Can’t have a baby? It is not the end!
You are not alone, Be Parent is here for you!
Nothing on this Earth can be compared to the sense of being a mother!
But it is a fact that not all women can have a baby. There are many factors that cause infertility in women. If you are reading this now, and have the same problem, you should sit comfortably and read this article to the end!
Let’s start with discussing the main reasons causing infertility.
Main reasons for infertility in women and treatment methods
What is infertility?
Infertility means not being able to get pregnant, after at least one year of trying (or 6 months if the woman is over age 35). If a woman keeps having miscarriages, it is also called infertility.
What are the main reasons for infertility?
Infertility in women can be caused by age, physical problems, hormone problems, lifestyle or environmental factors, and more concrete:
- Ovulation disorders- which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries.
These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which you have too much prolactin, which is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, named because of its role in lactation. It also has other wide-ranging functions in the body, from acting on the reproductive system to influencing behavior and regulating the immune system. Either too much thyroid hormone or too little can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility.
- Uterine or cervical abnormalities;
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage;
- Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause), when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40.
- Cancer and its treatment. Certain cancers — particularly reproductive cancers
Treatment Methods For Infertility
In the past treatment methods for infertility were only:
- Taking fertility drugs and hormones to help the women ovulate or restore hormones levels or
- Surgery – to remove tissue that is blocking fertility (such as endometriosis) or to open blocked fallopian tubes.
Nowadays infertility is treated with assisted reproductive technology IVF(In Vitro Fertilization).
What is IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)?
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child.
During IVF, mature eggs are collected from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab.
IVF as a Primary Treatment for Infertility in women over age 40
Age is one of the biggest factors affecting women’s chance to conceive and have a healthy baby. A woman’s fertility starts to reduce from the age of 30, and especially – over 40. The risk of pregnancy complications also increases with the age. In women over 40 IVF is a primary treatment. So it would be better if the doctor tells you to start IVF timely if there is no other choice.
Hormonal Indications for IVF
When a decision is already made about IVF, you should realize that it is a long journey. Maybe it will seem tiring for you, But you should think about the end of the journey where the miracle called baby is waiting for you!
Preparation Process for IVF
Before a woman starts IVF, there is a preparation process that includes:
- Ovarian reserve testing. To determine the quantity and quality of your eggs, your doctor might test the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol (estrogen), and anti-mullerian hormone in your blood during the first few days of your menstrual cycle. Test results often used together with an ultrasound of your ovaries, can help predict how your ovaries will respond to fertility medication.
- Semen analysis;
- Infectious disease screening. You and your partner will both be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV.
- Practice (mock) embryo transfer. Your doctor might conduct a mock embryo transfer to determine the depth of your uterine cavity and the technique most likely to successfully place the embryos into your uterus.
- Uterine exam. Your doctor will examine the inside lining of the uterus before you start IVF. This might involve a sonohysterography — in which fluid is injected through the cervix into your uterus — and an ultrasound to create images of your uterine cavity. Or it might include a hysteroscopy — in which a thin, flexible, lighted telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted through your vagina and cervix into your uterus.
What to expect?
- Medications for ovarian stimulation:
To stimulate your ovaries, you might receive an injectable medication containing a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a luteinizing hormone (LH), or a combination of both. These medications stimulate more than one egg to develop at a time.
- Medications for oocyte maturation:
When the follicles are ready for egg retrieval — generally after eight to 14 days — you will take human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) or other medications to help the eggs mature.
Side effects and emotional aspects of IVF
Of course, there can occur side effects while IVF, such as:
- Multiple births. IVF increases the risk of multiple births if more than one embryo is transferred to your uterus;
- Premature delivery and low birth weight;
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome;
- Egg-retrieval procedure complications;
- Ectopic pregnancy;
- Birth defects;
It is also very important to be prepared emotionally. Because it is a long and tiring process. Doing so many tests, going through different stages, and visiting doctors many times, but believe, having a baby is worth it.
Process of Fertilization
Fertilization can be attempted using two common methods:
- Conventional insemination. During conventional insemination, healthy sperm and mature eggs are mixed and incubated overnight.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In ICSI, a single healthy sperm is injected directly into each mature egg. ICSI is often used when semen quality or number is a problem or if fertilization attempts during prior IVF cycles failed.
After the Fertilization
After the embryo transfer, you can resume normal daily activities. However, your ovaries may still be enlarged. Consider avoiding vigorous activity, which could cause discomfort.
The chances of giving birth to a healthy baby after using IVF depend on various factors, including:
- Maternal age;
- Embryo status;
- Reproductive history;
- Cause of infertility;
- Lifestyle factors;
Maybe after reading all this you are full of different emotions now. But remember:
Be Parent will be your best guide and friend in this Journey!
Call us now! Be Parent is ready to make this happen for you!