Factors which decide IVF Success Rates Blog by Dr Geetha R

Reproductive medicine is an evolving field constantly working towards improving the success rates IVF has contributed to more than 6 million babies worldwide, innovations keep emerging and the success rates keep improving.

Success rates with IVF treatment though high cannot be 100% always.
The success rates are influenced by many external and internal factors

Internal factors:
Age of the couple and the type of infertility

External factors :
Lifestyle factors
Laboratory quality
Experience and the Skill of the Clinician and the embryologist

1. Age of the couple:

Age has got its own impact on fertility as in any other system .Advancing age has an impact on both the quantity and quality of available oocytes
More than 80% of embryos formed out of oocytes obtained from woman >42 years are found to be aneuploidy or chromosomally abnormal
The IVF success rates dramatically decreases when the woman is >35 years
Success rates are 40% if the woman is <35
30% – 35-37 years
22% – 38-40 YEARS
10% in 40-42
<5 % in woman>43 years

Paternal aging also has an impact on fertility by compromising the sperm quality by increasing the damage on the Sperm DNA hence decreasing the fertilisation capacity as well as embryo quality
Sperm DNA damage is considerably increased in men over 45 years.

2. Type of Fertlity problem

The most important factor which decides the success with IVF is the ovarian reserve.
The higher the number of follicles available, higher the number of oocytes obtained which translates to higher success rates.

Woman with low reserve yield less number of oocytes, < 3 oocytes is considered a decreased ovarian response which compromises the success rates

Low reserve may be a part of aging or conditions like endometriosis, surgery on the ovaries, some autoimmune or chromosomal problems or an exposure to chemotherapy or Radiotherapy
Success rates are very high even upto 80% when infertility is only due to tubal factor or low sperm counts
Suceess rates are compromised when multiple factors are present, Higher the number of factors contributing to infertility poorer are the success rates.

Success rates decease when the woman has multiple fibroids closer to the cavity, or adenomyosis.Both these factors may affect the implantation

External Factors

1. Lifestyle factors

Obesity

Obesity in both male and female is proven to affect the gamete quality.It can also affect the way the body responds to fertility medications, very high doses of gonadotropins may be needed to achieve a desired response
Obesity may cause procedural difficulties which may affect oocyte yield
It is also known to affect implantation and is associated with increased rates of miscarriage

Smoking: Cigarette smoke has serious reproductive consequences for both men and women. The sperm of male smokers has been found to have reduced fertilizing capacity, and embryos from that sperm also display lower rates of implantation. In female smokers, the aging of the ovaries is faster, and their uteruses are less receptive. Overall, the outcome of IVF cycles has been found to be significantly worse in female smokers, who may require twice as many IVF cycles to become pregnant.

2. Laboratory quality

IVF laboratory plays a very crucial part in determining the success rates.After all the gametes need to be handled in a highly controlled and protective environment as the human body

Ÿ?? Microorganisms such as germs or fungi can have an adverse effect on developing embryos, so excellent air quality is a must. Specially designed Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units equipped with charcoal filters and high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) air filters and enough dair pressure to completely change the air in the room 20 times per hour should be standard.

Ÿ?? Temperature and light: In the first few delicate hours and days of development, both of these factors are crucial. Keeping embryos at body temperature and filtering out ultraviolet light are two ways to eliminate stress which could damage growth.

An IVF lab with highest quality control constantly maintained by regular auditing of the lab conditions and procedures can definitely help in achieving highest success rates.

3. Experience and expertise of the clinician/Embryologist

Well experienced and qualified IVF clinician/Andrologist are of utmost importance in optimising the success rates as they can offer adjuvants , individualised protocols and sperm selection methods based on the ovarian reserve and sperm parameters respectively.Success of IVF also depends on the optimal preparation of the endometrial lining and the ease of embryo transfer technique.However good quality the embryos may be if fails to implant if the uterine environment is unfavourable or when difficulty is encountered in embryo transfer.A well experienced can make a big difference in these areas.

Qualification and the experience of the embryologist is also invaluable in determining the success rates.Minimal handling of the embryos, speed and gentleness of the procedures like ICSI, embryo freezing, thawing are critically important for high success rates, the minimum the exposure of the gametes/embryos outside the incubator, the maximum are the success rates.

