Fertility treatment: what are my options?
Fertility treatment Perth
What is infertility?
What causes infertility in women?
There are many common causes of infertility in women. These include:
- irregular periods due to conditions such as PCOS
- thyroid disease
- high prolactin levels or other pituitary hormone abnormalities.
- blocked or damaged fallopian tubes can stop pregnancy and also cause ectopic pregnancy,
- endometrial pathology such as endometrial polyps, uterine fibroids, Asherman’s syndrome or Mullerian abnormalities.
In addition to these specific conditions, your general health is very important and factors such as smoking, exercise, diet and weight all impact on fertility. So when we work together, we will look at the whole spectrum and I will take the time to discuss every aspect of your lifestyle so we can optimise your chances. I believe this is the role of your fertility specialist: to really take the time to look at all aspects of your fertility journey, and to take an unrushed approach so you are well aware of your options.
What causes infertility in men?
Half of the genetic material needed to build a baby comes from the sperm DNA. A man’s testicular function often reflects his general health. Children of men who smoke, for example, have 2-3 times the rate of childhood leukaemia compared to the children of non-smokers.
So my role is to help you organise the right tests, and to make sure that you have all the information you need, to get clear on what causes any infertility challenges that you may experience.
I work with you as a couple, to optimise your individual reproductive health. The combination of those efforts is what improves your chances of conceiving.
Fertility treatment Perth
Can I boost my fertility naturally?
“With better physical and mental health a couple is likely to have more frequent intercourse. There is good evidence that couples around the developed world are just not as active, in all ways, as they were even 20 years ago!”
Fertility tests Perth
Should my partner and I seek testing for infertility?
“If you have not conceived within 12 months a consultation to review your situation is likely to be beneficial.”
Female fertility tests
- Cycle tracking: with blood tests and ultrasounds we look at your cycle health and when and if you are ovulating.
- Ultrasound: we use pelvic ultrasound to examine your uterus and ovaries to detect fibroids and cysts as well as assess your ovarian reserve.
- Blood tests: we check your general health with various blood tests. The Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a good indicator of your ovarian reserve.
- Fallopian tubes test to check if you have blocked tubes.
Male fertility tests
- Semen analysis to check your sperm count, motility, and morphology. We also check for antibodies in your sperm.
- DNA fragmentation to check abnormal genetic material in your sperm.
Alternative fertility treatment options
Do I need IVF? Are there alternative fertility treatment options?
IVF is a very good treatment for lots of couples trying to conceive. It is safe for both women and the babies produced. For conditions such as very low sperm counts or blocked tubes, IVF is the treatment of choice.
IVF fertility treatment can also be used where an inherited genetic condition is present, such as Cystic Fibrosis or a Breast Cancer gene abnormality, as well as when a structural chromosomal rearrangement exists in a parent. As the safety and effectiveness of IVF have been established its use has grown.
IVF is now used to treat lots of couples with unexplained infertility. In this situation, IVF will often magnify a couple’s chances of conception. For a lot of couples, however, there are other options to help them achieve a successful pregnancy including;
Ovulation Induction: The menstrual cycle involves an intricate interaction of hormones all aimed at releasing an egg just when the vagina, cervix, endometrium and tubes are ready. Various degrees of abnormality with this process can result in poor hormone levels and a thin, less receptive endometrium, less frequent ovulation or even no ovulation. Ovulation induction treatment helps develop a single egg ready for release at the right time and can help overcome these difficulties. In the right couples, it has a high success rate.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): can be used for mild or moderate unexplained infertility. Ovarian stimulation is used, aiming for the release of 2 eggs and fresh sperm is prepared for direct introduction into the uterus.
Lipiodol tubal flushing: For couples with mild or moderate unexplained infertility, flushing the tubes with Lipiodol, a poppy seed oil solution, has been shown to significantly improve conception rates over the next 6 months.