Exploring Other Options: ICSI

I have previously written on exploring other options when it comes to seeking fertility treatment. This POST will examine one of those options the ICSI.

According to the HFEA.

the cause of infertility in around half of couples having problems conceiving is sperm-related. ICSI offers hope to these couples most common and successful treatment for male infertility.

ICSE means – (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection )ICSI is a specialised form of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) it is used for the treatment of severe cases of male-factor infertility.

It is intended for couples with the following problems.

very low sperm count

abnormally shaped sperm (poor morphology) or where the sperm move abnormally (poor motility)

previous IVF TREATMENT.

A situation Where the sperm needs to be collected surgically from the testicles or epididymis (a narrow tube inside the scrotum where sperm are stored and matured); possibly because of vasectomy,

The process involves the injection of a single sperm directly into a mature egg.

Just like IVF the process involves stimulating the ovaries to produce a mature egg. Once the eggs are matured they are retrieved and fertilised with the sperm.

When the egg is fertilised it is left in the lab for a few days.

The embryo is transfer

embryo transfer can be two in some cases the number of embryo transferred depends on the woman’s age, once transferred it is recommended that the woman reduce their movement for the next 24 hours. the remaining good-quality embryos will be frozen and stored to be used in future cycle if necessary.

After the transfer, then begin the wait, before the all-important pregnancy test.

Availability:

according to the NHS website couples undergoing IVF treatment can use ICSI as a method of insemination if required.

The University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust was one of the first in the country to be licensed to offer the treatment.

How is ICSI different from IVF?

The steps are similar at the early stages however with IVF the eggs are placed together with the sperm fertilization occurs when the sperm swims to the egg.

In ICSI there is a bit more interference by the embryologist. Here the sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg.This maximises the chance of fertilisation taking place as it bypasses any potential problems the sperm will have in actually getting to the egg.

the success rate?

generally the success rate for both IVF and ICSI are similar. According to the HFEA fertilisation happens in around 90% of cases.

Fertilisation doesn’t necessarily means a successful pregnancy.

One of the deterring factor for success is a woman’s age and any previous difficulty.in conceiving. After transfer there is a 2 weeks wait at before pregnancy can be confirmed by a blood test.

I hope you found this useful. For more in depth information please visit the Following website

NHS UK

HFEA

And your family Doctor

Your Partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Endometriosis: A Cause of infertility

I have previously written about causes of infertility see post here.

In this post I want to explore endometriosis in more detail.i was moved to write about this after reading the story of Lene Dunham, the American actress who spoke about her decision to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis.

Endometriosis occurs when the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium) is outside of the uterus instead of inside and in other parts of the body.

It can be in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.

According to the endometriosis foundation of American

It is a disease of the female reproductive system.

It affects women of childbearing age.

1 in 10 women have the disease.

It is Not easily diagnosed.

It is one of the leading causes of infertility.

Symptoms includes

Pain in the lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period.

Period pain that prevents carrying out day to day activities.

Pain during or after sex.

Pain when peeing or pooping during your period

feeling sick, constipation, diarrhoea, or blood in pee during the period

Difficulty getting pregnant

It can also led to depression as it becomes a big part of a woman’s life.

Diagnosis

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, see your Doctor. It might help to keep a diary of your symptoms (see link to a PDF diary below) as at when you get them, this helps to give the doctor a good description of the issue. This is because it is often difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are similar to other illness.

Your doctor should carry out some test or refer you to specialist (gynaecologist) who may carry out a laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy is where a surgeon passes a thin tube through a small cut in your skin so they can see any patches of endometriosis tissue. This is the only way to determine if the endometrial tissue is present.

Treatment and ways to alleviate pains.

The NHS and journal of endometriosis do recommend the following as treatment options:

Dietary changes: to include food with inflammatory properties can also help.

Cutting out caffeine and alcohol.

Take painkillers – such as ibuprofen and paracetamol.

Hormone medicines and contraceptives – including the combined pill, the contraceptive patch, an intrauterine system (IUS), and medicines called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogues. According to the journal many women reports relief after taking the birth control pills.