Every fertility journey has an element of uncertainty, but there is a lot that your fertility clinic can do to contribute to IVF success

By Dr. Geetha R

 

A HAPPY ENDING FOR THE YOUNG COUPLE- By Dr. Mirudhubashini Govindarajan

For long, this young pair had been dreaming of a happy home resounding with the gurgles and laughs of their little bundle of joy. But when this dream failed to turn into reality despite many tries Ÿ?? there was extreme disappointment.

Thanjavur-based couple, 24-year-old Sowmya (name changed) and her 31-year-old husband Shrikant (name changed), had been married for three years. After they failed to conceive naturally, they consulted many IVF clinics but to no avail. They were put through many fertility treatments such as Ovulation Induction (in this treatment, a woman is given medication to help in the ovulation process or to increase the number of eggs released from the ovary) and two cycles of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), wherein the sperms from the male partner are directly placed in the uterus of the woman to increase the chance of conception. But all these treatments failed to get any results. That is when the couple decided to visit Womens Center by Motherhood, Coimbatore.

Ÿ??When they came to us, the coupleŸ??s previous reports showed that the male partnerŸ??s sperm count was fluctuating quite remarkably – from no sperms in the semen to about 10 million. We did detailed evaluations of both the husband and wife at our hospital; we found that the wifeŸ??s parameters were more or less normal while the husband had hormonal imbalances, including low testosterone levels,Ÿ? said Dr. Mirudubhashini Govindarajan, Clinical Director-Obstetrics, Gynaecology & IVF Specialist at Womens Center by Motherhood.

To add to this, the man was morbidly obese with a BMI of 38, which could have been one of the contributing factors. As a first step, the doctor advised him to reduce weight and also put him on medication to bring his hormone levels to normal.
In two months, there was considerable progress. The male partnerŸ??s weight had reduced, and his hormones levels were better. As a result, the number and quality of the sperms improved.


Ÿ??Following this, we stimulated a few of the wifeŸ??s eggs for ovulation and carried out an IUI procedure on her. The treatment has borne fruit, and she is pregnant,Ÿ? added Dr. Mirudubhashini.

Many a time, when an infertility couple are seeking fertility treatment, the women is investigated for the cause and a cursory treatment is started. Often, not much attention is paid to the male partner. In about half the couples, there is a problem on the male side also. This may not be apparent by doing semen analysis alone and requires a proper work up to complete the initial assessment. This couple were a prime example of what can be achieved by this approach.

For more information on Advanced Fertility Procedures and Appointments, call 98848 38349.

How does laparoscopy help in infertility?

Laparoscopy plays a very important role in the management of subfertility. Its suggested for women where after the basic investigation like hysterosalpingogram for tube assessment, ultrasound for assessment of uterus and ovary, and hormone analysis for the female partner and semen analysis in a male partner have not yielded any reason for subfertility or when on ultrasound in female partner has shown certain abnormality .

Laparoscopy is a very simple procedure. In subfertility usually it a day care procedure.it is done under anaesthesia but hysteroscopy can be done without anaesthesia which we call it as office hysteroscopy. Like women is admitted in the morning and discharged by evening, as it being diagnostic in nature most of the time. Even if we have do some corrective procedure like adhesiolysis, drilling, cystectomy, tubal cannulation, polypectomy or septal resection

Usually in a diagnostic lap with create 2 small incision of 5mm on the abdomen through which lap instruments are passed through and the procedure completed. If we need to do some operative procedure like cystectomy or adhesiolysis we create one more incision. As the cut are very small the problems associated with surgery is very minimal. Patient generally do not complain of pain and usually can go back to normal routine work in a daysŸ?? time.

Although there are many scientific methods to treat infertility such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) assisted reproductive technologies (ART), laparoscopy is inevitable in conditions where the reasons for infertility remain unknown.

When is diagnostic laparoscopy for infertility recommended?

After the initial work up of the couple if we find that thereŸ??s no obvious reason for subfertility then we recommend further investigation with diagnostic hystero- laparoscopy. And also when there are certain indications like

  • In case of an previous pelvic surgery
  • In case of suspected mild to moderate endometriosis.
  • In case of suspected pelvic inflammatory disease or tuberculosis.
  • In case of severe pain and cramps during menstrual cycles.

When is laparoscopic surgery recommended?

Is indicated when on initial investigation reveals certain correctable causes of subfertility.

