What is Infertility?
Have you tried to fall pregnant with no success?
Are you considering fertility treatments?
Infertility is an unfortunate reality in our lives today. It affects up to 1 in 4 couples worldwide (WHO). For both women and men, it can be quite a distressing not being able to fall pregnant.
Many couples are astounded when they fail to fall pregnant and they often don’t understand how it could happen to them or what to do about it. In order for conception to be successful the male’s sperm needs to travels up the woman’s fallopian tube and fertilise an egg that has been released after ovulation. Most couples don’t realise that they are affected by infertility until they have been trying to fall pregnant for over a year. A medical practitioner will then send them for special tests in order to determine the cause of their infertility. Possible causes include:
– Low sperm count or abnormal sperm morphology (structure)
– Structural problems with the woman’s fallopian tubes or uterus
– Ovulatory dysfunction
– Or an inability of the sperm to penetrate the woman’s cervical mucus
Every couple is unique and requires a different fertility plan. You should seek medical advice as soon as possible and you may need additional fertility counselling to help you conceive.
What is IVF?
IVF is one of the most talked about fertility options available today. The word has become synonymous with infertility. There are many other treatments available and your fertility specialist will be able to direct you to the procedure that would be best suited for you and your partner.
IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilisation. It is an external fertilisation process whereby a fertility specialist surgically removes developing eggs from your ovaries and fertilises them in the laboratory using the partner’s sperm sample. Once the egg is fertilised and the embryo forms, the egg is then surgically implanted into your uterus.
Success rates vary from woman to woman and depend entirely on a woman’s age, severity of infertility as well as other factors. Typically, one cycle of IVF can take between four and seven weeks and many women need at least three cycles in order to conceive. Women with high chances of conception have an IVF success rate of approximately 40%, but majority of women have a success rate of 20-35%.
If you are trying to conceive please consult your Fertility specialist for the best treatment for you.
- NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Fertility/Pages/IVFexplained.aspx
- Cape Fertility Clinic. http://capefertilityclinic.co.za/fertility-treatment/in-vitro-fertilization/
- Resolve; The national infertility association. http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/ivf-art/what-are-my-chances-of-success-with-ivf.html
- Boivin, L. Bunting, JA. Collins. KG. Nygren. International estimates of infertility prevalence and treatment-seeking: potential need and demand for infertility medical care. Oxford Journal. Volume 22, Issue 6. Pp. 1506-1512