Surgery to cut away patches of endometriosis tissue.

An operation to remove part or all of the organs affected by endometriosis – such as surgery to remove the womb (hysterectomy)

Having an hysterectomy is seen as an option but medical experts suggests that this should be the last option and only after seeking the advice of medical advice.

Some women take out their womb as well as the ovaries as the ovaries increases the severity of the pains due to the release of estrogen as egg is being released.

However some women do take out their womb and leave their ovaries in the hope of using their own eggs to have their own biological children.

Endometriosis is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Surgery to remove endometriosis tissue can help improve your chances of getting pregnant, although there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get pregnant after treatment.

Surgery for endometriosis can also sometimes cause further problems, such as infections, bleeding, or damage to affected organs. If surgery is recommended for you, talk to your surgeon about the possible risks.

Lena Dunham recently had an hysterectomy but left her ovaries. She has decided to openly talk about her experiences with the disease

Fertility expert recommends freezing one’s eggs to ensure that they remain healthy and not destroyed by endometriosis.

CAUSE OF ENDOMETRIOSIS

According to Endometriosis UK. Cause is still unknown and possible causes range from

Genetics – if the conditions runs in the families, and in certain ethnic group. You may be more likely affected by it.

Retrograde menstruation – when some of the womb lining flows up through the fallopian tubes and embeds itself on the organs of the pelvis, rather than leaving the body as a period.

Problem with the immune system (the body’s natural defence against illness and infection).

Endometrium cells spreading through the body in the bloodstream or lymphatic system (a series of tubes and glands that form part of the immune system).

But none of these theories fully explain why endometriosis occurs. It’s likely the condition is caused by a combination of different factors.-

(NHS UK).

Coping with Endometriosis:

Many women become aware of the disease after unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant.

So talk to your gynaecologist about your symptoms, and join support groups like, endometriosis UK which has a directory of local support groups.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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Avoid Depression 

free PrintablesA wait that is hopeful is a wait that looks forward expectantly, purposely and joyously.

A wait which strengthens and prepares your heart for what you expect. What use is there in being miserable on the journey? Easy to say unh? Unfortunately misery often accompanied me while I waited for my little bean.

I thought I was strong, always the positive one until I couldn’t get pregnant. I kept it together for a while until the questions started coming. Questions from well meaning friends and foes. The scale finally tilted and I almost caved in to depression.

A subtle, creepy creature sneaks in, often  from a reaction to  an angry outburst, or insensitive slur it comes unannounced taking hold of its prey.

I felt I was losing control of my emotions and started feeling helpless. I sought help and found out that  the following can be a sign of depression:shake it off

Helplessness: research have shown that whenever we are depressed, we usually experience a feeling of helplessness. Our feelings are brought about by our thoughts which produces fruits. Good fruits or bad fruits.

If you constantly think thoughts like “why us/me”? “everyone is having a baby but me”, “will I ever have kids”?, “I give up”. This will be followed by a feeling of helplessness, which in turn leads to misery characterised by constant tears. 

Deep sadness: as he thinks, so he is. Infertility is a cause of misery which leads to deep sadness. An indescribable feeling which also leads to feelings of helplessness.

If you constantly dwell on the negative, joy and peace will elude you. How can you expect to feel great when your heart is heavy from pain. 

Feelings of rejection: as our thoughts leads to deep sadness in time we may begin to feel rejected. This feeling is a worse state of being because we may fall into the trap of interpreting the actions of everyone based on our issues.

I decided to do something about my mental state to avoid going over the edge.