  • In case of polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • In case of an endometrial deposits
  • If the fallopian tubes are blocked
  • If Hydrosalpinx is suspected
  • If ovarian cysts block fallopian tubes

Benefits of Laparoscopy:

  • Helps in having a comprehensive and detailed look inside the abdominal region
  • Helps in getting rid of pelvic pain
  • Helps in removing scar tissues, fibroids, and endometrial deposits

IVF: A Guide to overcome infertility

Childbirth is definitely the most pleasant and blissful moment of life. But some of us face issues in getting pregnant which can be very depressing. It could steal away the essence and happiness of life. Times have changed and we live in the 21st century. There are rays of hope everywhere and infertility is no more a source of dismay for an entire lifetime. Medical Science has evolved and developed in such a way that there is not one but numerous solutions for a medical problem. Same is the case with infertility as well. Are you trying to conceive your own little one? Why not try one of the most successful infertility treatments, In vitro fertilization (IVF)? Here’s a brief detail about IVF for you to decide.

IVF is a process which is carried out in 4 primary steps being:

Ovulation Induction:

Your IVF specialist will closely monitor the ovaries and the time in which the eggs are released. In IVF treatment the target is to get at least 10 to 12 oocytes (eggs). Generally, in one cycle women produces only one or two oocytes, so to increase the number of the egg doctor start what is called ovulation induction starting from day 2 or 3 of the cycle. Generally injections are used. During this process of ovulation induction, the women is monitored to check for the response both by scan and blood to adjust the dose of the injection.

Retrieving the eggs:

During the second process, after giving the anesthesia medication, a thin needle will be passed into the upper vaginal wall in order to remove the fluid under the follicles. Vaginal ultrasound is also used in the process. Then, the oocyte or the egg is separated from the follicular fluid. The eggs are then analyzed for the number, maturity and the quality.

Fertilization of the egg:

After securing a sperm sample, the most active sperm is put together with the egg in a chamber. At times, the sperm is injected into the egg which is known as ICSI. Later, both the sperm and eggs are kept in an incubator until a healthy embryo is formed.

Transferring of the embryo:

The final step involves embryo transfer. The healthiest embryo is selected for transfer. The process involves placing a speculum into your vagina and transferring the embryo with the help of a small plastic tube placed through the cervix into the uterine cavity. After the process patient is advised to undertake a restricted activity and is also put on medications to support the embryo development.

Haven’t you wondered as to why IVF has become one of the most popular treatments? Here’s why.

. High success rates. Success rates depend on the age of the women so earlier the better.

. IVF is a lifesaver and provides the chance for women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes to have a child using their own eggs.

. Older women with lower ovarian reserve can depend on IVF as the method maximizes the chance of getting pregnant.

. If you’re a couple facing male infertility issues can definitely rely on IVF. A series of laboratory procedures like the intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) facilitate the treatment.

. In the IVF treatment, you can use donor eggs and sperms.

. The chances of a miscarriage are less. The genetic viability of an embryo is determined in the earlier stages of the treatment which leads to a greater opportunity for enjoying a healthy pregnancy.

Looking for a reliable centre to help you overcome the barriers of conceiving a child? Visit Aikya Fertility Laparoscopy Women Health Centre and avail the best IVF treatment in Bangalore from proficient doctors.

What Is Ovulation Induction And Am I A Good Candidate?

Things you should know about Ovulation Induction

The basic requirement for conceiving is the egg and sperm. Many couple are not able to conceive because of so issues related to this. Ovulation commonly known as release of egg from the ovary. Anovulation is a very common issue leading to subfertility. Anovulation could be because of many different reasons, mainly due to hormonal imbalance. Most common cause is polycystic ovarian disease. It’s quite simple to understand that if we restore ovulation the chance of fertility is restored

If you are going through ovulation issues but still you want your own child, ovulation induction is the ideal treatment option to help you out!

Understanding ovulation induction…

As now we already know that ovulation is the most basic requirement for fertility. Ovulation induction means to restore the egg development and release of egg in women having anovulation. After proper investigation to explore the cause of anovulation, treatment can be planned. Treatment of anovulation is generally very simple with basic oral medication or sometimes combing with injections depending on the cause of the condition and the response of the patient to the above treatment.

Who would require ovulation induction?

Ovulation induction is one of the options offered to women if:

  • PCOS which is making your menstrual cycle irregular.
  • Other medical issues like obesity, overweight and hormonal dysfunction.
  • Irregular periods due to any reasons
  • Unexplained subfertility

These problems affect women from conceiving. Ovulation Stimulation is a good option for women with these problems as this increases the chances of being pregnant.

