovative technology, which increases your chances of conceiving and fulfilling your dreams of being a parent. To join other happy parents who have used our services, take one step today by contacting us.

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Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being During Infertility

Infertility Resources & Support

Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being During Infertility

Whether you are trying to conceive (TTC) or pursuing in-vitro fertilization (IVF), infertility can become a serious strain on your mental health and emotional well-being. In this article, we look at the reality of the strain of infertility and ways to cope during this time.  

Infertility: A Common Challenge

If you are having difficulty conceiving, you are far from alone. With over 6 million pregnancy-challenged couples in the U.S., this is a well-traveled -- if sometimes bumpy -- road.

young couple going through fertility challenges and struggling emotionally

Fortunately, medical advancements and practices have made it possible for many people to overcome infertility and achieve the family of their dreams. Assisted reproductive technology has moved light-years forward in the past few decades, delivering the miracle of life to over 10 million babies. Also, mainstream awareness of infertility as a commonmedical challenge has improved dramatically.Despite these progressions, one study suggests that the psychological impact of an infertility diagnosis is comparable to a diagnosis of cancer. It is typical – and perfectly normal -- for anyone to have a difficult emotional reaction to infertility.

The Challenge of Waiting and Uncertainty

Battling infertility can bring physical challenges, such as pregnancy losses, failed cycles, medications, and medical procedures. There may be a gauntlet of tests, calendars, doctors, and pills.Yet most people feel that it is really the uncertainty of infertility that presents the greatest challenge. Infertility can involve long periods of waiting combined with the ultimate fear of not being able to build your family or provide for your partner. You may have to sit with this discomfort for long and indefinite periods of time. It is common for those struggling with infertility to grapple with depression and anxiety.

Mental Health and Infertility

Infertility and Depression

One U.K. study found that 90% of people facing infertility reported experiencing depression.You may be experiencing  clinical depression (also known as major depression) if you exhibit at least five of the following symptoms for more than two weeks:1. Depressed mood2. Loss of interest/pleasure in everyday things3. Weight loss or gain4. Insomnia or hypersomnia5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation6. Fatigue7. Feeling worthless or excessive/inappropriate guilt8. Decreased concentration9. Thoughts of death/suicideDepression can be a painful condition in which your perception changes. You may begin to feel helpless and have a harder time seeing the possibility of ever conceiving. Infertility may seem like a life sentence rather than a temporary challenge.Depression also leads to changes in behavior. These can negatively impact your self-care, relationships, work, outlets, and other areas of life.

When to Contact Your Doctor

The onset of depression is not a medical emergency. In the U.S., over 10% of the population will experience major depression in a given year. 1 out of 6 Americans will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression brought about by life circumstances (like infertility) tends to resolve itself with time.If you have experienced five of the DSM-V symptoms listed above, you should mention this to your doctor. They can walk you through your options to find support and help monitor any worsening of your condition.If you are thinking about hurting yourself or suicide, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to speak to someone who can help.

Infertility and Anxiety

woman experiencing anxiety and depression from infertility issues

Anxiety is another common source of discomfort when trying to conceive. Anxiety and depression occur together so commonly that clinicians call them “two sides of the same coin.”A common complaint among those struggling to grow their family is that their thoughts become dominated by infertility to the point of becoming overwhelming. This type of fixation and these intrusive, troubling thoughts can cause both depression and anxiety.

The Problem of Stigma

Infertility is not limited to women: male factor infertility accounts for about one-third of infertility cases. This is most often due to low sperm count.   Regardless of gender, everyone faces the challenge of stigma – both perceived and actual – because of fertility issues.Perceived stigma may be internalized from a young age. For women, entrenched, historically-based stereotypes suggest that they are primarily valued for their child-rearing ability. There may also be a complex about sexual inadequacy.Actual stigma only exacerbates these existing insecurities. A loved one that always asks, “When are you having children?” can make a family holiday a source of dread and fear.Stigma can lead to low self-esteem, guilt and shame. Even though both are patently untrue, those struggling with infertility may begin to think that there is something “wrong” with them or it is “their fault.”Another pervasive effect of stigma is for people to self-isolate and suffer insilence. Many fear being judged, invalidated, or embarrassed and are less likely to share what they are going through.

Does Depression Reduce Fertility?

The short answer is “no.”  While individuals may experience depression in relation to their infertility, several studies have concluded that depression and anxiety do not significantly impact the success of assisted reproduction.However, depression can have secondary effects on one’s behavior that could influence pregnancy attempts. Feeling helpless or shameful can discourage someone – perhaps even subconsciously- from pursuing all available fertility options. For those TTC, the tendency to isolate may reduce physical intimacy.Depression and anxiety can also bring about lifestyle changes, like overeating, missed sleep, or difficulty in being productive or active. These can all contribute to a cumulative deterioration of health and overall well-being. If you are not feeling physically healthy, it may be harder to find the courage and resilience to help you get through the trials of assisted reproduction.

Side Effects of Fertility Medications

Though far less serious than the aforementioned concerns, you may also experience some side effects if you are taking fertility medication. The most common are:·   breast tenderness·   hot flashes·   headache·   upset stomach·   bloating·   mood swingsFertility drugs may also involve health risks, most notably:·   Multiple pregnancies·   Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)These effects will vary significantly by the drug taken, the dosage, and the individual. Your doctor can walk you through medication considerations.All of these potential side effects and health risks are not welcome news to anyone already managing anxiety and other infertility-related health concerns. However, these medications are all FDA-approved and have a proven track record of successfully helping achieve pregnancy. The benefits are considered to outweigh far the potential side effects and risks of these medications.On the other hand, fertility medications may offer a subtle boost to your mental well-being: they can provide peace of mind that you are doing everything possible to achieve conception.

Finding Infertility Support

Research has shown that participation in counseling that teaches coping tools for managing infertility-related stress is associated with significantly reduced emotional distress and even increased pregnancy rates in response to fertility treatment.  

Finding Personal Support

Couple struggling with infertility seeking mental health support for depression and anxiety

Professional one-on-one counseling can help you become more aware of your mental state and develop strategies for dealing with difficult emotions. A counselor with experience and specialized training in helping with fertility challenges is the ideal type of therapist to help, though many different types of therapeutic professionals can help. These include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and life coaches. One-on-one therapists are particularly useful when you feel withdrawn or are having trouble communicating what you are feeling.

Group Support

Connecting with others is the best way to beat the stigma, secrecy, and isolation that so often make infertility painful.Research has consistently shown that group therapy – sharing your experience in a safe, non-judgmental forum – is one of the most effective forms of therapy available. Some groups may be led by professionals, while others are organized by members. In a cohort of people with the same fertility struggles, participants are typically eager to share their experiences and pool together information, including how they have coped with various infertility-related challenges. Within these support groups, powerful, lasting relationships are often formed.

Partner Support

If you are in a relationship with a significant other,  support from your partner is critical throughout this process. Depression and infertility-related stress can result in distancing and reduced communication. Couples therapy is a healthy way to improve communication in a constructive, mediated space.Some are surprised to find that their partner may be feeling helpless, worried, or upset – yet doesn’t feel like they should keep this to themselves so they can be “strong” for you. Even more of a surprise may be that your partner wants to better support you -- but doesn’t always know how. Therapists can help identify the best ways for partners to support one another.When someone we care about is experiencing difficult emotions, our first instinct may be to try to “fix” the situation. But often, what most people need most in these times is empathy - to be heard, without judgment, by someone who cares.A therapist can help you practice empathic listening. This can help partners validate one another’s feelings without trying to change them. Simply listening to your partner can be the best medicine of all.

Web Resources

A good starting point to learn more about support options is this fact sheet from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.The National Infertility Association offers a wealth of coping techniques and practical tips, such as scripts that can help you prepare for – and no longer fear – conversations with family members about future children.

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How to Decide Between IUI and IVF

Fertility Treatments

How to Decide Between IUI and IVF

Millions of Americans are impacted by fertility challenges each year. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that roughly 9 percent of men and 11 percent of women have had fertility problems of varying severity. These fertility struggles may get in the way of people’s dreams, and they can have a devastating impact, if left unaddressed, on both individuals’ and couples’ mental and emotional health. Fertility challenges may not be the only reason people consider fertility treatments. For example, many people who are single by choice, as well as LGBTQ+ couples, may see fertility treatments as their best road to building their family.

Fertility Treatments Are Available To You

If you’re struggling to conceive, the good news is that there are treatment options available that could help you realize your dreams of parenthood. Two of the most common treatment choices are intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization. In this article, we discuss these two fertility treatment options in greater detail and compare the pros and cons of each one while recognizing that patients’ ultimate decisions are highly personal.  

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination, also referred to as IUI, is an increasingly popular fertility treatment that can be used as an initial intervention when people have trouble trying to conceive. One of the selling points of IUI is that it is dramatically less expensive than a treatment like IVF. Even though IUI treatments often include medications, like Clomid, to encourage ovulation, many see it as a less intensive or invasive treatment than IVF. You may find yourself wondering what happens in IUI. The answer is quite simple. Washed sperm from a partner or a donor will be inserted directly into the uterus. This means that the sperm will have less distance to travel to meet a released egg, and hopefully, it means that the likelihood of a pregnancy increases. IUI is a common first step for many couples struggling to get pregnant, single parents by choice, or others using donor sperm.

Fertility Specialist consultation for IUI and IVF

Although you may not need a highly qualified reproductive specialist for a successful IUI, there are many reasons why you might consider working with one. This way, you will have an established relationship with a fertility physician if you need to consider other interventions down the road. A reproductive specialist can also provide any necessary testing to help you determine why you may be experiencing challenges on your fertility journey. Many find that an initial evaluation from a fertility specialist can provide a fuller picture of their fertility status and better understand their best options to move forward.

What is IVF?

IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a well-known type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that’s helped thousands of people worldwide have the family of their dreams. IVF involves fertilizing eggs in the laboratory and transferring created embryos to a uterus. The process involves extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and combining an egg and sperm in the laboratory to help fertilization and embryo creation.The first step in an IVF cycle is ovarian stimulation, which is where synthetic hormones are injected to stimulate the ovaries so that they can produce multiple eggs. Once the eggs mature, it’s time for follicular aspiration, also known as egg retrieval, when a needle is inserted into one or both ovaries to retrieve the eggs. After that, the egg is fertilized with sperm provided by a partner or donor. Once this has happened, medications are administered to the person planning to carry the pregnancy to prime the environment for a healthy pregnancy. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus. If any other embryos were created, they may be frozen and kept in storage for future use.

