Signs Of Infertility

We have been writing about surrogacy and the reason to embark on a surrogate journey.

This led me to think about signs of infertility. The more I speak with friends and those who have tried for a while the more  obvious it  becomes  that some couples delay in seeking help. 

So this post focuses on signs of infertility and when to seek help. 

See similar post herehttps://faithfulwait.com/2016/06/08/infertility-when-to-seek-help/

Infertility affects both male and female. In previous post we discussed that a third of infertility issues comes from women, the other third to men and due to a combination of both, other factors and unknown causes.

Below is a list of signs of infertility for women

  1. Painful sex
  2. Heavy; long or paid periods : could be a sign of endometriosis, this is a condition where tissues found in the womb are present elsewhere in the body.
  3. Irregular menstrual cycle.
  4. Hormone changes:  a test by your doctor can detect changes in hormones: hormone change can lead to weight gain, facial hair in female, loss of sex drive, acne.
  5. Underlying medical conditions: such as damage to Fallopian tubes, PCOS, cancer. Rheumatoid Arthritis ( which is a condition I was diagnosed for).
  6. Obesity: 

infertility in men:

 Signs of infertility in men can include 

  1. Hormone imbalance: The key hormone for male is Testosterone where problem with the testes can cause infertility. The males testes have two hormones  which make sperm, the luteinizing hormones and the stimulating hormones.  These hormones are produced by pituitary glands so any problems with this gland Amy also led to infertility in men.
  2. Erectile dysfunction: failure to have erection during sex can be as a result of stress or other psychological factors. Please seek medical intervention If this becomes a regular occurrence.
  3. Ejaculation problem: Any change or difficulty in ejeculation, can result in infertility, medical advice should be sought where this becomes a frequent occurrence 
  4. Problems with the testicle:  This may include swollen, painful, or tender testicles. If you noticed any of these or other changes in your testlces please seek help.
  5. Obesity: Obesity can affect both male and female fertility. It is important to keep your weight under check if you are trying for a baby. 

Other causes of infertility include 

  • Age
  • Excessive drinking/consumption of alcohol
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet

When to seek help.

If you experience any of the above signs,  please consult your doctor if you are under 35 and have been trying for more than a year (6 months if you are over 35 of age).

Changes to make to boost your fertility 

Change of lifestyle may include having healthier meals

Exercise 

Decreases of total reduction of alcohol 

Keeping your weight in check.

Conclusion

It is important to observe your body for any signs of changes and consult your doctor as soo. As possible to avoid delays in getting pregnant

Your partner in Hope

References

D,Ebi

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Treatment and COVID-19

IVF AND COVID-19.

The Outbreak of Covid-19 has sadly affected all aspects of our lives and more importantly our health.

As the spread of the virus continues Governments across the globe have had to take difficult decision in an attempt to protect the human race.

I have bee watching the trend and listened keenly to the news being shared. One thing that have been overlooked in all the main stream media outlet is the impact it has on IVF treatment. Once again infertility and IVT treatments takes bottom page on the list of important illness.

Stories being shared around the world shows that it is becoming increasingly difficult to access IVF treatments presently. Ash Mogg and her partner had waited almost a year to a publicly funded list in Ontario and were about to begin the process in two weeks, but their hospital has suspended the treatment indefinitely.

Health Authorities across the world have taken the decision to halt all IVF treatment. The Times of Isreal reported that Isreal has stopped all new IVF treatments over the coronavirus fears. Due to the fear that it could spread in clinics and potentially harm foetuses.

Similar decision has also been taken by the European Society of Human Reproduction and the Embryology and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

These decisions were no doubt taken seriously with the safety of everyone affected.

The risk involve with continuing is too great to take. Apart from the risk for the medical technical performing the treatment, there is an increased risk for the patients undergoing the treatment due to the delicate nature of the process and close monitoring during the egg transfer phase, blood testing phase.

The waiting rooms of many IVF clinics are often small and holds between 30 to 40 women and their spouses at any given time. And, given the guidelines on social distancing, enforcing this will be difficult.