  1.  Talk about my feelings: I started opening up about my feeling and soon found release. You can go for counselling if you do not want to feel vulnerable in front of friends. Your local clinic or health centre may be able to recommend a good counselling clinic. There might be sessions for those struggling to conceive, with programs designed to help deal with  depression.
  2. I decided to be joyful on  purpose: Your mind is the control room of your whole body. It sends signal to your brain, heart and body. Feed it with good and positive things and out of it will come joy. 
  3. Find inspiration around you: be inspired when you hear a good news story, either on the news or from a magazine or a kind act. Train mind to focus on the good concerning your situation. Controlling your thought is the first step in achieving freedom from depression. img_2580

  4. Be anchored to hope: hope is what keeps you going, believing and trying. Hopes is the tread which keeps you tied to the dream. If you don’t keep your hopes up, they will go down and soon you will drift away from your dreams, faith and beliefs. Be a prisoner to hope, build a strong resolved to try and trust again. Be convinced about something good coming your way.
  5. Pray: prayer really helped me let go of the hurt, pain and disappointment I felt from not falling pregnant. In praying we can release the heavy burden, sadness, helplessness and depression to God. In prayer, we become free.

I am not denying the fact that there will be days when tears is all you’ve got, when the pain of trying weighs you down. The pain is real and present. However, deciding to enjoy life and live free from depression may be the push you need to get  through it. 

Remember: the clouds will come, then it gives way to the sun. Every downpour will cease, trouble and pain will be followed by gain, we may understand some and  others we may not.

So whatever season you are in right now,  remember, after a while this too shall pass.

Your Friend and Partner in Hope

 

D’Ebi

 

Infertility: When to seek help

Following on from my post, causes of infertility in women  in women, I want to examine the treatment options available;

LIFE (1)According to the Human fertilization and embryology Authority, 80% of couples who have regular sexual intercourse (that is, every two to three days) and who do not use contraception will get pregnant within a year.

The majority of the remaining 20% achieve a pregnancy within two years of trying.

An estimated one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving. There are several possible reasons for not getting pregnant naturally.

In men, Infertility is usually due to low numbers or poor quality of sperm.

Women become less fertile as they get older. For women aged 35, about 95% who have regular unprotected sexual intercourse will get pregnant after three years of trying. For women aged 38, only 75 % will do so. The effect of age upon men’s fertility is less clear.

Sometimes infertility problems can be due to a combination of factors. It is reported that in a third of cases, a clear cause is never established.what to do when you feel stuck

Where can I get help?

If you have not been able to get pregnant after two years of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse, either one or both of you may have a fertility problem.

However, you don’t need to wait that long to seek help, see your family Doctor as soon as possible, if you are concerned about the length of time.

At the initial stage:  …Your doctor will take a medical history, give you a physical examination and may recommend some tests or a few change in lifestyle.

You will be offered a test, if you have been trying to get pregnant for over a year, to check that you are ovulating and your partner should be offered tests to check his sperm.

Further test will be offered (see below) if nothing is found after carrying out the above test:

Initial test includes: for Women

  • Cervical smear test if you haven’t had one recently.
  • Urine test for chlamydia, which can block your fallopian tubes, preventing you from becoming pregnant.
  • Blood test to see if you are ovulating. This is done by measuring progesterone in a blood sample taken seven days before your period is due.
  • Blood test to check for German measles (Rubella) which, if contracted during the first three months of pregnancy, can harm your unborn baby.
  • Blood test during your period to check for hormone imbalances –measurement of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone, LH (luteinising hormone) and oestradiol. This test can also identify possible early menopause as a cause of subfertility.

Tests for men

  • Sperm test to check for abnormalities.
  • Urine test for chlamydia, which, in addition to being a known cause of infertility in women, can also affect sperm function and male fertility.

 what happens next?

  • If your test results are normal and you have been trying for a baby for less than 18 months, your family doctor may suggest you make a few lifestyle changes and continue trying to conceive naturally.
  • If the tests reveal a possible fertility issue, your doctor will refer you to a fertility specialist, who will carry out further tests and possible treatment at your local hospital or fertility unit.

Getting help and getting it quick is very important especially if you are over 30. Although statistics shows that more people over 35 are having kids, it is important to seek help early in order to get the help you need if necessary.

my prayer and hope for you is that you will find help and in so doing, come to know the joy of having a child of your own.

Your partner in hope:

Debbie

 

Other Related article:

causes of infertility in women

sources

Human fertilisation and embryology authority, NHS