How can ovulation induction benefit you?

The process stimulates the development and release of eggs from the ovary in a natural way either through fertility pills or injections. The medications that are used for stimulation of eggs, increase the quality and quantity of eggs. Thereby the chances of conceiving become much higher.

And finally, the procedure is also used in the IVF cycle since stimulation of eggs helps to mature multiple eggs in just one cycle.

Investigation of Infertility- The Despondent Woman

ItŸ??s very heartening when I see women are subjected to all the pressure and treatment for pregnancy. The problem may be either related to the man or women. But most often only women have to bear the challenges of the treatment, such as Regular vaginal scans, hormonal blood tests and of all regular medication and injections.

Today I saw a young women who was 24 years old coming for consultation to my OPD.

So I started my series of Questions which are a part of the usual history taking process.

The answers, however, came as a shock to me.

I asked her what the issue was. She said she had not yet conceived

How long has she been married for? —- 4 months!!

She has already done all the blood test as part of the Infertility workup.

And had already seen two consultants

Okay, I thought there must be some issue.

So I went through the reports and previous consultations and found nothing medically wrong.

So what is it?

Then I asked for her husband to come in, as he was not present, thinking that he must be waiting to be called.

But she had come with her Ÿ??Ÿ??Ÿ??Ÿ??Ÿ??.. Mother. And the Husband was not present for the consultation.

So I again repeated my question, but this time differently.

I asked her Ÿ??Why such an urgencyŸ?.

With tears in her eyes, she said that her mother in law was forcing her to get pregnant since the first month of marriage. When asked if semen analysis was done as part of the work-up, She answered in a very unassuming tone that. IT WAS NOT DONE.

After more than 2 decades of being in practice What I still fail to understand is why is it always it the women who has to undergo the brunt of bearing the blame for not getting pregnant. When the male partner is not even available with wife during the first consultation.

ItŸ??s very well-known that both men and women are equally responsible for conceiving and also for not conceiving.

When do we investigate couple for fertility issues?

We advise investigation only after one year of unprotected intercourse, where the women is less than 30 years of age and 6 months unprotected intercourse, for women more than 30 years of age.

Do couple need any investigation before conceiving at all?

As routine preconception counselling we do advice few investigation which would prevent complications during pregnancy like haemoglobin test, thyroid function test, and rubella screening.

Who has to be investigated first husband or wife?

As both are equally responsible both have to be investigated together. There are the battery of test to be done to investigate a woman but for a man, itŸ??s just one simple test Ÿ?? semen analysis.

Why is there a prejudice when it comes to women being subjected to infertility treatment?

The general conception in many house hold is that if the couple has not conceived after trying for many months, the blame is usually put on the wife. This is not always the case and in such circumstances, the couple need to support each other rather than point fingers and play the blame game.

Why does the male partner shy away from getting tested?

In my personal experience, I have seen that many Men think that revealing that they have a low sperm count or low motility is like questioning their manhood. This is a very damaging misconception and can lead to lot of issues among the couple if not sorted out. The male partner needs to be counselled regarding the need to get tested for complete evaluation of infertility, and that the reports are completely confidential.

 

Why should you see a doctor if you surfer from pregnancy loss?

ItŸ??s believed that 75percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, most miscarriages go unnoticed because they happen so early. The victim might feel it like a normal period, slightly delayed though says Dr.Mirudhubashini Govindarajan, Clinical Director, WomenŸ??s Center by Motherhood. Experts believe that 15 to 20 percent of women will experience a miscarriage which is clinically recognized. Ÿ??This happens due to genetic, infective, immunological, endocrine or environmental causes or structural defects,Ÿ? she adds. According to her, 50 percent of early miscarriages could be attributed to genetic causes when fetus cannot survive due to genetic or chromosomal defect.

This miscarriage is a random event. Ÿ??But, most such women will achieve normal pregnancy subsequently,Ÿ? avers Dr.Mirudhubashini. As for immunological causes, it is finally the clots in blood which result in the demise of the fetus. Ÿ??Antibodies which some women carry in their blood may attack their own cells,Ÿ? informs Dr.Mirudhubashini, adding Ÿ??some of these antibodies may attack the placenta or promote formation of blood clots in the placentaŸ?. The clots can slow down the fetal growth leading to eventual miscarriage.