What Are the Main Differences between IVF and IUI?

There are multiple differences between in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination. A few of the  most significant differences are highlighted below:

#1 The Extensiveness of the Process

IVF is considered more involved and has more stages in the process than IUI. This includes egg retrieval, which can be uncomfortable or painful for the patient. Many of these steps happen in a laboratory before the embryo is transplanted back into the uterus.

#2 What Is Treated  

As we will explore in more detail below, there are some situations in which IUI may be appropriate, and there are others where providers may recommend IVF. Remember, everyone’s fertility journey looks different, depending on numerous factors, and there is no single perfect answer for everyone.

#3 How Much It Costs

The price of IVF and IUI may vary depending on where you live and various factors. IVF is usually costlier than IUI. Depending on the clinic you are using and the accompanying treatments you may need, IUI may cost less than $1,000 per attempt, and IVF is estimated to cost between $15,000 and $30,000 per attempt. This price differential explains, at least in part, why some doctors recommend starting with intrauterine insemination as an initial fertility treatment.

#4 The Length of the Process

There is no easy or perfect answer for how long it will take someone to get pregnant. Some medical experts suggest that your success rate with IUI will be about 15 to 20 percent per try. However, your odds jump significantly if you decide to go the IVF route. In this case, your likelihood of a successful overall outcome is between 30 and 60%, depending on the woman's age. The chance of a successful pregnancy from one round of IVF can vary depending on the underlying source of infertility. For example, advanced maternal age, which describes people over the age of 35 during pregnancy, may be one factor that significantly lowers the success rate. Although these factors impact many people's decisions when discussing their treatment options and plan, there is also a psychological and emotional toll to every cycle without a successful pregnancy to be carefully considered.

When Is IUI a Better Choice than IVF?

As stated above, IUI is less expensive than IVF treatment. However, there are two caveats here. First, the budget should never be the sole determinant of your reproductive health. It is important to talk to skilled fertility practitioners and see what they recommend for your unique circumstances. Second, the attractive prices quoted above were for a single round of IUI. However, given the relatively low success rate per cycle, many patients need to undergo multiple treatment rounds, and the cost can accumulate cycle after cycle.In addition to very valid cost considerations, some other factors could nudge you to consider IUI. If, after testing, doctors are still unsure about the source of your infertility, then this treatment option could be a good starting point. If it does not work, you can always move to another option, like IVF. It may be a good idea to discuss how many cycles you are willing to try before changing your approach with your provider ahead of time. This can help with future decision-making when in the midst of fertility treatment. Also, IUI can be a great option if the fertility challenges you're experiencing have been determined to be caused by sperm motility issues. The IUI process puts the sperm and the egg in much greater proximity, upping the likelihood of success. However, this may only be effective if the motility reduction is mild or moderate. More severe cases of sperm motility issues may require a greater amount of intervention, such as IVF or ICSI.

When Is IVF a Better Choice than IUI?

IVF successful pregnancy

Even though IUI is an excellent choice for many people, especially those with unexplained infertility, it may not help everyone achieve the family of their dreams. In these cases, it might be time to consider IVF. For instance, if fertility testing shows that the source of infertility is fallopian tube scarring, IVF might be a better choice. This creates an issue because the egg cannot make it to the uterus for fertilization. IVF treatment bypasses this issue by uniting the sperm and egg in the controlled environment of a laboratory dish. IVF treatment also allows for the opportunity to utilize genetic testing. With Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), medical professionals can test embryos for a wide range of genetic and chromosomal conditions and only implant the healthy embryos. In many cases, undergoing IVF with PGT can significantly increase the chance of having a healthy baby. Another reason why IVF may be a better choice is if sperm quality and/or motility are very low. The controlled environment of a lab with IVF may be the only way to achieve fertilization. However, even placing the sperm closer to the egg, like with IUI, may not be enough to achieve fertilization. In some cases, it may be recommended to utilize intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI. During ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into the egg, which can greatly improve the fertilization rate. IVF may also be recommended for someone dealing with endometriosis or if the patient has experienced multiple miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy.  

Reach Out to Advanced Fertility Care

At Advanced Fertility Care, our highly qualified team of medical specialists prides itself on being the best at helping people realize their dreams of parenthood. Set up your initial consultation today to learn how our team can guide you in this journey. We understand that everyone’s fertility journey is unique, and we will work with you to set up a treatment plan that transforms your dreams into reality.

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How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby – Naturally – 5 Simple Steps

Surrogacy

How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby – Naturally – 5 Simple Steps

Choose The Sex of Your Baby The Natural Way

One of life’s biggest miracles has to be bringing a child into the world, and while many may argue that gender is not a factor, provided the baby is healthy, there are some couples who have their hearts set on having a little girl or boy. In saying that, however, is there a way to predetermine the sex of an unborn child? In this article, we take a closer look at this topic, examining what is real versus what is, by and large, wishful thinking.

How to Choose The Gender of Your Baby Naturally

According to rbmojournal.com, an online resource covering topics related to biological and clinical research on human reproduction, your diet can play a significant role in not only your baby’s health but also their sex. For example, it has been shown that diet rich in magnesium and calcium, while low in sodium and potassium, can increase your chances of having a girl. Similar findings were also shown amongst those who added acidic foods to their diet, primarily blueberries, pomegranates, and other fruits with have levels of acidity. As far as improving the odds of conceiving a baby boy, the study found that eating foods rich in potassium could put the odds in your favor. Along with potassium, foods containing alkaline were considered to be similarly beneficial with respect to choosing the sex of your baby naturally.

Pick Baby Gender With Creative Sex Positions

Although this may make many of us blush, studies have shown that specific sex positions, along with the time of intercourse, can play a role in whether we conceive a boy or a girl. It should be noted that there is no scientific data to substantiate these claims, but many believe that sexual positions and shallow penetration are the keys to conceiving a baby girl.

How does this work, exactly? It is believed that shallow penetrations will allow sperm to settle closest to the entrance of the vagina where acidity levels are highest. This combination has been said to improve the odds of having a girl over a boy. Conversely, deeper penetrations with sperm being deposited closer to the cervix can improve the chances of having a boy.

Is Choosing The Sex of Baby All About Timing?

While choosing the right position can increase the odds of having a boy or girl, the time that you have sex can be equally important. For example, having sex around ovulation can increase your chances of having a boy while having sex several days out from ovulation means you’re more likely to conceive a girl.

Can You Plan The Gender of Your Baby With Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination may be the closest we can get to ever choosing the sex of a baby naturally; with nascent technology called “Micro Sort,” sperm cells are separated based on X and Y chromosomes, meaning couple now have more say in the gender of their baby. How does this new technology work? Once prospective parents pick from an assortment of X or Y chromosomes, the sperms cells are then inserted via in vitro fertilization or intrauterine insemination.

Fate Versus Choosing Sex of Baby Naturally

When it’s all said and done, there are things that we can do to stack the proverbial cards in our favor, but there is no definitive answer when it comes the age-old question of how to choose the sex of your baby naturally. It often comes down to luck and, maybe to a lesser degree, what the universe has in store for you. Can you plan the gender of your baby? As detailed throughout this article, the answer is yes and no; however, there is a lot that you can do to ensure your baby is born healthy. How to choose the sex of your baby is a question that will continually be asked until science catches up with our desire to be parents.

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When Should I Opt For IVF

Infertility Resources & Support

When Should I Opt For IVF

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a procedure in which male infertility is addressed in an exceptionally direct manner: the sperm is placed directly into the woman's uterus, making sperm motility problems irrelevant. The effect is to remove the factor of the sperm's having to swim any significant distance to fertilize the egg. It's such a straightforward act of engineering that it would be easy to imagine that nothing would supersede it.

Today, however, there is a procedure that has gained a foothold over IUI. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) isn't exactly new, but it has long passed the stage during which it seemed more like a science experiment than a convenient, cost-effective way to boost male fertility. In IVF the egg is oxandrolon removed, allowing fertilization to take place in a controlled environment under the watchful eye of the fertility doctor. Upon fertilization, the embryo itself, rather than simply sperm, is introduced into the woman's uterus.

The procedure is only moderately more invasive than IUI and offers significant advantages by having the actual fertilization take place outside the body. One of these advantages is price. IVF is typically more expensive than IUI but the controlled environment facilitates the creation of extra embryos that can be stored and used at a later time. This way, the procedure doesn't need to be repeated each time the couple wants to attempt to have a child.

Before attempting any such procedure, it's best to exhaust all "natural" ways to improve the chances for a successful pregnancy.

Boosting Fertility

Men, in particular, should reduce their intake of tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs - including prescription drugs where possible. These substances have been shown to have impair sperm motility and sperm count. As difficult as it can be for many of us to cut out the cigarettes, weed, booze, or pills, it's always easier to try this before scheduling a round of visits to the fertility specialist and paying several thousand dollars.

Men should look to increase their levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and reduce their levels of estrogen. Several foods, including some that are often categorized as "health foods." These include:

  • Alcohol
  • Soybeans and soybean-derived foods, including tofu and tempeh.
  • Sesame seeds.
  • Cruciferous vegetables.
  • Wheat bran.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Peaches.
  • Berries, including strawberries, cranberries and raspberries.
  • Wheat bran.
  • Garlic.

Many of these foods are known to be so nutritious that they might seem indispensable to your personal diet. Even the phytoestrogens they usually contain are often full of vitamins and minerals the body needs - vitamins and minerals that, considered in isolation, are actually good for reproductive health. But those phytoestrogens do enhance the production of estrogen in ways that inhibit fertility.

Beyond Diet: IUI vs IVF

Since reducing their presence in your diet is far less expensive and less invasive than any therapy, it's worth giving it a try first. But if this isn't enough, it's good to know that more direct therapies are available. This is the point at which you should evaluate the respective virtues of IUI and IVF.

