FAQs - Fertility
Facing fertility issues is stressful. Getting ready to undergo treatment can be both an exciting and a nerve-wracking experience. Understanding the various treatments available can help in lowering your anxiety.
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When should you consult a fertility specialist?
If you are < 35 yrs and having regular unprotected intercourse for a year and have not yet conceived or
If your periods are not regular
If you are facing difficulty in having intercourse
> 35 yrs and trying since 6 months
What does regular intercourse mean?
Having intercourse at least twice a week
How does natural conception occur?
Naturally conception occurs when the male’s sperm meets the woman’s egg. This typically takes place in one of the woman’s fallopian tubes and the fertilized egg then travels to the uterus and is implanted in the uterine lining. Only one egg is released for fertilization in each menstrual cycle. If this egg is not fertilized, conception will not be possible again until the next cycle
Semen leaks out after intercourse, does it affect in achieving the pregnancy? This spillage doesn’t decrease pregnancy chances.
Semen is ejaculated in spurts and gets sprayed over the mouth of the uterus (external os). The sperms swim up and enter the cervical canal while the seminal plasma comes out.
What is the frequency of couples suffering from infertility?
15% of couples attempting pregnancy will have difficulty in achieving it.
Are fertility issues only because of the female partner?
No. There is equal contribution from both the partners in creating a life.. while 30% of issues are because of female partner, 30% are because of the male partner. 30% due to both partners, 10% is unexplained.
What causes infertility in the female partners?
Tubal disorders such as blocked fallopian tubes,
Uterine disorders such as endometriosis, fibroids etc
Ovarian issues like polycystic ovarian syndrome , low ovarian reserve , endometriosis etc.
Imbalances of reproductive hormones - hypothyroidism, pituitary tumors, hypopituitarism.
What causes infertility in the male partners?
Blockage in the tubes that carry semen (such as ejaculatory ducts and seminal vesicles). Blockages are commonly due to injuries or infections of the genital tract.
Hormonal disorders such as in testosterone which regulates sperm production, high prolactin levels.
Testicular failure to produce sperm due to varicoceles, chemotherapy etc
Abnormal sperm function and quality due to smoking, alcohol, obesity, infections, pollution, toxins etc.
What happens in the first visit to a fertility clinic?
The first consultation involves a complete medical history and both the partners are evaluated to find out the cause of infertility
What tests will be done for a patient with fertility issues?
Ultrasound pelvis - to look at the womb and ovaries and to detect any pathology
Semen analysis - to know the sperm count, motility, morphology, presence of any infection
Routine blood checks like TSH, Prolactin, CBP etc. to evaluate the health status prior to pregnancy
HSG - tube test - to check if the fallopian tubes are open or not (egg and sperm can meet only if at least one tube is open and normal)
Depending on the age of the woman , ovarian reserve (no of eggs in the ovary), tubal status, concomitant conditions (endometriosis, hydrosalpinx etc.), husband semen parameters - different treatment options are available.
When is the best time to have intercourse?
The most fertile days are the two days before ovulation and on the day of ovulation. For people trying to conceive, getting the timing right relative to ovulation is more important than any other factor.
How to predict the exact time of ovulation?
Your basal body temperature falls slightly, then rises again.
Your cervical mucus becomes clearer and thinner with a more slippery consistency similar to that of egg whites.
You may feel a slight twinge of pain or mild cramps in your lower abdomen.
Your sex drive may increase.
You may notice some light spotting.
Urine test with ovulation kits(LH kits).
Scan done by your doctor.
What happens after ovulation?
An egg can be fertilized between 12 and 24 hours after ovulation. Sperms can survive on an average up to 2-5 days in a female body in the cervical mucus. Hence having sex on alternate days is advised around the time of ovulation.
What to avoid after intercourse?
Vigorous washing/ douching of the vagina with water or a wash.
When can we test for pregnancy?
Urine pregnancy test can be done one day after a missed period. Serum beta HCG (blood test) can be done on the same day as your missed period.