Fertility issues and assisted conception. It isn’t always a walk in the park!
Over 40? Thinking of getting pregnant? Worried you’ve left it too late..? Or do you have a gynaecological or endocrine condition that reduces fertility? Your health and fertility could well be in our hands.
If you’re thinking of becoming a ‘geriatric’ mother (the medical term for women over 40 who get pregnant) – oh yes it feels very judge-y doesn’t it? or you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant in your 20s or 30s, read on.
What are your options? For a lucky few, you may just need to stop your contraception and hey presto, you get pregnant. Huge congratulations to you!
If you haven’t been using contraception and you’re still not getting pregnant (and you are having regular ie at least monthly vaginal sex – importantly) then you’ll need to start thinking creatively.
Medically assisted fertility takes a number of forms:
Acknowledging that sometimes sperm simply doesn’t get where its meant to (usually the fallopian tube to meet and fertilise your egg), fertility doctors can assist the natural fertilisation process. They do this by injecting your partner’s sperm as close to your egg inside your body as possible, during your own natural cycle. And hey presto, you get pregnant. Huge congratulations to you too!
Maybe you need more help – for instance, there are too few healthy spermatozoa in your partner’s ejaculate, or they have low motility, or his epididymis (sperm tube) is scarred and too few make it through; you didn’t produce enough oestrogen to relax your cervix or alter the cervical mucous to allow the sperm through; your uterus or fallopian tubes don’t propel the sperm far enough along to meet your egg, your eggs are ageing and not all great quality, or you’ve got a health condition that might affect your egg quality/ number/ ovulation.
Fertility specialists can stimulate your ovaries to collect your eggs, select the healthiest, inject your partner’s healthiest sperm into the egg to fertilise it, then put it into a perfect petri-dish environment to grow for 5 days into a very young embryo. Meanwhile they then prepare your uterus for implantation with drugs, inject the nice little embryos into your uterus (you get to watch on a big screen), and hey presto you get pregnant. Yay, congratulations!
If you’re in the group where your eggs are ‘geriatric’ insofar as they are as old as you are and the percentage chance of getting pregnant is dropping (down to 5% or lower for women over 40) then you may choose to use an egg donor whose eggs are much younger and healthier.
How can we help?
All the above mentioned disciplines can help to promote the right environment for a successful conception and healthy pregnancy through each of its stages.
Stay tuned for out next blog to find out why and how we can help or give us a call to discuss your condition with our clinical or reception team.