IUI retains several advantages. It is typically less chemically invasive, and can be performed without any medication whatsoever. Some medication, such as fertility drugs clomiphene or Gonadotropin, may be used to stimulate ovulation. Doing so increases the number of eggs, which, in turn, increases the chances for successful fertilization.

IUI can be a simple procedure, but with that simplicity comes a reduced chance of conception. At its most optimal - "optimal" meaning a young , healthy prospective mother, the use of more drugs, more visits, and more expense - the chances are a mere 20%. This is at the low end of the 20%-25% range for natural conception.

The release of more eggs into the relatively uncontrolled environment of the womb also means that there's no way to influence the number of eggs that end up being fertilized. This means that with IUI, there is a significantly increased chance of twins, triplets, and even more multiples.

One of IVF's advantages is precisely that it's apparent disadvantages, respective to IUI, are so often mitigated by other factors. IUI can be performed without the use of fertility drugs and their occasional side effects - but only by lowering the chances of conception to well below 20%. IUI can be less expensive - but IVF often creates extra embryos for future children without having to go through treatment again, lowering cost ultimately.

Meanwhile, IVF is the procedure of choice for those who cannot be "optimal" simply because the woman who provides the eggs might be somewhat older. Further, with greater clinical control comes a reduced chance of multiples.

The great advantage of IVF is its 40% conception rate. For a growing majority of couples seeking conception, this is the factor that matters. IVF is the choice for those whose highest priority is a successful conception.  

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Is Artificial Insemination (IUI) Painful

Fertility Treatments

Is Artificial Insemination (IUI) Painful

Even though child conception could be relatively easy for some couples, it could be a devastating process for others. This is mainly due to some factors that are either related to male or female fertility issues.

When you and your partner face infertility issues, it is always vital that you seek professional advice from a doctor. The doctor, in most instances, would suggest various techniques that would help you conceive a child. One of these techniques is the Artificial Insemination technique.

A doctor will directly insert sperms into your uterus, fallopian tubes, or cervix through artificial insemination. Nonetheless, the most common artificial insemination method is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), where sperm is directly placed in your uterus. IUI is always productive since it shortens the time a sperm takes to the ovary. Moreover, the IUI technique can tackle various fertility problems associated with male infertility, such as low sperm count or when the sperms are weak to swim to the fallopian tubes. You can visit any gynecologist within phoenix to undertake your IUI treatment.

IUI Treatment Procedure

Consumption of Prescribed Medication

When undergoing IUI treatment, you are likely to be put under Clomid medicine. The medication triggers the release of Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) needed for egg maturation. Besides, you will be injected with Human Chorionic Gonadotropin to induce ovulation. Medications, in most cases, do not cause pain. However, you are most likely to experience some side effects such as dizziness, blurred vision, and nausea.

Monitoring of Ovulatio

Once you are injected with medications that induce ovulation, your doctor will monitor your ovulation process. Ovulation is always expected to happen within three days. Therefore, your urine will be tested to determine the luteinizing hormone level and help plan for sperms into the uterus. Even though the monitoring process is done through numerous blood tests and ultrasounds, the process is generally not painful.

Sperm Collection and Preparation

Sperm is typically collected from your male partner either at home or in the clinic. Once collected, the semen is washed in the fertility clinic lab to separate sperms from the semen. This process is quite essential since it ensures that only sperms are injected into your uterus for successful fertilization.

Sperm Injection Proces

This is the main procedure in the IUI treatment process. The process, which primarily takes place within 5-10 minutes, involves injecting the collected sperm sample into your uterus using a speculum. The injection process is painless. However, it might cause some discomfort since the speculum is inserted through the vagina and passed to the uterus all through to the cervix.

Pregnancy Test

After 14 days, a pregnancy test is usually done to determine the effectiveness of the entire process. If the pregnancy test turns negative after the 2nd pregnancy test, your doctor might recommend a 2nd IUI procedure. However, this is usually subject to your approval.

What Are the Pains Associated with The Procedure?

Before undertaking an IUI procedure, it is highly recommended that you seek professional advice on some of the procedure's adverse effects. Generally, the IUI treatment is a painless procedure. However, patients might have different experiences, with some having painful experiences while others had pain-free experiences.

Cramping and Light Bleedin

In general, most patients who undergo the treatment for the first time might feel extreme discomfort when the sperm is injected into the uterus. You will mainly experience the pain when the speculum passes through your cervix. This process usually is not painful for most women. However, it might be quite unbearable to other women. Besides, since the process doesn't require painkillers and anesthesia, you are likely to experience slight bleeding during the procedure, or even afterward.

Additionally, you might likely feel pain due to cramping caused by ovulation. Cramping might also occur when the speculum is passed through the cervix. Nevertheless, it's something that you need not worry about since it occurs for a short while. Cramping is usually not severe. Therefore, you should immediately inform your doctor if the feeling becomes unbearable.

Hot Flashes and Pinching Pain

You might also feel hot flashes when you consume the prescribed Clomid medicine. Moreover, when the speculum is inserted in your vagina, you might experience some pinching pain that usually goes away immediately, the speculum is withdrawn from your vagina. However, the discomforts associated with the procedure will significantly reduce the subsequent IUI procedures.

Doctors do agree that there is a certain amount of discomfort experienced during the procedure. However, they do believe that the treatment process doesn't involve any pain. Moreover, they think that the slight bleeding, cramping, and pinching experiences are familiar with most patients; thus, you will likely have such experiences. However, if you suffer from uterine infections, you will likely experience high discomfort during the procedure. So, we can say that the IUI treatment is a painless process.

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8 Essential Things You Should Know About STDs and Fertility

Infertility Resources & Support

8 Essential Things You Should Know About STDs and Fertility

Especially when a person or couple is trying to conceive, efforts to be as healthy and fertile as possible are often made into consistent habits. Things like eating healthy, making sure exercise is a priority, and staying away from alcohol and smoking are often lifestyle changes and precautions that are taken early on, to help maintain optimal health throughout the pregnancy process.

However, as around 13% of couples find out, conceiving a baby can often be much more difficult than previously thought. For some of these individuals and couples facing fertility challenges, this could be due to issues (or previous issues) with sexually transmitted diseases. For many, these are often unknown to the individuals and, unbeknownst to them, can carry consequences far after an STD was passed on to them. 

So, what are some things that you need to know about sexually transmitted pillole ritardanti infections and you (or your partner’s) fertility? 

There are not always symptoms:

Especially when it comes to STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, symptoms are not always obvious or present at all. In fact, these particular STDs are two of the leading causes of infertility in the United States, often because the diseases went undetected. In cases like these, the disease can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, causing other issues like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, and making it difficult to get pregnant in the long run.

While both of these are easily treatable with antibiotics, it’s when they’re left untreated or undetected that the majority of problems come into play, and can lead to infertility.

When symptoms are present, they’re important to recognize:

In general, it’s important to monitor your sexual health so that you’re in-the-know when it comes to your own body. With this in mind, it’s just as imperative to get the opinion of a doctor if you feel something could be amiss. If you’re sexually active and have any of the following symptoms, it’s probably time to get checked out by a physician:  

  1. Sores or bumps on genitals or rectal area
  2. Pain during sex
  3. Unusual discharge from the penis or vagina
  4. Pain in the lower abdomen
  5. Unusual vaginal bleeding 
  6. Painful urination
  7. Rash on the hands, feet or trunk

At the end of the day, remember— It’s better to be safe than sorry.

STDs are Preventable:

Although fertility can certainly be affected by sexually transmitted diseases, the good news is, they’re definitely preventable. Although the only way to be 100% sure is the abstain from sex in the first place, there are a number of precautions that you can take, before you’re looking to conceive a child, in an effort to maintain your sexual health. These can include: 

  1. Condoms
  2. Frequent testing
  3. Getting vaccinated for eligible diseases (such as HPV) 

Ensuring you wash thoroughly before and after intercourse.

STD infertility can affect men, as well as women:

Although when the subject of infertility is brought up, it’s often women’s issues that come to mind, conception issues caused by STDs can affect men directly as well. In fact, when it comes to chlamydia and gonorrhea, for example, men can suffer repricutious similar to women. In males, these diseases can even result in something called epididymitis, or a painful swelling and inflammation of the tubes attached to the testicles. When untreated, this can lead to sexual health issues, as well as infertility in extreme cases.

Testing is Imperative:

Even if you’re not actively trying to conceive a child, chances are, you may at least want the option in the future. This makes it absolutely essential that, if you’re sexually active, you get tested often and regularly. Not only can this help to catch diseases before they become more serious, but it can also help you to identify any issues that may not be producing any symptoms. This can help to protect your fertility in the long run, as well as prevent you from spreading an STD that you may not know you have.

Staying in close communication with your doctor is essential:

According to the CDC, there are about 20 million new STD infections every year. Especially if you do get diagnosed with an STD at some point, it’s important to maintain clear and open communication with your doctor. When it comes to fertility, you’ll want to ensure that you know any and all repercussions, risks, and options that you have for the future. 

Conceiving a child, especially when fertility is proving itself to be an issue, can drum up a number of emotions. However, what’s important is to stay educated on the things that could potentially affect your fertility, know signs and symptoms to look out for, and stay in close communication with your doctor. Not only can this help you to get past any obstacles you may be facing, but it can also help you to make the right decisions for you and/or your partner moving forward.

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Gestational Carrier Q&A: What is it & How Does it Work?

Surrogacy

Gestational Carrier Q&A: What is it & How Does it Work?

When it comes to becoming a parent, the process can certainly be rife with challenges for many people. However, for most obstacles to building your family, there are solutions that can help. 

For many couples, difficulty conceiving a child naturally can lead down a path where you have to consider starting your family using a gestational carrier or “surrogate”.

Q: What’s the difference between a gestational carrier and a surrogate? 

A: While many people may be more familiar with the term “surrogate,” there are key differences between the two. Technically speaking, a “true” surrogate is someone who chooses to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy for an intended couple by being inseminated with the intended parent’s sperm in order to fertilize their own egg (not the egg of the intended parent). This process results in the surrogate being the biological parent of the baby that is delivered and is considered illegal in most states and no longer offered as an option.  However, most people still colloquially call their gestational carrier their “surrogate”.

