At the end of the year, everyone’s thoughts turn to the future. Hopes come into high definition, and daydreams begin to transform into concrete plans.
What do you want to achieve?
How do you want the next twelve months of your life to look?
For thousands of people across the country, their vision of 2017 includes pregnancy and bringing a baby home, but for those who are struggling to conceive, planning the future doesn’t seem so simple. If something is wrong, consulting with a fertility doctor and getting an accurate diagnosis is a profound way to begin your new year.
Whether you’ve been through infertility treatment before or are just considering taking your first steps into assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the new year, this is a good moment to invest some time in research. We’ve put together this reading list of some of our best posts from the last year on a variety of important fertility topics.
The very first step to overcoming infertility is a thorough investigation into its possible causes. Every patient is unique, but most cases of infertility are caused by the same handful of issues, most of which have medical solutions. When your doctor correctly identifies which issue lies at the root of your difficulty conceiving, you can begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Once you have a working diagnosis in hand, your fertility team can start creating a plan to help you get pregnant.
“There are many medical conditions and diseases that can impact fertility in both men and women. It is important to know that you are not alone. Problems with fertility affect about one in six men and women of reproductive age. Contemporary infertility medicine has a good understanding of most of these conditions, and there are some highly effective treatments and interventions available which can help most couples eventually conceive.”
“These days, we know that male factor infertility is an issue for up to a third of the couples who struggle to conceive…Generally, male fertility problems have to do with the quantity or quality of the sperm, though there can also be issues with ejaculation. While the reasons for these problems are often unclear, most of the treatment options remain the same whatever the underlying cause may be.”
A tour of IVF options and technologies
Having a team that takes an individualized approach to your fertility treatment plan gives you a huge advantage when you are trying to conceive: they’ll know where to begin and which treatments are most likely to bring you success.
There are so many approaches to treatment and so many options available, and new technologies becoming available all the time. This year, our blog took a closer look at IVF and the supporting ART developments that have made such a difference for so many patients.
“When a woman is struggling to conceive, IVF is often the most effective ways to help, whether or not we know what is causing her infertility. IVF allows us to create a controlled environment that significantly enhances the opportunity for fertilization of the egg…. IVF is not a single treatment but a series of procedures. An average IVF cycle takes about 6 to 8 weeks from consultation to transfer, but depending on the specific circumstances of each the path is similar for every patient. What varies is how your body responds at each stage.”
“Will IVF work for you? What are your chances of getting pregnant during an IVF cycle? How can you know if your IVF treatment will be a success? IVF is one of the most effective Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) in the world, but whether it will be effective for you in particular depends on a wide range of circumstances.”
“Two types of IVF cycles that you may be exploring are natural cycle IVF and stimulated IVF (also known as conventional IVF). There are pros and cons to both, and your fertility team will be able to help you understand which may be better for your specific case. As always, education is a powerful ally as you go through treatment. This overview will help you feel prepared to confidently discuss your options with your doctor.”
“When used in conjunction with IVF, PGD can reduce or eliminate the risk of certain genetic diseases. It can also greatly increase some patients’ chances of a successful pregnancy, especially in cases where the patient has suffered a series of unexplained miscarriages.”
“Intracystoplasmic sperm injection is a sophisticated Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that is used in conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to treat sperm-related infertility problems. It is a highly targeted approach that can be successful where other methods have failed. During ICSI, an embryologist injects an egg with a single sperm to achieve fertilization.”
“The EmbryoScope allows infertility specialists to monitor the progress of fertilized eggs around the clock without ever removing them from the protected incubator. This cuts down the risk of anything going wrong, and gives doctors and patients insight into how the embryo is developing. For some patients, it may improve their chance of carrying a pregnancy to term.”
Self-care during fertility treatment
Going through fertility treatment is challenging in so many ways: mentally, physically, and emotionally. As you go through each stage of the process, taking excellent care of yourself is so important. Making smart decisions around your lifestyle choices when you’re trying to get pregnant can give you an edge. Treating your body with care during treatment is fundamental, but so is looking after your emotional and mental health.
These articles offer valuable advice on how to make sure you’re getting all the support you need, inside and out.
“Can what you eat affect your fertility? There is no such thing as a medically proven “fertility diet,” but you can help to lay the groundwork for a healthy pregnancy by paying close attention to your nutrition.”
“When you are doing everything you can in your quest to have a baby, you want to maximize your chances, so it’s natural to wonder if exercise should be a part of your IVF routine. You may be surprised to learn that the answer is not an unqualified yes.”
“The most surprising finding of the study was that caffeine was significantly correlated with the likelihood of miscarriage. A woman is more likely to miscarry if she and her partner drink more than two caffeinated beverages a day (coffee, soda or energy drinks) during the weeks leading up to conception, a hazard ratio: 1.74 for females and 1.73 for males, which means that pregnancy loss is up to 74% more likely.”
“Infertility can take a terrible emotional toll on women and couples. Disappointment and heartbreak may go on for years, and by the time a patient seeks out fertility treatment their emotional reserves may be very low. Deciding to attempt IVF is a major life step, and while it brings with it a renewed sense of hope and purpose, it can be an intense experience for everyone involved.”
“The truth is, you are not alone. There is a world of resources out there for people who are going through many of the same difficulties you are living through right now. Deciding to be proactive about seeking these resources out may be one of the best things you can do for yourself as you go through fertility treatment.”
Knowledge is empowering, especially for anyone suffering through the helplessness of infertility, so we hope these posts will leave you feeling ready for the next step.
From everyone at SCRC, we wish you a Happy New Year, full of joy and success. If you will be trying to conceive in 2017 and think you may need help, please don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation. When you take charge of your health and fertility with the help of an expert team, so much is possible.