+27 (0) 11 709 9000

Blog

  • egg & sperm
  • images (6)
  • images (7)

Neat facts about the first 4 weeks of pregnancy

Out of approximately 350 million sperm cells, only about 250 make it to the egg

These little guys can take up to ten hours to make the journey up to the fallopian tube.
Sperm cells have been known to survive from 2 to 5 days in a woman’s body.
But the ovum is really only viable for about 12 to 24 hours after ovulation.
So timing is everything!

Don’t be discouraged if it takes longer, even the healthiest of couples only have a 15 to 20% chance of falling pregnant every month they try. And then, as we all know from watching Kirsty Alley’s movie “Look who’s talking” only one lucky little one makes it in.

It takes about 20 minutes for the sperm cell to enter the egg (ovum). The moment that this happens, the sperm cell’s nucleus merges with the egg’s. This means that fertilisation has happened. After this, the egg is referred to as a Zygote, and it’s the very first step in its journey towards being a proper little human. The little zygote then starts drifting toward the uterus, splitting into two, then four, then eight etc cells every 12 hours.download (8)

In the meantime, the uterus has been priming itself to receive this little morula (not the fruit). This is when your body starts pumping out the hormones like oestrogen and progesterone.  A few days later, the little morula is changing yet again. A cavity forms its centre, and two groups of cells form on its sides: one group will become the embryo, and the other will become the placenta.

Then it’s time for another name-change, a blastocyst. Approximately a week after fertilisation, the blastocysts tumbles out of its surrounding membrane in order for the growing cells to more easily bond with the uterus.

The little blastocyst anchors itself to the wall of the uterus. This implantation is when mother and embryo become linked together, sharing hormones and other essential fluids.

This is the time when you can start testing for pregnancy, as the hormonal surges will only increase from here on out.

 **Let Predictor Early, the most sensitive test on the market, help you receive this incredible news as soon as possible!

References

http://www.babycenter.com

 

  • IVF

IVF & Infertility at a glance

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.Pregnancy

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:

Fertility

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.

 

References:
  1. http://www.webmd.com/infertility-and-reproduction/guide/in-vitro-fertilization
  2. NHS Choices. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Fertility/Pages/IVFexplained.aspx
  3. Cape Fertility Clinic. http://capefertilityclinic.co.za/fertility-treatment/in-vitro-fertilization/
  4. Resolve; The national infertility association. http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/ivf-art/what-are-my-chances-of-success-with-ivf.html
  5. 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

Menstruation, Ovulation & Ovulatory Dysfunction

A woman goes through 4 phases during her menstrual cycle; Menstrual Phase, Follicular Phase, Ovulatory Phase and Luteal Phase. Irregularities of menstrual cycle, in particular the ovulatory phase can drastically effect conception

Menstrual phase is characterised by the uterus shedding its lining. This occurs after an egg has failed to implant into the uterus.

Follicular phase:  This phase is characterised by the development of eggs in the ovary. One of these eggs matures in a sac-like-structure called a follicle. This follicle develops and secretes a hormone which causes the uterine wall (endometrium) to thicken, preparing for egg implantation.

ovulationsummary-of-ovulation-fertijpg-nnealhrcOvulatory phase: During this phase the body prepares to release an egg for fertilisation. Around day 14 of the menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland secretes a hormone called the Luitenising hormone (LH). This hormone causes the egg to be released from the ovary, allowing it to travel down the fallopian tubes for fertilisation. The egg is propelled down the fallopian tubes to the uterus by small hair like extensions called cilia of the fimbriae. The egg can stay in the fallopian tubes for up to 24 hours and can take up to 5 days to travel from the ovary to the uterus.

The luteal phase starts on day 15 and lasts until the end of the menstrual cycle. This stage
focuses on preparing the uterus for fertilisation. Hormones; oestrogen and progesterone ensure that the endometrium remains lush to allow for implantation of a fertilised egg. If the egg has not been fertilised these hormone levels decline and the endometrium lining begins to shed, starting the menstrual phase.

Understanding your ovulatory cycle

Understanding your ovulatory cycle is vital when trying to conceive naturally. The average woman ovulates every 25 to 32 days but this cycle can vary from person to person. During ovulation the egg is in the optimal position for fertilisation. Predictor Ovulation allows you to test whether you are ovulating at the comfort of your own home.  This test determines the best 2 days to conceive. If you have been unable to conceive naturally for an extensive period of time please visit your nearest doctor as you might have ovulatory dysfunction or fertility issues.

Ovulatory dysfunction is a condition whereby ovulation does not occur regularly or fails to occur at all. It is one of the main causes of female infertility. If a woman does not ovulate regularly she has fewer chances to conceive as she may ovulate less frequently. Irregular or late ovulation can affect the quality of eggs available for fertilisation. The main causes for ovulatory dysfunction include:download (1)

  • Ageing: As you age, the number of eggs available for fertilisation decline. When these levels are critically low, menstrual cycles may become irregular.

 

  • Hormonal irregularities: Some women have irregular menstrual cycles because their ovaries produce too much androgen (male hormones). This condition is more common in women who are overweight, and have a history of irregular periods, acne, and/or infertility. This syndrome is called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or PCO. This condition is often presents with cysts under the surface of the ovary. Women who have PCOS often need to be on treatment to regulate their menstrual cycles.

 

  • Stress: Physical or mental stress can often cause ovulatory problems. Women under extreme mental stress (professional students or executive managers) often stop ovulating for short periods of time. This an-ovulation is usually temporary and usually cycles return to normal when the stressor is no longer present. Extreme weight loss or intense exercise (as in professional athletes) can also cause ovulatory dysfunction.

 

  • Thyroid disorders: An over or under active thyroid can cause ovulatory problems.  If a woman has been unable to fall pregnant after an extensive period of time she should speak to her doctor about testing her thyroid function. Proper treatment of a thyroid abnormality can often restore ovulation.

 

  • Abnormal ovariesSome women are born with ovaries that cannot produce eggs. Women with this condition do not go through puberty and usually never have a period.

 

  1. Phases of the Menstrual cycle. Last accessed 9 September 2014. http://menstrupedia.com/articles/physiology/cycle-phases
  2. Ovulatory Dysfunction. Last accessed 9 September 2014 http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/ovulatory_dysfunction.html