A gestational carrier has no blood or DNA relation with the child she carries and delivers. This is accomplished through in vitro fertilization (or IVF), which involves gathering the eggs and sperm of the intended parents, combining them in the laboratory thus creating embryos, and then transferring one or two of the resulting best quality embryos into the carrier. When necessary, embryos can also be created using donor eggs or donor sperm as well.

Q: Who may need to consider a gestational carrier? 

A: There are many reasons for someone to need to use a gestational carrier. Some of the most common reasons include :

  • Women who have had a hysterectomy (for any reason)
  • Women whose medical conditions make it unsafe or life-threatening for her to get pregnant
  • Couples where one partner does not have a uterus
  • Congenital or other abnormalities of the intended parent’s uterus that make carrying a pregnancy to term problematic or impossible

Q: What is the process like when utilizing a gestational carrier?

A: Often, a couple has a friend or family member who offers to carry their baby for them. Other times, they use a professional gestational carrier they found online or through an agency. In either circumstance, there are details and legal issues that need to be worked out. Contracts and payment agreements are chief among the important details. Because of the complexity involved, many intended parents choose to work with an agency to help guide them through the entire process, including finding the best match for them on their parenting journey. This is obviously more expensive than having someone you know carry for you. 

Once a potential carrier is identified, she needs to undergo health screening to make sure she is a suitable candidate for pregnancy. This will involve physical exams, blood tests, and procedures to make sure her uterus is normal. Partners of the gestational carriers also need to be screened for infectious diseases. A psychological evaluation is also performed, often with both the GC and the intended parents together to discuss the upcoming pregnancy. 

To create the embryos, the woman undergoes stimulation of her ovaries that takes about two weeks and then a short procedure to harvest the eggs. Other times, the eggs have been collected from an egg donor using the same process. They are then fertilized in the laboratory with sperm. Over the course of 5-6 days, the embryos that are created are cared for and observed. Many of the embryos that start out don’t continue to develop. The embryos that do continue to develop are then available for what is called an “embryo transfer”. Sometimes the embryos are frozen (“cryopreserved”) prior to transfer, for example when the couple creates the embryos before they have found a gestational carrier or before they know they need to use one. 

The gestational carrier also undergoes a process to prepare her uterus for implantation. There are many different ways this can be accomplished. There are protocols that don’t involve many medications (“natural” cycles). However, most of the time, the GC will need to be first on a form of estrogen (patches, pills, vaginal pills, injections) followed by progesterone (injections, vaginal creams or pills). The transfer of the embryos to the uterus would not feel much different than a pap smear. The big decision is how many embryos to transfer. Most of the time, it is recommended to only transfer one embryo to minimize the risks of getting pregnant with multiples. These protocols typically give really good pregnancy rates. Once pregnant, the gestational carrier would be treated just as anyone else who got pregnant without assistance. The intended parents will then have full legal custody once the child is born.

Q: How much does a gestational carrier typically cost?

A: The price of utilizing a gestational carrier will vary widely based on the situation and from person to person, and agency to agency. If your family member or friend carries the pregnancy, the main costs will be the cost of the IVF to create the embryos. You would of course decide how to compensate them.  If you need to use a professional gestational carrier, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50,000 - $150,000. This typically includes an agency’s fees, the carrier’s fee, the cost of IVF, counseling, support, medical fees, etc. There are a number of different potential costs that should be thoroughly weighed before actually entering into a contract with a carrier or agency.

Q: Who can become a gestational carrier?

A: Most agencies or clinics have their own guidelines for who would be a good candidate to become a gestational carrier. While these can vary, some of the requirements often include:

  • Being generally healthy
  • A healthy BMI
  • Being between the age of 21 and 40
  • No past major pregnancy complications
  • Not currently taking antidepressants or antianxiety medications
  • No prior drug or alcohol abuse
  • Having been successfully pregnant before is not an absolute requirement but is preferred

Q: What rights does a gestational carrier have? 

A: In short, typically, no parental rights whatsoever. While every gestational carrier-intended parent relationship is individually assessed and has its own individual contract, this is something that’s ensured from the very start. Many times, even professional gestational carriers and the new parents maintain contact after she has delivered since she has been such an important part of their lives. Other times, there is no contact with the GC after delivery.

Summary:

If you are considering using or for sure need to use a gestational carrier, you’re bound to have a number of questions and concerns. The good news is that using a gestational carrier is not unusual or rare. It is something that fertility clinics should be very prepared for and able to help you with. Agencies can also be a great resource and help you navigate the process.  Remember to do your research, read reviews, and look for agencies that have impeccable recommendations. Use a fertility clinic that handles gestational carrier situations frequently.  Not only will this help you to have the smoothest experience possible, but it will also ensure that your path to becoming a parent starts off in the best way possible. 

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5 Ways to Boost Male Fertility & Increase Sperm Count

Infertility Resources & Support

5 Ways to Boost Male Fertility & Increase Sperm Count

While conceiving a child can be unplanned, quick or easy for some couples, for others, it can be a difficult process. In fact, according to the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for every 100 couples in the US, about 12 or 13 have trouble becoming pregnant. This can be due to a number of different factors, related to both female and male fertility issues.

According to the HHS, “about one-third of infertility cases are caused by fertility problems in women, and another one-third of fertility problems are due to fertility problems in men. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by problems that cannot be determined.”

For men, many of these fertility issues can be due to a lowered sperm count and, in general, lower overall fertility— both important factors when it comes to creating a viable pregnancy. However, there are a number of different ways that men can increase their chances of conceiving a child with their partner.

 

  1. Avoid Smoking and drug use

    When it comes to ensuring sperm are strong and active, avoiding smoking, vaping and drug use is a must. A number of studies have actually shown that smokers have a lower overall sperm quality than non-smokers. LIkewise, in studies focused on drug use with substances like marijuana, cocaine, steroids and even prescription drugs, their use has been linked to Bodybuilding motivation - SACRIFICE brand mecleods epic bodybuilding motivation changes in certain levels of hormones within the male body, impairing sperm production, sperm’s motility, and overall fertility.


  2. Get enough Vitamin D

    Being in the great outdoors can be a huge mood elevator, but it can also give a big boost when it comes to male fertility. The primary way that most people get vitamin D is by being outside and exposing themselves to sunlight. When the sunlight hits your skin, vitamin D synthesis begins, a process that helps humans with bone, muscle and even mental health.

    However, even with outdoor time, most people are actually vitamin D deficient. This is why many physicians recommend a supplement of at least 25,000 IUs per week, for both men and women.

    When it comes to male fertility in particular, vitamin D has been shown to increase the levels of calcium found in sperm. This, in turn, makes sperm more active, mobile, and thus, more likely to result in fusion with a woman’s egg.


  3. Limit soy consumption

    Soy sauce, tofu and soymilk might all seem like healthy additions to a man’s diet, but when it comes to boosting sperm count, soy products may be something to avoid. Soy has been linked with estrogen production, a hormone that could affect overall sperm production. In fact, according to one study, “men who ate the most soy had 41 million fewer sperm per milliliter of semen compared with men who did not eat soy foods. Normal sperm counts range between 80 million and 120 million per milliliter.”

  4. Eat foods rich in antioxidants

    A healthy diet is imperative when it comes to increasing the chances of a couple having a child. Not only is this great for overall health, it can substantially help to boost the number of active sperm a man produces. Even more specifically, foods that are high in antioxidants can be particularly helpful. Antioxidants are special compounds that can help to slow cell damage caused by free radicals.

    Some foods high in antioxidants can include:

    — Green vegetables
    — Nuts
    — Dark chocolate
    — Artichokes
    — Apples
    — Broccoli
    — Strawberries
    — And many more.


  5. Limit alcohol

    Having a beer after a tough day, or sipping on a nice glass of scotch on the weekend is something that many men look forward to. However, too much alcohol can have a negative effect on sperm count and fertility. Alcohol has been shown to increase estrogen levels and decrease testosterone, which can both be detrimental when a couple is trying to get pregnant. Likewise, too much booze can lower sperm count, play a role in sperm morbidity, and can damage overall quality.

 

5 Ways to Boost Male Fertility & Increase Sperm Count
There are a large number of factors that can each play their own roles when it comes to getting pregnant. By exercising, eating right and getting enough vitamins, men can better their chances of conceiving a child with their partner by increasing their sperm health and count. By making healthy choices as much as possible throughout the process, men can help to increase the chances of their partner conceiving quickly, and having a healthy pregnancy.

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Four Toxic Chemicals That Can Impact Fertility

Infertility Resources & Support

Four Toxic Chemicals That Can Impact Fertility

The road to pregnancy can be a happy, joyous time. For others, it can be one of the most trying times of their lives, testing their patience in a roller coaster of emotions. In either scenario, it’s not rare for people to make sure they’re making good choices to be as healthy as possible, helping them to increase their fertility and the likelihood of becoming pregnant.

While everyone is exposed to a number of different chemicals every day, when trying to get pregnant, these chemicals can have a negative impact on overall fertility and conception efforts. What’s even more tricky is that these chemicals aren’t always easily identifiable. Often, they’re lurking in the air, in the items we use on our bodies, and even in our food, all unknowingly. While it’s easy to avoid the toxins that are obvious, some of these hidden compounds can be much more difficult when it comes to steering clear.

There are a number of toxic chemicals that can have a negative impact on conception and fertility, but there are a few that can be particularly harmful and, unfortunately, common throughout our homes and environment. These include:

  • Bisphenols (BPA)

    You may have heard of BPAs over the years, but not know exactly what they are or where they’re found. Bisphenols are compounds that are used in a variety of plastic products, and often, can even spread into food if it’s stored within a container made with it. BPA is utilized to help with corrosion and/or reactions between containers and food, but has been linked to male impotence, fertility issues, and even heart problems. To avoid BPA, look for plastics that specifically label themselves as “BPA free”, or glass containers.

  • Parabens

    Parabens are preservatives that are typically an ingredient in a variety of different products, including cosmetics and hair care. They can even be found in foods like jellies, jams, processed vegetables, and pickles. Although parabens are widely present, across a large number of different products and brands, they can be detrimental when it comes to fertility and conception. Parabens have been linked with allergies, breast cancer, rashes, blisters, and when exposed during pregnancy, to infant weight gain that can lead to adulthood obesity.

