1 in 6 couples will have difficulty starting a family. Fortunately in Australia we have access to the latest and best fertility treatment available.
Accurate diagnosis is the single most important step in achieving a healthy pregnancy.
Surprisingly human reproduction is a fairly inefficient process!
80% of embryos may fertilize every month but the chance of a pregnancy is only 20% per month.
Getting this all right requires open tubes, a healthy uterine environment, healthy sperm, accurate timing of intercourse and regular intercourse.
Age plays an important factor in trying to get pregnant and by the age of 36 a woman’s chance of conceiving per month is decreased by half. At 45 years of age, the average chance is 1% of conceiving.
Ovulation prediction kits are commercially available to assist with timing. The best chance of conception is if the couple have intercourse one – two days before ovulation. Urine based kits detect the LH surge one – two days before ovulation and saliva based kits detect the increase in estrogen 2-3 days before ovulation.
If cycles are irregular or there is no ovulation seen on one of these commercial kits fertility specialists have more accurate ways through blood tests and ultrasounds to assist with detection of ovulation and with timing. This is called “cycle tracking”.
“Egg timer tests” :
Follicles within the ovaries in their dormant state (before they are recruited up to produce a mature egg) produce a hormone called AMH. The less the number of eggs the lower the AMH level will be. Interpretation of the results should be in conjunction with your fertility specialist as other factors such as age and previous fertility success need to be taken into consideration.
Fit for fertility:
For women, being overweight can lead to lack of ovulation and a reduction in IVF success rates of up to 25-50%. Women considering a pregnancy who are overweight also need to consider the greater risks of a pregnancy complication including miscarriage.
Genea offers a fitness for fertility program for women who are going onto an IVF program who are over weight.
Why might I need assisted reproduction?
Assisted conception may be suggested as a way to increase your chances of a live birth and includes both IVF and ICSI.
IVF is where the fertilization procedure takes place in a dish in the laboratory. It involves daily injections which are given to the women, to encourage more than one egg to mature through the cycle, instead of the usual one egg. This egg is then collected under ultrasound guidance and mixed with the sperm in the dish. Fertilisation occurs as usual. One embryo is then transferred back into the uterus 5 days later and any remaining eggs are frozen.
ICSI is a similar process however instead of allowing the egg and sperm to fertilize in the dish in the lab, a single sperm is selected and injected into the egg.
Your specialist will discuss which option is best for your particular circumstances.
The chances of success depends on the individual circumstances but in a women under 35 years of age, the chance of a successful pregnancy is 50% from one cycle.