Miscarriage can also occur due to anatomic causes because some women may have a septum (wall) within the uterus. It could come in the form of a double or half uterine cavity or a similar defect which leads to miscarriage. Presence of large fibroids, particularly, those encroaching upon the uterine cavity can also preclude a successful pregnancy outcome.

Miscarriage can also occur due to infections. Many types of bacteria, viruses or parasites can cause pregnancy loss. But, this is not very common.

Elaborating on endocrine causes, Dr.Mirudhubashini says that women with irregular periods or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) run a higher risk of early pregnancy loss because the multiple maternal hormones fail to provide an ideal environment to the developing embryo.

We canŸ??t do much about many of these causes. But, miscarriages occurring due to certain environmental causes like intake of harmful substances like drugs, alcohol, smoking or excessive caffeine can definitely be prevented to a great through abstention.

Miscarriage is never a pleasant experience. The agony could have a prolonged effect. Bleeding is the first symptom of a miscarriage. It could range from spotting to heavy bleeding (haemorrhage). A miscarriage resulting in haemorrhage is generally not life-threatening if good medical help is available. Ÿ??But, in the long run, a woman could become anaemic due to blood loss. She needs to be given adequate iron supplements and vitamin-rich diet to take care of nutritional deficitŸ? advises Dr.Mirudhubashini.

A woman suffering from miscarriage must get adequate rest and if she is working, it is advisable to take a few days off thus allowing the bleeding to taper off in a week. But, persistent bleeding or heavier than normal period is a definite indication that you should visit a doctor, says

Dr.Mirudhubashini. Ÿ??You should also avoid intercourse during this time. This is not good because the uterus is still healing. One should remember that infection might occur at any point because the mouth of the uterus is open from a few hours to days making it vulnerable to bacterial attack. Frequent change of sanitary napkins should be strictly followed. This along with adequate rest prevents infection in most casesŸ? she explains.

So, how would one know in the case of infection?
Ÿ??ItŸ??s a good question. ThereŸ??re a few symptoms which include pelvic pain, fever, foul-smelling discharge, burning and/or pain while passing urine besides vomiting, body ache or lethargy,Ÿ? she confirms.

So, how long one should wait before attempting the next pregnancy after a miscarriage?
Experts says a couple should plan their next pregnancy from the third month after the miscarriage since it takes about six weeks for a womanŸ??s body to come back to normal after the miscarriage. Ÿ??But before that the couple should undergo a thorough medical investigation to rule out any possible causes of repeated miscarriages,Ÿ? cautions Dr.Mirudhubashini. In the event of detecting the cause, it should be treated before attempting another pregnancy. In the case of a first miscarriage, basic testing is done to rule out infection or endocrine causes. A second miscarriage, however, will need a detailed testing while a third miscarriage warrants detailed counselling including genetic counselling and detailed probe to detect possible causes.

A woman who has suffered from miscarriage in the past should undergo pre-pregnancy counselling and start on folic acid supplements. The physician treating her should also need to correct her nutritional and mental health as the situation demands. In essence, any woman with a past history of miscarriage would do better in her next pregnancy with extra medical monitoring.

For Contact: 146B, Mettupalayam Road, Coimbatore Ÿ?? 641043
For Appointment: 0422-4201000

7 Strategies to Help a Couple Support Each Other When Struggling With Infertility

7 Strategies to Help a Couple Support Each Other When Struggling With Infertility

Dealing with infertility can be one of the most difficult challenges a couple can face in their relationship. The emotional impact of infertility can take its toll on each partner, diminishing their self-esteem and making them feel like they have no control over their life. For women, especially, medication and procedures can make them feel like their body isnŸ??t their own anymore. To add to this, couples also have to deal with the financial burden of infertility as well as work-related stress. But instead of crumbling under the pressure of understanding infertility and its implications, couples can use this as an opportunity to strengthen their bond. Here are a few ways for partners to support each other while they embark on their journey to conception.

1.Understand how each of you is coping

Most men and women cope with the stress of infertility in a completely different way. Women prefer to voice their anxieties and speak at length about their emotions with their partner, family and a close circle of friends. In a lot of cases, men are the polar opposite. When men feel upset or anxious about infertility, they tend to internalise their emotions and try to work through it by themselves. This can make their partner feel like theyŸ??re aloof and disinterested. Understanding how each of you is dealing with infertility can go a long way in avoiding miscommunications and resentment. Try to have an open, honest conversation with each other so you can understand the other better instead of reaching conclusions on your own.