  • Pesticides

    Although pesticides can be found in places as common as a household garden, they are often used in much larger capacities. Pesticides are used to deter pests from damaging crops, and are often present on foods, like produce, that are purchased from the grocery store. They can also be difficult to get off of produce, as a simple wash with water doesn’t always completely rid fruits and veggies of their traces. Pesticides have been linked with a reduction in fertility, and when a woman is pregnant, have even been thought to lead to miscarriages.
  • Heavy Metals

    Some examples of heavy metals can include lead, arsenic and aluminum. These can often occur in the air that we breathe, in contaminated foods, household products, and even cigarettes. Studies have shown that too much exposure to these metals can lead to trouble conceiving due to pregnancy delay, reduced sperm count, and even reduced sperm mobility.

Although toxins are found all throughout our world, when trying to conceive a child, it’s important to avoid these as much as possible. While avoiding them completely may not always be an option, by limiting one’s exposure, the chances of negative impacts can be greatly reduced.

When trying to maximize your fertility, there are a number of different ways that one can limit their exposure to these chemicals. These can include quitting smoking, using only filtered water, ensuring your home is free of lead paint, and educating yourself on other dangerous chemicals that could be present throughout your environment.

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If I Use Donor Eggs Will The Baby Look Like Me

Egg Donation

If I Use Donor Eggs Will The Baby Look Like Me

Navigating fertility challenges is a long and complex process that millions of people face every year worldwide. It is for these reasons that if you are going through challenges with fertility you will have numerous questions that need answers. Questions come up anywhere between how painful will the process be to questions about bonding with a baby conceived with medical help. For those who have chosen for one reason or another to utilize an egg donor to improve conception outcomes, one of the most typical and recurrent questions asked is "if I use Donor Eggs Will The Baby Look Like Me?" The short answer to that question is this; it depends. There is not a simple answer to this question much like there is not a simple answer to the question "will i love my donor egg baby?"

Most are quick to say the answer is no when they are asked, "does a baby conceived via donor eggs resemble birth mom?" However, a simple 'no' is the wrong answer. What does it depend on exactly? There is a number of factors that independently and collectively influence how much donor egg babies will resemble the birth mother physically. A major factor playing a role in this is the means of which you use to choose your egg donor. The most commonly used method of doing this is to use an agency to search for a donor. Egg donors who donate through agencies are heavily screened and evaluated in aspects such as physical features, personality, family history, health records, etc. What this does is allow recipients to search for and browse through donors, enabling the recipient some autonomy in what the door looks like, how their health is, what their family history shows, what skills they have, etc. By having control over the physical features of the egg donor, you then have some control over the physical features of the donor egg babies. In a way, you are able to choose what will make your babies personality and what predetermined traits they will have. You can even take it a step further and use some natural methods to increase your chances of having a specific gender.

Another practice frequently seen with egg donation is when the recipient receives donor eggs from a biological family member of theirs. While reasons to use this method vary and are not isolated to physical appearance, one reason is to ensure that the egg donor baby will carry some portion of the same DNA as the recipient. This method does not always guarantee that the child will resemble you, as even genetically related full siblings can come out not noticeably resembling each other in physical appearance. Even without the presence of fertility challenges and interventions, often times physical traits can be known to skip a generation as well. So when using this method for picking out your egg donor, the answer to the question of "if I use Donor Eggs Will The Baby Look Like Me," is that they probably will but there are no guarantees.

Even if criteria based searches through an agency and family member donation are not used, there is still no guarantee that your egg donor baby will not look like you. There is also the possibility that you will be asking yourself, how is it that my donor egg baby looks like me? Due to recent research and development in the area of fertility, it has been discovered that even if the egg has completely different genetic material then the recipient, they still have influence on the genes of the baby between conception and birth. This is all thanks to the embryonic fluid that the baby lives in for nine months. Micro RNA's or molecules that double as a communication system between the mother and the baby actually have the ability to moderate the presentation of the babies genes. However this process is not isolated to just physical trait genes, but also has an influence on personality genes, reproductive predispositions when it comes to the possibility of multiples, and genes that carry disease from one generation to another. Armed with this information, you now have a better understanding on the topic if someone were to ask you about "how my donor egg baby looks like me."

Often times having no certain answer to questions about interventions for fertility challenges can stop a recipient from considering egg donation as an option. Now when your nosy Aunt Gertrude asks you "does a baby conceived via donor eggs resemble birth mom," you can soundly answer yes and know how to back that up with facts. After having read this information you can also silence doubts associated with having a baby that is not your DNA. You will be able to bond with your baby and have peace of mind that the answer to the question "will i love my donor egg baby?" will always be yes.

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Drinking and infertility - How Alcohol Affects Fertility

Infertility Resources & Support

Drinking and infertility - How Alcohol Affects Fertility

If you’ve been thinking about starting a family but have been having trouble conceiving, infertility may come to mind. While some factors are beyond your control, there are lifestyle choices that have a serious impact on your fertility. Alcohol and infertility have been proven to go hand in hand.Read on to learn more about the effects of alcohol on fertility:

What is Female Fertility

As a female, your fertility is your biological ability to conceive a child. Both you and your partner may question your fertility if you’e been trying to get pregnant. If you’ve been trying for over at least one year, or at least six months if you are over 35, there could be an underlying fertility issue. But what if you live a healthy lifestyle? You eat a heart-healthy diet, exercise regularly and only indulge once in a while? Enjoying an occasional cocktail usually doesn't cause infertility. However, alcohol and fertility can be the reason you're not able to conceive. In addition, you should know that insurance might not cover it.

Alcohol and Infertility in Females

If all underlying medical conditions known to cause infertility have been ruled out, you need to start looking at your lifestyle choices. While it's true that having an occasional glass of wine may actually be beneficial, exceeding the recommended guidelines can cause infertility. There is a direct link between consuming and alcohol and female infertility.Many studies now show that having even one drink a day can lower your fertility levels. If you’re consuming more than 10 drinks per week, your chances of becoming pregnant are even lower. Alcohol and infertility rates triple when one or both partners are heavy drinkers, not to mention the other medical problems you are at risk of developing.If you fall into this category, the effects of alcohol on fertility are staggering. Knowing how much is too much is key.The ongoing affects of alcohol and infertility in females is far deeper than simply abstaining for a few days. Since many women don't find out they are pregnant until a month or two after conception, the CDC recommends completely eliminating alcohol for at least four to six weeks before trying to conceive. If not you can inadvertently cause damage to the fetus and possibly even miscarry.

Alcohol and Male Infertility

Keep in mind that it’s not only female fertility that’s affected by alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol intake can significantly lower testosterone levels and sperms quantity and quality in males. It can also reduce libido and even cause impotence. If your partner is a heavy drinker, it can negatively impact your ability to conceive. However, the reduction or elimination of alcohol consumption can quickly reverse the ill-effects of alcohol.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

Heavy drinking can also impact your fertility indirectly. Women who drink even moderate amounts of alcohol are at higher risk of ovulation disorders. Moreover, the indirect damage done to the liver and other internal organs have a direct link to alcohol and fertility levels. Finally, alcohol and male infertility is usually considered taboo to talk about. Women are the ones who carry the baby, so why do men need to abstain? Simply put, the overall health of their sperm and themselves counts on it.

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IVF Side Effects - What You Can Do About It

Fertility Treatments

IVF Side Effects - What You Can Do About It

What is IVF?

In-Vitro-Fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology designed to help parents conceive a child who are unable to achieve pregnancy naturally through sexual intercourse. IVF consists of fertilizing a sperm and an egg outside of the uterus followed by a procedure to implant the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus. There are many steps that go in to making IVF a successful process. The first step in the process is taking fertility drugs to help the ovaries produce mature eggs. Oftentimes, these drugs must be taken for many months in order to induce ovulation. Once the ovaries have created enough eggs, the eggs are then ready to be harvested.Your doctor will have you undergo a process called egg retrieval to collect the healthy eggs, which is a minor surgical procedure. During this procedure, the doctor will extract the eggs from your ovaries through the vagina. Once the eggs are extracted, the eggs are then fertilized with sperm in a lab setting then implanted back into the uterus several days later during a process called insemination. Several IVF side effects with fertility drugs such as Lupron, Progesterone, and Estrace can be taken during the IVF process. However, there are common IVF medication side effects.One of the most common questions prior to undergoing IVF is: Is IVF Painful? Advanced Fertility Care states that there is some pain and discomfort that accompanies IVF.They provide a rating scale for each step of the process, and note that most patients say the most painful part happens during egg retrieval.

Lupron Side Effects IVF

Lupron is used during IVF to shut down the body's reproductive hormone system. Lupron drastically lowers the body's estrogen levels and suppresses the bodies production of luteinizing hormone, which is the hormone that stimulates ovulation. Among a few common Lupron side effects IVF are gastrointestinal issues such as constipation and nausea, headaches, and trouble sleeping are a few on them.

Progesterone Side Effects IVF

There are many Progesterone side effects IVF. Progesterone is administered during IVF to prepare the womb for pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining. This is important because it promotes successful egg implementation during insemination. Some common side effects are unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, feet and ankle swelling, and change in mental status. All of these side effects may seem entirely unfavorable, but for couples who are trying for pregnancy after miscarriage, IVF may be the only option for them to try and have a family while struggling with infertility.

Estrace Side Effects IVF

Estrace is a strong form of the hormone estrogen, and there are many Estrace side effects IVF. Estrogen is needed during IVF to maintain the endometrial lining of the uterus, which strengthens egg implantation during insemination. Some of the IVF side effects of taking Estrace are vomiting, bloating, stomach cramps, weight gain, breast pain, and vaginal itching or discharge. There are a few different types of artificial insemination that can be performed during IVF which often dictate what infertility drugs will be needed during the process. There are many known IVF medication side effects and they all vary based upon the individual.

After Effects of IVF Treatment

The after effects of IVF treatment are different between each woman. IVF does run the risk of women giving birth to multiple babies due to multiple eggs being implanted during insemination.

Side Effects of IVF Drugs

The side effects of IVF drugs can cause hot flashes, breast tenderness, headaches, blurred vision, ovarian cysts and pelvic discomfort.

