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Posts for category: Fertility

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
September 01, 2017
Category: Fertility

If you are having issues conceiving find out if fertility treatments are the next best option.

According to a CNN article published back in 2014, there is a record number of babies being born via IVF. If you and your partner have been IVFtrying to get pregnant for over a year without success then it might be time you talked to an OBGYN about whether IVF could improve your chances.

What types of infertility can IVF handle?

There are many reasons why a couple could be infertile. IVF may be a great option for you if you or your partner are dealing with any of these issues:

  • Low sperm count or motility
  • Uterine or fallopian tube issues (e.g. uterine fibroids; fallopian tube blockage)
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Antibodies that attack the sperm or egg
  • Endometriosis
  • Genetic disorders

What affects the success of IVF?

The age of the woman will be a factor in the success rate of IVF. Women under the age of 35 will have a higher success rate (41- 43 percent) than a woman over the age of 40 years old (13 to 18 percent). Women between the ages of 35 to 37 have a 33-36 percent success rate while women ages 38 to 40 have a 23-27 percent success rate. Of course, as techniques continue to advance and improve, we are finding that success rates in every age group have grown.

What is involved in IVF?

There are five steps to the IVF process:

  • Your fertility specialist will prescribe fertility medications to stimulate egg production.
  • The eggs will be retrieved through minor surgery.
  • The male will provide a sperm sample, which will be combined with the egg.
  • During insemination, the lab will mix the sperm and egg together to fertilize the egg. Once the eggs have fertilized they are called embryos.
  • Then the embryos are inserted into the uterus about 3-5 days after fertilization.

Learn more about IVF, the fertility treatment that is helping more and more couples be able to conceive. Talk to your gynecologist about whether IVF is right for you.

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
August 01, 2017
Category: Fertility
Tags: Miscarriages   Pregnancy  

It can be a difficult topic to address but one that remains on some women’s minds.

There are so many emotions that a woman experiences after going through a miscarriage, and it can be even more challenging if you’ve had to deal with multiple miscarriages. Of course, your OBGYN is always here to provide you with the care and support you need through this difficult time. Find out more about the causes behind multiple miscarriages and the treatment options available to you.

A recurrent miscarriage means having three or more miscarriages in a row. Common risk factors for recurrent miscarriages include:

  • Being older when trying to conceive (For women this is over the age of 35 while it’s over the age of 40 for men)
  • Being overweight or obese

Also, one of the most common but treatable causes of recurrent miscarriage is a blood clotting disorder known as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), where your immune system attacks the fats, or phospholipids, in your blood.

Other causes of recurrent miscarriages include:

  • Other blood clotting disorders
  • Incompetent cervix (or cervical weakness)
  • Abnormal chromosomes
  • Uterus abnormalities
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Serious infections such as toxoplasmosis or listeria
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders

To put your mind at ease there are tests that your gynecologist may recommend to determine whether any of the causes listed above could be responsible for your miscarriages. Common tests include:

  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) testing
  • Blood clotting testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Ultrasound or laparoscopy (to check the shape and health of the uterus)

Sometimes your obstetrician can pinpoint the exact cause and sometimes it’s not detectable through diagnostic tests. Not being able to pinpoint the root cause can be very distressing. After all, if nothing is wrong why does this keep happening? It’s a frustrating question that can leave some couple feeling disheartened. But it’s important to know that even though many couples go through recurrent miscarriages, many of them go on to have a healthy baby the next time.

Don’t go through this process alone. Speak to your obstetrician and gynecologist who can shed some light on what’s going on so that you can finally have the piece of mind you deserve.

By North Houston Center for Reproductive Medicine
April 26, 2017
Category: Fertility

More couples are turning to IVF (in vitro fertilization) to conceive children than ever before. According to theSociety for Assisted Reproductive Technology, as many as 1.5% of all children born in the United States are the result of in vitro fertilization. Across the country, OBGYNs are delivering over 60,000 babies conceived through IVF since 2012. As technology improves and the In Vitro Fertilizationaverage age of new parents increases from previous generations, more and more would-be parents are relying on the procedure to start or add to their families.

How Does IVF Work?

The first step is usually to schedule a comprehensive exam and check up with an OBGYN. There are several steps to the process once a couple is determined to be a good candidate for conception through IVF. In vitro fertilization works by retrieving mature eggs from the ovaries, and fertilizing them with the sperm in a lab. Once the egg has been fertilized successfully, it is then implanted into the uterus. Because the causes for infertility are complex and vary from person to person, there are several variables to IVF treatment. In addition to using their own eggs and sperm, couples may also rely on donor eggs or sperm, or the use of a gestational carrier who carries the embryo to term and gives birth to the baby for the IVF client.

How Long Does the IVF Process Take?

The duration of one IVF cycle from retrieval of the eggs to fertilization and implantation generally takes about two weeks. It is difficult to predict whether an individual IVF cycle will be successful, and multiple cycles are often necessary.

Who is a Good Candidate for IVF?

The causes for infertility can be complex, and vary from person to person. Candidates for IVF are typically in good general health, with unsuccessful attempts to conceive for at least a year. In vitro fertilization can be expensive and may require multiple cycles to produce a viable pregnancy. An OBGYN might also recommend IVF in certain situations where fertility may be compromised due to:

  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Problems with ovulation
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Sperm abnormalities or low motility
  • Genetic disorders
  • Egg/embryo preservation for women undergoing cancer treatment that can compromise fertility and egg viability
How Many Fertilized Eggs are Implanted During an IVF Cycle?
 
Multiple fertilized eggs are typically implanted to increase the odds of success, which also increases the likelihood of multiple births from one pregnancy. Each case is different, but the number of fertilized eggs implanted usually increases with the patient's age, ranging from one to three eggs per cycle.