2.Openly discuss your feelings-but choose your words carefully

ItŸ??s completely normal for couples to experience feelings of inadequacy and guilt when coping with infertility. However, a lot of times, these emotions can be expressed instead as anger and resentment. When there is a lack of communication about infertility, marriage problems can often arise. This is why you should try to talk about your feelings honestly with your partner. But even while you have an open conversation, itŸ??s important that you carefully think about your words and the impact that they might have. Using phrases like Ÿ??you neverŸ? and Ÿ??you alwaysŸ?? can make your partner feel attacked and distract from the matter at hand.

3.Go to all your doctor’s appointments together

Dealing with infertility as well as the emotional and physical stress which come with it can often be a very isolating experience. Societal conditioning can make women feel like infertility is their fault and that their body has betrayed them. Infertility can also make men believe that they arenŸ??t as virile or Ÿ??manlyŸ??. But throughout this emotional turmoil, itŸ??s important for a couple to remember that they are in this together. Being able to lean on each other can be the best way to face infertility head-on. One of the most effective ways to do this is by going to every doctorŸ??s appointment together. Even if both partners arenŸ??t required for the procedure, simply being there will help the other person feel like they have unconditional support.

4.Share the burden of daily chores equally

When theyŸ??re already dealing with stress due to infertility, additional burdens can often be too much for a couple to bear. Much too often, women do the bulk of the housework as well as daily chores like grocery shopping and picking up the dry cleaning. During fertility treatments, they also often go through the most number of procedures and medication. Both of these can affect a womanŸ??s mental and physical strength. In these situations, itŸ??s important that men realise what their partner is going through and try to lighten their load as much as possible. This means cleaning the house, cooking meals and simply being there for their partner when she needs it.

5.Express your admiration for each other

Self-esteem can often take a massive hit when a couple goes through the struggle of infertility. Both partners tend to feel inadequate and are riddled with feelings of guilt and insecurity. For women, infertility procedures and medication can worsen things because they can make her feel like her body is being violated. The side-effects of these procedures and the pain can also make a woman feel unattractive and less womanly. At times like these, both partners need to constantly reaffirm their love for each other and express their admiration for the person that they are. Just by frequently complimenting your partner, you can help your partner rebuild their sense of self-worth.

6.Find stress-busting activities to do together

Finding productive outlets for stress can help prevent it from building up and turning into anger. Stress is almost always the reason why couples become impatient with each other and constantly bicker when theyŸ??re dealing with infertility. Instead of allowing stress to consume their relationship, couples can use this as an opportunity to come closer. Stress-relieving activities like yoga, meditation and even working out together can kill stress and give couples a fun way to bond with each other.< 7.Make an effort to increase intimacy

Even though sex is the most important aspect of conception, ironically, itŸ??s often the first thing to take a hit when a couple is confronted with infertility. Because of what it represents, sex can often remind couples of their failure to conceive. Sex can also become difficult when youŸ??re trying hard to get pregnant because almost every aspect of it becomes monitored. Both partners can feel like there is no emotional connection anymore and often lose their sex drive. Men can also experience erectile dysfunction if they feel too pressured to perform. This is why itŸ??s important that couples take time out to increase feelings of intimacy through romantic gestures. They should also try to have sex during non-ovulation days, so they donŸ??t feel burdened by the pressure to conceive.

At Motherhood IVF, we understand that infertility can be demanding, emotionally stressful and physically draining for every couple. This is why our comprehensive infertility treatments include counselling to make the journey to conception easier for you. Visit Motherhood IVF today and take the first step towards your dream of becoming a parent.

 

9 Strategies to Help You Cope With Stress Due to Infertility

Dealing with the struggle of infertility is often one of the most physically and emotionally exhausting ordeals of a personŸ??s life. The feeling of losing control over your body and your future can be extremely stressful. This is also very harmful because stress is one of the biggest risk factors to avoid when youŸ??re trying to get pregnant. To break the vicious cycle of stress and infertility, here are a few coping strategies every couple should know about.

1.Vocalise Your Feelings

Many people dealing with infertility try to suppress their emotions and carry on like nothing is wrong. However, the more you try to push down your thoughts, the more they will threaten to resurface. Instead of staying in denial, speak about your emotions openly so you can start confronting them head-on. Vocalising your feelings will help you understand what youŸ??re going through and might even help you tackle irrational thoughts. Getting these feelings of negativity out of your system is crucial to managing your stress levels.