IVF Side Effects on Baby

Some research suggests that babies conceived via IVF can possibly have lower birth weight, but otherwise there do not seem to be a huge amount of IVF side effects on baby. It can be difficult for couples to decide whether they should try IUI versus IVF, but you should always consult your fertility specialist to determine what the best option is for you and your family.

Success Rate of IVF

It has been reported the IVF has nearly a 40 percent success rate, which is much more of a success than its counterpart, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), which is reported to only have a 20 percent success rating for women under the age of 35.

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IVF Side Effects and Risks - Is IVF Safe?

Fertility Treatments

IVF Side Effects and Risks - Is IVF Safe?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular procedures of assisted reproductive technology (ART). It is estimated that at least one million children have been born as a result of ART procedures. However, the number of IVF and other ART procedures that have been attempted are significantly higher. These highly varied statistics may leave you with some questions. Is IVF safe? What are the side effects of IVF? Keep reading to learn more.

The Details of IVF

The IVF process can take weeks, months or years. Each person will be different; however, the steps of the process are quite similar. The end goal of the process is to attempt to have an egg become fertilized by sperm. IVF anavar kaufen can be used for both couples and single people. You can use the sperm, egg or both from a partner or a donor. These details can be determined by you.Female patients will be required to take various medications to ensure the eggs are primed for fertilization. The eggs are extracted to be paired with sperm in hopes for successful fertilization. If successful, the egg will be implanted into the uterus so that the egg can attach to the uterus lining and result in pregnancy. If a man is actively part of the sperm donation process, he might be recommended to eat right, exercise and avoid bad habits, such as drinking and smoking, during the IVF process.

Who Can Administer IVF?

One of the dangers and risks of IVF is the temptation to find a less expensive source to administer the treatment. You must be highly selective with whom you choose to protect your safety. While you or a trusted companion can legally and safely inject yourself with fertility injections to prepare for the treatment, it is imperative to only pursue highly qualified and trained medical doctors to perform your IVF treatment.

Who is a Suitable Candidate?

People of all ages and all circumstances can be ideal candidates for IVF. In the past, IVF would be recommended as the last chance course of treatment. Today, many medical situations will put IVF at the top of ART possibilities. If you experience infertility for reasons including age, endometriosis, fallopian tube damage, genetic disease risk, lost pregnancy due to chromosomal abnormalities or infertility for unexplained reasons, you could be an ideal candidate for IVF.

What are the Risks of IVF?

IVF risks and side effects will vary greatly depending upon the patient. You could experience any number of side effects, such as allergic reactions, vaginal bleeding, blood in urine, bloating, breast tenderness, bruising from shots, cramping, headaches, infection, pelvic pain, constipation or mood swings. You might even experience them all. One risk many people overlook is the possibility of a multiple pregnancy with twins, triplets or more.The chances of success might also be seen as additional IVF risks or IVF side effects. If you are under the age of 35, your success rate is over 40 percent. If you are over the age of 40, it drops to a maximum of 18 percent. It is also important to note that the procedure could result in the after effects of IVF treatment, such as a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy and it is a highly costly process without a guarantee of success. You could also face severe psychological stress as a result of IVF. These are all aspects to take into consideration.IVF has been a success over one million times, and it is considered highly safe when the procedure is conducted by a well-trained and experienced doctor. If you are struggling with infertility for any reason or any unknown reason, IVF could be the answer to your needs.

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Pregnancy After Miscarriage - How to Get Pregnant Again

Infertility Resources & Support

Pregnancy After Miscarriage - How to Get Pregnant Again

If you've already had a miscarriage, you might be concerned about conceiving another child. While this is a concern that troubles many women, you shouldn't let that get in the way of your desire to have a family. By understanding more about pregnancy after miscarriage, you'll be better prepared to have a more successful pregnancy.

Does One Miscarriage Mean You'll Have Another?

The causes of a miscarriage vary and, in many cases, the cause is left undiscovered, but this doesn't necessarily mean you'll have another one. In the most general terms, a miscarriage is the loss of a baby before the 20th week, which is the result of an abnormally developing fetus. In almost half of the instances, the miscarriage results from chromosomal problems in the fetus, which has little to do with the genetics of the parents. Since it's more a matter of chance, there's no reason to suspect that getting pregnant after miscarriage will result in another failed pregnancy. Getting professional help can improve your chances of a successful pregnancy.

A Closer Look at the Odds

In fact, research shows that less than 1% of women who have previously miscarried will have a second miscarriage. While your doctor or fertility specialist can speak to your specific situation, there's a 14% of having a second miscarriage. That rate rises to 26% for a third miscarriage with women who have previously had two miscarriages. While your chances of getting pregnant after miscarriage drop with a history of miscarriages, you should not be overly concerned about having a second miscarriage. So, while the question of can you get pregnant after a miscarriage may change with additional miscarriages, you shouldn't let one miscarriage sway you from trying to conceive.

How Soon After a Miscarriage Can You Get Pregnant?

The answer to this question largely depends on you and your partner. Before discussing the medical restrictions, it's important to note that feelings of grief, loss, and anger may play a part in determining when you'll be ready to try again. From a physiological standpoint, your doctor or fertility specialist will probably advise you to abstain from sexual activity for at least the first two weeks following the miscarriage. This is to prevent infection. It should also be noted that it can take up to six weeks for your menstrual cycle to resume and you can conceive through this period.

When Should You and Your Partner Try Again?

If you're still nervous about how long to get pregnant after miscarriage, it may help to know that it essentially comes down to a personal choice. However, research has found that women who conceive within six months of their miscarriage experience fewer complications than those who wait. While you may ask your doctor how long after miscarriage can I get pregnant, he will likely recommend trying again as soon as you feel up to it. However, if you have had more than one miscarriage already, your doctor may recommend fertility testing and other exams to ensure you're healthy and capable of carrying a pregnancy to term.

Getting Tested May Be a Wise Precaution

If you have had two or more miscarriages or if you're concerned about passing on genetic defects, it may help to get tested by a fertility specialist or your OB/GYN caregiver. A simple blood test is one way to identify hormonal problems that can affect your ability to have a successful pregnancy. Additionally, you and your partner may be asked to undergo chromosomal tests. These tests will determine if either of you are passing genetic defects on to your child. Other exams can also be conducted to determine if there are physical abnormalities in your body, which may affect your ability to conceive and carry a healthy baby.If you have had a miscarriage in the past, there's no reason to assume you cannot have a baby. Once you and your partner decide to try again, the first thing you should do is discuss your hope of having a baby with your doctor. Your physician can guide you and offer recommendations to improve your chances of having a healthy baby.

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IUI Success Rates - Pregnancy by Age

Fertility Treatments

IUI Success Rates - Pregnancy by Age

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), a type of artificial insemination, can be a highly useful tool in struggles with fertility. It is important to note that IUI success rates by age can vary greatly; however, many women are ideal candidates despite one’s age. If you struggle with fertility, this might be the solution you seek.

Fertility Challenges

The CDC estimates that roughly 10 percent of all women, regardless of age, struggle with becoming pregnant or maintaining a pregnancy to term. People experience fertility challenges for any number of reasons. Your age could be a determining factor as it does become significantly more difficult to become pregnant after the age of thirty-five. You may have had HPV. If you are severely overweight or underweight, you may struggle to become pregnant. You may simply be stressed and sleep deprived. And it is possible that you have unexplained infertility issues. These are just a few possible reasons you are finding it difficult to become pregnant. Fortunately, IUI can help.

Facts about IUI

IUI is a type of artificial insemination that helps sperm reach the egg more easily. The sperm is placed into the uterus directly during ovulation to minimize the sperm’s travel time to improve the chances of fertilization. What is the success rate of IUI? This rate will vary greatly depending upon your age. IUI is often covered by insurance to some extent; however, if you do not have the right insurance, this type of fertilization technique is often less expensive than others. You can receive such a procedure at medical facilities, such as a fertility clinic Scottsdale AZ that offers insemination treatments.

IUI Under 35

Your artificial insemination success rate will be at its best before you reach the age of 35. During this age range, your success rate with IUI will be roughly 20 percent. This rate will be dependent upon a number of other factors, as well, such as the sperm, your fallopian tube status and your cervical mucus condition. It is important to note that it may take up to six times for a woman of any age to receive success with IUI.

IUI 35 and Over

Once you turn 35, your chances for natural conception drastically decreases. This figure decreases even further with each passing year. If you are between the ages of 35 and 40, your chances for successful IUI lowers to 10 percent. Once you turn 40, this figure lowers to between 2 and 5 percent. It is sometimes recommended that if you are 40 or older, you should seek in vitro fertilization rather than to pursue IUI. You can always use an IUI success rate calculator to determine your best chances for success.

Risks

As with all medical procedures, IUI does not come without risks. The procedure is considered highly safe and minimally invasive; however, you should be aware of some complications that could occur with relatively low risk. You could develop an infection. Vaginal bleeding in small amounts could occur. If IUI is paired with medications that induce ovulation, you could experience a multiple pregnancy that results in twins, triplets or more.If you are in search of an artificial insemination methodology that is effective, affordable and less invasive, IUI could be the solution for you. Be sure to speak with your doctor about ways in which you can improve your success rate of IUI, and take care of yourself no matter your age for the best results.

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IUI vs. IVF- Key Differences in IUI and IVF

Fertility Treatments

IUI vs. IVF- Key Differences in IUI and IVF

What Is the Difference between IUI and IVF?

IUI and IVF are two of the commonly used methods in order to help increase a couple’s chances for becoming pregnant. Determining the difference between IUI and IVF can help couples decide which option is best for them. IUI, also known as intrauterine insemination, is a procedure in which sperm is directly inserted into the uterus. The procedure is timed with the ovulation and can be done once ovulation is detected. Since the procedure deposits higher concentrations of sperm near where the egg is waiting, it helps increase the chances of becoming pregnant.The IVF process is a little more complex. It involves a stimulating the ovaries in order to produce multiple eggs at once, then removing the eggs from the ovary. Once the eggs are removed, fertilization occurs in a lab and then the fertilized eggs are placed back into the uterus.The risk of multiple babies increases with IUI because the fertility medication that is used to increase ovulation can lead to more eggs being ready for fertilization. Clinics will monitor follicles to try and prevent that from happening, but they can't completely eliminate the risk. With IVF, many clinics will only transfer one embryo per cycle to avoid the risk of multiples. There is also a difference of time between these two procedures. IUI is a much shorter process, so if you are successful it can be a quicker way to have a child. Since there is a gap in the success rates, many women who are older might try IVF first, before having some failed cycles with IUI, in order to save time.

Is IUI Better than IVF?

In terms of success rates, IVF is better, but IUI can be a much cheaper option for couples. Determining which one is better will depend on a few different factors that apply to each couple.

Why Try IUI First?

It can make sense for couples to try IUI first if the woman has one unblocked fallopian tube, can ovulate properly with medication, has a good amount of healthy eggs, and has a normal uterine cavity. This treatment can be effective for those who have cervical issues, mild ovulation issues, or are using donor sperm due to a male factor infertility.The process can also work for same sex couples. Females can use donor sperm and male couples can use their own sperm with a surrogate.

Why Go Straight to IVF?

Sometimes, it makes sense to go straight to IVF treatment. Going straight to IVF makes sense if the woman is over the age of 38, has blocked fallopian tubes, has a reduced ovarian reserve, or wants to use donor eggs. IVF also makes sense if you require genetic screening. Same sex couples can also take advantage of IVF, in order to increase the chance of becoming pregnant.

IUI vs IVF Cost

One of the concerns about fertility treatments many couples have is the cost of both IUI and IFV. Generally, these procedures are not covered under insurance plans. IUI can be much cheaper than IVF. The average cost of IVF can be between $11,000 and $15,000 per cycle.

IUI and IVF Success Rates

The success of both procedures can depend on the age of the woman, the cause of the infertility, and other factors. The average success rate for IUI using a fertility medicine, such as Clomid, is 8-15% per cycle for patients who are under the age of 35. That number drops to only 2-5% for patients who are over the age of 40. For IVF, the numbers are much higher. The success rate ranges from 40-45% for patients who are under 35 and it drops to 15% for patients who are over 42.

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Types of Artificial Insemination - Choosing What is Right For You

Fertility Treatments

Types of Artificial Insemination - Choosing What is Right For You

If you’re looking to start a family, you may have come across forms of artificial insemination. Navigating the different jargon and medical terminology about different procedures can be tricky, but it is so important to be well informed about your options. There are four different types of artificial insemination, and they each offer unique benefits and difficulties.

Intracervical Insemination

A very common question that’s asked by couples trying to conceive is, “What is intracervical insemination?” This procedure is typically one of the easiest and least costly of the types of artificial insemination in humans because it most closely mimics intercourse.Semen is introduced to the opening of the cervix by a health professional with a needleless syringe.After the sperm is introduced to the body, you might wear a conception cap for a few hours. The cap is meant to hold semen inside the body to raise the chances of successful implantation.

Intrauterine Insemination

You might be worried about the intrauterine insemination cost when you decide that you want to have a baby. Luckily for you, there are sliding scales of costs based on what you need from your health care practitioner. Many insurance companies are also willing to cover some procedures.In Intrauterine Insemination IUI, as it’s also called, washed sperm is injected into the uterus with a catheter. Intrauterine insemination is one of the most efficient types of artificial insemination in humans and has some of the highest success rates. This type of insemination is typically the most effective if you’re under the age of 30, however, and older mothers might find better luck with other types of insemination.

Intrauterine Tuboperitoneal Insemination

This kind of artificial insemination is similar to IUI but includes sperm being injected into the fallopian tubes, as well. Once the semen is put into your system, your health practitioner will put a clamp on your cervix that prevents semen leakage. This option is a great fit for couples with mild male infertility or mild endometriosis because it bypasses the organs that are affected.You may be induced into ovulation for this procedure or any of the other insemination methods because the process guarantees that you’ll release more eggs than usual and eggs of better quality.

Intratubal Insemination

In intratubal insemination, sperm is introduced solely to the fallopian tubes. Sometimes this procedure is called fallopian tube sperm perfusion. A catheter goes through the cervix and the uterus and puts sperm directly into the fallopian tubes. An important part of all artificial insemination is monitoring your cycles and fertility. With this procedure and with most artificial insemination, you should be sure that your health practitioner takes into account the type of cycle you’re on, whether it be your body’s natural cycle or a fertility drug induced one.

Which Type is Best?

Because each person is entirely unique, it’s hard to say which type of artificial insemination is best for you. Depending on your budget, health needs, and preferences, you and your fertility doctor can discuss what option is the best for you and your new family.

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Is IVF Painful? Pain Levels of Each Step

Fertility Treatments

Is IVF Painful? Pain Levels of Each Step

Is in vitro fertilization painful? This is a common question that reproductive healthcare professionals are asked frequently. However, the answer is not so simple. There are a number of steps to the process, so we decided to break it down. Here is a list of what the procedure entails to help you decide for yourself.

Step 1: Preparation of the Pituitary Glands and Ovaries

Pain Level: 4The IVF preparation process can be are unsure of what what goes on in the lab. Initially patients will take a variety of oral medication and receive daily injections. One of the main pastillas ereccion questions that patients will have is "Is in vitro fertilization painful?" During this phase, it can definitely be uncomfortable especially for those that do not like needles. However, injectable medication is required in order to control hormone surges and levels within the patient's body. At this point, IVF procedure painful side effects can usually be controlled by acetaminophen. The good news is that this part of the process may not be necessary, depending on the health history of the patient.

Step 2: Ovarian Stimulation and Ultrasound Monitoring

Pain Level: 4Some clients may find this part of IVF procedure painful, but it is usually manageable. Daily injections of intravenous drugs are given to patient in order to stimulate follicles and increase the number of follicles within the ovaries. This increases the chance in a successful IVF procedure. Once these follicles reach the desired size or number, intramuscular injections of HCG are given in attempt to mimic the body's natural LH surge. Is IVF treatment painful at this point? It can absolutely be uncomfortable. Again, acetaminophen and applying heat/cold to the affect injection area(s) can be helpful. Ultrasound monitoring is usually performed at this stage at a fertility clinic Scottsdale, AZ to monitor the growth of follicles, but this procedure rarely causes pain or discomfort.

Step 3: Egg Retrieval

Pain Level: 5-6The most common question that patients have is "Is IVF egg retrieval process painful?" Prior to egg retrieval, many blood tests are performed which can cause a level of discomfort. At this point, patients have been subjected to many injections which can make this fairly simple. However, the answer to the question is IVF egg retrieval process painful is "yes." Yet, the level of pain that is felt can vary greatly. A board certified anesthesiologist will administer IV sedation prior to beginning the egg retrieval process. Then a long probe is inserted into the vagina to remove the egg sacs, or follicles from the ovaries. This process can cause apprehension in patients who have the concern "is egg retrieval painful in IVF." As a result, an oral anxiety medication can also be administered to calm the nerves of patients and make the procedure a little more comfortable. This can help patients feel as though "is egg retrieval painful in IVF" is a question of the past.

Step 4: Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

Pain Level: 2-3After retrieval, viable eggs are then placed into an incubator and then fertilized with sperm that same day. To find out how many embryos, read this. The eggs are checked within 18-20 hours to determine if fertilization occurred. Once the eggs is fertilized it then becomes a zygote, which develops into an embryo. The embryos are grown into blastocysts, which have the best chance for implantation. At this point is ivf treatment painful? No. All of this occurs outside of the body.After fertilization, the blastocyst is then transferred into the body using a small catheter. Although this is a painless procedure, a Valium is usually given for overall comfort. This step is followed at a fertility clinic scottsdale az by a blood hcg test every 2-3 days and a pregnancy test 5-6 weeks thereafter. Some IVF processes differ slightly, though most follow this same general procedure.

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Can I Donate Eggs/Sperm? How does it Work?

Egg Donation

Can I Donate Eggs/Sperm? How does it Work?

Are you interested in donating your egg or sperm? Well, it is a good idea when you can assist the couples with no children to have one. Most times the people who opt to use donated eggs and sperms are those with the inability to produce their own. Infertility treatment cannot work on individuals without any functional ovaries or uterus. Egg and sperm donation is an anonymous and free activity that you can do to help others.

Where Can I Donate Eggs/Sperms?

When you start thinking “I want to undergo the egg donation procedure”, the first thing would be to visit a fertility center near me. An advanced fertility care clinic is the best place to go to when you want to begin orale steroide the process. There are various checkups you may have to undergo before finally donating the eggs or sperm. The first thing the medical experts will do is to check your overall health and review your genetics. The fertility clinic Phoenix AZ will help get you started with the fertility egg donation.

The Legal Considerations

How does egg donation work? It first starts by understanding the legal implication that comes with your commitment. The legal requirements will help avoid future complications and issues that may arise. Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) dictates that children born out of donations have their rights. You as the donor will need to sign an agreement with the medical facilities receiving the egg/ sperm.You will need to relinquish any ownership over the egg or the sperm after giving it away. Confidentiality is another document you will need to adhere to in the contract. You will have no parental rights or responsibilities. The recipients of the egg or sperm will have the financial and legal responsibility for their children.

The Process

Straight to the question, “how do you donate eggs?” The process begins with you applying for the program. You then have to undergo screening and testing to make sure you have viable and healthy eggs. You have to pass the screening test to qualify to donate.

• Egg/Sperm Donor Matching

Most hospitals would want to keep the process anonymous. The donor will decide with the doctors if they're going to pick you as a donor. You will then receive notification to come to the hospital and start the process.

• Ovarian Simulation

The procedure entails injecting you with daily medications to suppress the natural cycle. The process stimulates your ovaries production as you remain under close monitoring. Meanwhile, for the recipient, she will prepare for the endometrial lining. The endometrial lining helps in making her ready for the implantation process after transfer. She will receive doses of estrogen and progesterone to help with that.The doctor will trigger ovulation in the recipient once the eggs have developed to the required maturity. Donor IVF procedure will allow the doctors to retrieve the eggs from your ovaries. The ovary will fertilize with the sperm in the laboratory. The doctors will then incubate the fertilized egg for some time before transferring it.