2.Be Honest With Your Partner

The fear of not being able to have a child of their own can put unimaginable stress on a coupleŸ??s relationship. Feelings of inadequacy, guilt, anger and resentment are not uncommon when dealing with infertility. You and your partner might also deal with your grief in different ways, further widening the rift between you two. But, however difficult the journey to conception might be, itŸ??s important that you and your partner remember that youŸ??re in this together. Encouraging an open conversation with your partner and learning to support each other can make this entire ordeal a lot easier to bear.

3.Ask Questions to Clear Up Your Doubts

Nothing can worsen your stress more than misinformation and uncertainties. To make sure you get accurate information, itŸ??s important that you donŸ??t hesitate to ask your doctor questions. Keep a notebook to write down any doubts you have as soon as they cross your mind. Being fully informed about your condition and treatment options available helps you prepare yourself emotionally.

4.Don’t Feel Guilty About Your Emotions

Have you ever felt resentful about a friendŸ??s pregnancy announcement only to feel ashamed of your reaction? Feeling guilty about your emotions can compound your stress to a huge extent. Instead, be honest with yourself about how you are feeling and accept your inner thoughts. It is completely normal to experience resentment, anger and jealousy while dealing with infertility, so donŸ??t try to ignore these emotions. DonŸ??t hesitate to remove yourself from situations that can trigger negative thoughts if it helps you maintain your emotional balance. Many women even find it helpful to go off social media to avoid seeing pictures of their friendŸ??s babies.

5.Write Down Your Thoughts

A journal can be the perfect way to vent your feelings in private, without fear of hurting anyone or being judged. Your journal can also help you keep track of important dates, medication and nutritional guidelines, so you donŸ??t feel overwhelmed. Whenever you feel the stress creeping in, pen down your thoughts in your private journal to get them off your mind. Many therapists recommend writing a little every day, so you donŸ??t repress any negative emotions.

6.Build a Strong Support System

Dealing with infertility is not a journey anyone can undertake on their own. Infertility treatments take a toll on your body and your emotional well-being. Having a strong support system in place is essential to help you cope with the stress. Communicate openly with your partner, your family and your close friends to help them understand infertility and exactly what youŸ??re going through. DonŸ??t be afraid to ask them for support when you need it because they want the best for you.

7.Find a Hobby You Love

When you are undergoing treatment, it can often feel like your life is revolving around the issue of infertility. Everything you do, from what you eat to the medication you take is related to your fertility struggles. You might not feel like you have time, but itŸ??s very important that you do something just for yourself that makes you happy. Things like dance classes, yoga, and even pottery can give you something to look forward to every day.

8.Start Meditating

Taking just a few minutes of each day to sit in silence and meditate can go a long way in improving your state of mind. Meditation helps you gain perspective and keeps you feeling positive. You can choose a guided meditation if you have never done it before or just sit in complete silence for at least 15 minutes. After doing this every day, you will be surprised to feel your stress levels drop.

9.Take Care of Your Diet

When you are dealing with infertility, it can often feel like everything is out of your control. However, your diet is one thing that you have complete control over. A healthy diet is not only important to support your treatment, but it can also play a significant role in improving your mood. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, healthy fats and whole fibres to reduce your stress through your plate.

These coping strategies can help you manage your stress levels when you are going through fertility treatments. At Motherhood, we understand the emotional impact infertility can have on your life. This is why, in addition to the latest advancements in infertility treatment, we also offer prenatal counselling to make this journey easier.

The Most Common Causes of Infertility in Women and Men

For any couple trying to start a family, an infertility diagnosis can be shattering. Most doctors recommend couples visit a fertility specialist if they havenŸ??t been able to conceive even after a year of unprotected sex. For women above 35, this duration falls to six months. In India, infertility has become a growing cause for concern. Going by current estimates, around 1 in 5 Indian couples will experience problems with infertility. Understanding infertility could help couples take steps to manage their condition. Here are the most common causes of infertility faced by men and women today.

Causes of Male Infertility

Historically, the reasons for infertility have always been attributed to women. However, male and female factors contribute to infertility equally at 40 percent. In the remaining number of cases, there are usually issues with both. Male infertility is often more difficult to diagnose than female infertility because symptoms do not show up early. The following are the most common causes of male infertility.