• Transfer to recipient

The doctors will likely transfer the fertilized egg to the recipient after 2-5 days. Meanwhile, the doctors will continue running some tests on you to make sure your recovery is going on well. After two weeks, the doctor will conduct a pregnancy test on the recipient to make sure the procedure was successful. Our program has proven to be one of the most successful in the country for this.

• Frozen Donor Egg Program

FDEP is another type of procedure that donors use apart from the conventional method described above. In FDEP, the process of monitoring, screening, and retrieving the egg happens before donor matching. The donors can then choose from the frozen eggs already collected.

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Infertility is Killing My Marriage: Break the Curse

Infertility Resources & Support

Infertility is Killing My Marriage: Break the Curse

Infertility can be extremely difficult on a marriage. There are strong emotions that come with such brutal news that cause infertility issues marriage. Luckily, there are things that you can do to handle the news properly and make your marriage better than ever.

1. Find a good fertility clinic

Find a good fertility clinic in Scottsdale. You probably have questions, so you can get all of the answers that you need. If you think "infertility is killing my marriage", you can learn do you have to be married to get fertility treatment? If you want to move forward, the advanced fertility clinic can help you move over.

2. Artificial insemination

One of the popular options today is artificial insemination. Clinics can grow an embryo successfully for up to five days. In this time, the doctors can determine which embryos have the greatest likelihood of success. Talk to your doctor to see if this is an option for you!

3. Surrogate

Many people decide to hire a surrogate who can carry the baby for them. This can be an expensive option, but a fertile woman would be able to carry your baby safely and successfully for you. You could post an ad to interview potential candidates and find one that you are comfortable with.

4. Decide not to have children

One of the possibilities is to cope with the idea of not having children. If having children was always part of the plan for you, this might not be an option. However, it's something to consider.

5. Foster children

There are older children in the foster system who need a place to live. Many of these children have gone through some trauma, and they could really use stability and a safe home. Be prepared for the children to only stay with you for a small amount of time, though.

6. Adoption

Many people have children that they can't care for. These children need someone with a big heart and room in their home to care for them. Not only will you be doing a great thing for the child, but it can give you the child that you've always wanted.

7. Counseling

Everyone can use counseling. It's extremely helpful during such a stressful time. Keep an open mind and actually give therapy a chance. This is especially useful when you and your partner cannot come to an agreement on how to handle the situation.Having children is one of the great joys in the world. However, it's not for everyone. The best thing you can do is get educated and come to an agreement with your partner on how to move forward.

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What Is The IVF Treatment Process?

Fertility Treatments

What Is The IVF Treatment Process?

In vitro fertilization, also known as test tube baby, is an assisted reproductive technology commonly known as IVF. It is the process of combining eggs and sperm outside of the body in a laboratory dish. Once the eggs are fertilized, the embryo is transferred to the uterus. For some couples, IVF is the best option. A fertility treatment center can help treat patients with the following disorders or issues:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
  • Individuals with a genetic disorder
  • Decreased pastillas ereccion sperm count or male infertility
  • Women who had fallopian tubes removed
  • Women with uterine fibroids
  • Premature ovarian failure

There are five steps in the embryo transfer and IVF process:

1.Stimulate Egg Production

Your doctor will prescribe medications to help stimulate egg production. It's ideal to use multiple eggs to ensure a greater chance of successful fertilization. Blood test samples are taken to check hormone levels, and an ultrasound is performed to examine the ovaries.

2.Retrieve the Egg

A minor surgical procedure using a hollow needle through the pelvic cavity is done to retrieve the eggs using ultrasound imaging.

3. The Sperm Sample is Retrieved

The male produces a sperm sample that will be used to fertilize the removed eggs. The whole point of IVF is that the fertilization can be done inside a laboratory where it can be monitored by professionals.

4. The Lab Fertilizes The Egg

The process of insemination begins where the eggs and sperm are mixed and stored in a laboratory. The eggs are monitored continuously to ensure cell division and fertilization are taking place. If this process is successful, the fertilized eggs become embryos.

5.The Embryos are Transferred

Within three to five days the embryos are transferred to the woman's uterus. A small tube is inserted into the uterus to transfer the embryos. Most women will experience mild pain or cramping during this process.

Side Effects

It is recommended that the patient take it easy immediately after the implantation. You will likely be able to resume your normal lifestyle the next day. Typical side effects after IVF include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Bloating

Serious symptoms that should not be ignored include:

  • Fever
  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Blood in the urine
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe stomach pains
  • Faintness

Egg retrieval carries the risk of damage to the bladder or bowel, bleeding, or infection.

Success Rates

The success rate depends on several factors including maternal age, history, lifestyle, and reason for infertility. If you can't produce healthy eggs or your husband or partner is sterile, you can choose to use donor sperm, eggs, or embryos. It is advised that you speak with an experienced counselor who specializes with donor concerns. You should consider talking with a physician or specialist at the fertility clinic Phoenix. They will be able to answer all of your questions including specific fertility programs and the cost involved. Many couples want to try over the counter options or traditional methods first. However, if you're looking for alternatives to increase your chances of conception or testing, a fertility specialist can help.

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10 Myths About the Causes of Infertility

Infertility Resources & Support

10 Myths About the Causes of Infertility

Help is available to couples who have trouble conceiving, and our fertility clinic Phoenix AZ helps people overcome infertility with a very high success rate. The first step to conquering infertility is often simply developing a better understanding of it. Here are 10 common myths about what causes infertility.

1. The woman is the problem.

Women and men both experience fertility problems. When helping couples conceive, doctors don't just look for signs of infertility in women. Both partners should visit the doctor.

2. Age causes infertility, so we should be fine.

Fertility decreases with age in both men and women, but young couples can and do have trouble conceiving. In fact, a woman's odds of getting pregnant start to decrease slightly around the age of 27.

3. He just needs different underwear.

Excessive heat such as that found in a hot tub can decrease a man's sperm count. Research has conclusively proven, however, that briefs and tight underwear that hold the testicles close to the body have no impact on male fertility. A man who prefers briefs to boxers is not damaging his sperm, which will still be viable for both traditional conception and use in artificial insemination.

4. You're just too stressed out to conceive. Relax.

Stress is not one of the signs of infertility. High stress levels can interfere with hormones and delay the release of an egg, but it doesn't cause infertility. A delayed egg release can make timing a bit trickier, but that's all it will do.

5. You're having trouble because you stayed on the pill too long.

Birth control pills use hormones to prevent ovulation. When a woman stops taking the pill, her hormone levels return to normal and the ovaries again begin releasing eggs. Birth control pills don't interfere with fertility, no matter how long you take them. Most women can conceive about a month after stopping the pill.

6. Lifestyle choices don't cause infertility. It's simply luck of the draw.

Women who are extremely underweight or overweight with a BMI of 30 or more often have trouble conceiving. Overweight men, too, often experience fertility problems. A healthy weight and balanced diet will help you conceive. So can quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and refraining from illicit drug use. Medications and medical conditions like diabetes play a role too, so talk to your doctor. Restoring fertility is sometimes as simple as a medication change.

7. You waited too long to have children.

Fertility does decrease with age, but people have healthy babies well into their forties and sometimes beyond. Even if age makes natural conception difficult, older couples often have great success turning to affordable IVF.

8. You just don't have sex enough.

More sex does mean more opportunities to get pregnant, but you need not force the issue or have sex every day to conceive. Healthy sperm in viable cervical fluid can survive up to five days, and women can get pregnant up to five days before and two days after ovulating. Sex every other day is a good idea when trying to conceive, but all the sex in the world won't solve fertility issues.

9. Vasectomy reversals never work. You just can't have a baby now.

It's true that The longer a man waits to have a vasectomy reversed, the lower the odds are that the procedure will work to restore fertility. A vasectomy reversal can provide a more than 50 percent chance of fathering a child, however, so never assume a vasectomy ruined your fertility forever.

10. Infertility is genetic, especially in men.

This myth is common but illogical. There are some genetic conditions that affect fertility, but if infertility were always genetic, you probably wouldn't be here today. Infertile families would fail to produce any heirs and the genetic traits that cause infertility wouldn't be passed on, eventually phasing out of the gene pool.

Conclusion

Whatever the reasons for infertility, many people believe that seeking the help of a fertility clinic always results in multiple births or IVF. These beliefs are myths too, however. Your options for treating infertility vary greatly and may include IVF. Other options are plentiful, however, and include lifestyle changes, artificial insemination and even embryo adoption. Getting help may also cost less than you fear if you find a cheap gynecologist who is more interested in helping infertile couples than getting rich off of them. If you're struggling with infertility, reach out and learn about all the options available to you. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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Coronavirus Update

Events & Announcements

Coronavirus Update

To Our Patients:

We know many of you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) and how it may impact us here at Advanced Fertility Care.  Ensuring patients are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority. At this time, we don’t have any cases in our clinic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our buildings. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. Below are some examples of how you can help protect the yourselves and our staff, as well as prevent the spread throughout the community.

If you are experiencing a cough, fever, sorethroat, runny nose, and/or shortness of breath, please call and reschedule yourappointment.

We encourage any patients who are scheduled fornew patient consultations or follow up appointments to do these by phone, Skypeor some other virtual communication.

You can help prevent the spread of infection byexercising proper hand washing hygiene as well as coughing and sneezing etiquette. We have hand washing and alcohol-based hand sanitizer availablethroughout our offices.  Please alsoavoid contact with people and items as much as possible: handshakes, handles,etc.

At this time, we request that family and friendsdo not accompany patients to appointments. Out of anabundance of caution, we are limiting all visitors to our offices unlessabsolutely necessary. We have posted signs on our entryway doors to notifyvisitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff,who need to come into the building. If you have a family member or friend withyou for appointments, please have them wait in the vehicle during yourappointment.

Our office has always followed CDCrecommendation on prevention, which includes: following strict handwashingprocedures, sanitizing rooms after each patient, sanitizing door handles and workstationsregularly, etc.  We have increased allprevention activities and are being vigilant in our sanitation practices.  We also are staying up to date with the CDCrecommendations as they may continue to change.

Should you have any questions, please feel freeto reach out to us.

For additional information, please visit the CDC’scoronavirus disease information page.

Sincerely,

Advanced Fertility Care

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