1.Varicoceles

Varicoceles are enlarged veins in the scrotum which can lead to complications with normal sperm production. It is one of the most common causes of male infertility, but luckily, is also reversible. Most infertility specialists believe that the reason why varicoceles can lead to infertility is because they raise the internal temperature of the scrotum. Since sperm requires an optimal temperature to develop normally, any fluctuation can cause abnormalities. Varicoceles have been linked to low sperm count, sperm morphology and sperm quality.

2.Retrograde ejaculation

Even if a man has healthy sperm, problems with ejaculation can prevent conception. Retrograde ejaculation, also known as dry ejaculation, occurs when semen enters the bladder during orgasm instead of coming out of the penis. There are several factors which can lead to retrograde ejaculation including damage to the spinal cord, previous surgical procedures and diabetes. If a man has healthy sperm despite experiencing retrograde ejaculation, they can be extracted and used for artificial insemination.

3.Tubal issues

Sperm travels through many different tubes before it finally exits the penis at the time of ejaculation. If any of these tubes are blocked, it might lead to low sperm count and as a result, infertility. Deformities or a complete absence of the vas deferens is one of the main reasons for sperm blockage and can be a congenital disability or due to physical trauma. Other tubules which might cause blockages include the epididymis, the urethra and the ejaculatory ducts. Previous surgeries, infections and cysts are some of the common reasons for abnormalities within the tubules.

4.Infections

Infections, especially those that are left untreated for a long time, can cause significant damage to the sperm and tubes. STIs such as gonorrhoea can cause inflammation of the testicles as well as the epididymis (the tube which carries sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens). HIV can also create complications with healthy sperm production and transport.

5.Lifestyle factors

One of the main causes of male infertility is unhealthy lifestyle choices. Smoking is one of the most widespread causes of male infertility. Currently, around 17% of the population in India smokes, contributing to a growing number of cases of male infertility. Obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drugs can also affect sperm count and quality. Additionally, bodybuilding supplements have been linked to low fertility levels among men. Exposure to environmental factors such as heavy metals, harmful chemicals and radiation can also affect fertility.

Causes of Infertility in Women

Infertility in women can sometimes be detected early on because it can result from hormonal disruptions. Apart from hormonal factors, there are also multiple other factors which can cause infertility in women. These are the most common causes of infertility in women.

1.Endometriosis

One of the first symptoms of endometriosis is heavy and painful periods. During normal menstruation, the uterine lining formed in anticipation of pregnancy sheds and is removed from the body. However, when a woman has endometriosis, the uterine lining does not completely shed. Instead, it attaches to other parts of the body. Endometriosis is one of the most common causes of infertility in women, accounting for around 30-50 percent of all cases of female infertility.

2.Irregular periods

If a woman regularly experiences irregular periods, then ovulation cycles can be unpredictable. PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the most common reasons for irregular periods in women and is also a major cause of female infertility. Apart from irregular periods, PCOS is also marked by excessive weight gain, painful periods, abnormal hair growth and skin disorders. Irregular periods can also be due to stress, emotional issues, sudden weight loss or weight gain.

3.Age

Age is one of the biggest concerns for women trying to get pregnant because it can affect the quality of eggs. After 35, every passing year can lead to further deterioration in egg quality. Even if a woman hasnŸ??t hit menopause, she might still have issues getting pregnant. With age, the increase in the risk of a miscarriage is also much higher.

4.Fallopian tube issues

After an egg is fertilised by a sperm, it needs to travel through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus. If there are issues with the fallopian tube, it can severely impact a womanŸ??s chances of conceiving. Infections, including STIs, can lead to scarring in the fallopian tube, especially if they are left untreated for a long time. Endometriosis can also lead to deformities in the tube. Additionally, previous surgeries or an ectopic pregnancy might cause irreversible damage.

5.Lifestyle factors

Smoking has as big an impact on female infertility as it does on male infertility. Miscarriages are found to be more common among women who have a history of smoking. Recreational drugs like marijuana can also prevent conception. To add to that, overweight or underweight women might face issues with fertility. Women who are long-time users of birth control pills might also have trouble conceiving because these drugs interfere with the bodyŸ??s normal hormone production.

Apart from these common causes of infertility, there are many other specific causes which can affect men and women. However, a diagnosis of infertility does not have to put an end to your dreams of becoming a parent. At Motherhood IVF, we offer you the latest advancements in infertility treatment along with our years of expertise to help you experience the joy of parenthood.