Furthermore, there is the added risk during the transferring of the embryo requiring extreme hygiene measures. This is a new virus and it is still unclear what effect if any it may have on foetuses.

the way it is spreading calls for urgent and severe measures to be taken. Never before has the world been shut down even in times of war.

Although the severity of the situation has left many couples heart broken, as their dreams of becoming parents are further, put on hold.

It is especially painful and heart wrenching for those who have had to stop their treatment mid-way. For some women, age is not on their side making this extremely hard to deal with.

I cannot imagine being in your place, I can only encourage you to keep your eyes on the goal. Now more than ever, stay strong. This too shall pass.

Practical things to do to as you wait.


If you must follow the news, limit it to specific times of the day.

Engage your mind with positive messages. Limit your exposure to social media, news outlets and other sources of negativity that may cause you to worry and panic.

  • Keep up to date with what is happening in the world of fertility treatment. Your hospital will also be sending out communications during this time to keep you updated on the developments.

Do something you have always wanted to do. If your city is locked down, take up gardening spring is here clear out the shed and bring out the flower pot

Plant some potted herbs or your favourite flower, watch it grow and bloom and as it does, say a prayer of hope faith that you too will grow and bloom soon with your own baby.

Take an online course learn a language, cooking skill, book club, dance class. The list is endless.

Iife must go on because here there is life, there is hope. My prayer through this is that we will all

I find our true purpose and embrace the real meaning of life.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

The Egg Freezing process

There are so many things couples faced with infertility have to consider, also single women and those undergoing chemotherapy also have to consider how to deal with their verity. 

Freezing one’s eggs is the best option to secure ones future as parents or to at least keep one’s hope of being a parent alive.

 

UK law allows you to store your eggs for up to 10 years.

In the UK, egg freezing costs on average between £3,500 and £4,500 for one cycle of treatment. In addition to this price, you’ll have to pay an annual fee to keep your eggs stored (from £200 to £360).

What is Egg Freezing?

Egg freezing is a method of preserving a woman’s fertility so she can try and have children at a later date.it involved collecting a woman’s egg, freezing them to allow her to have a baby later on when she’s ready. 

With marriage at an all time low and women finding the right partner much later it makes sense to freeze one’s eggs to ensure that when the time comes one can still have a baby. 

There are other medical reasons for freezing one’s eggs.

To embark on chemotherapy or If a woman  is due to undergo other medical treatment involving some potent drugs.

Also a woman’s chances of conceiving naturally falls as she gets older, becomes the egg quality decreases egg freezing ensures that the best quality eggs are frozen and preserved which can be thawed at a later date.

Key facts:

In 2017, 19% of IVF treatments using a patient’s own frozen eggs were successful.

It’s becoming more successful but by no means a guarantee of having a baby.

Funding may be available if you’re having treatment that affects your fertility. (Source hfea.co.uk)

Is egg freezing for you?

You might be wondering if egg freezing is for you. 

It may be, if you fall into any of the following.

  1. You currently have a medical condition or intend to undergo a treatment for a medical condition which can affect your fertility. 

  2. You are getting on in age and have not met the right partner to start a family with and worried about your quality of egg decking as you get older 

  3. Members of the armed forces who bring deployed to a war zone.

Process

Before egg freezing, you will be tested for HIV and Hepatitis, to ensure that affected samples are stored separately from unaffected samples. 

Once collected the eggs will  a crypto protectant which is a freezing solutions will be added to the eggs. The eggs will be frozen either by cooking them down slowly or by fast freezing called vitrification. 

The fast freezing is regarded as the best methods to adopt for preservation given its success rate. 

When you are ready to use your eggs, they will be thawed and fertilised with the sperm. 

THE COST 

The process of freezing eggs is expensive. On average the cost of having the eggs collected is about £3,350.

Egg storage cost between £125 and £350 per year. 

There maybe unexpected cost added in by the clinic, so It is important to get a full cost of the treatment plan.

Thawing eggs and transferring them to the womb costs an average of £2,500. So, the whole process for egg freezing and thawing costs an average of £7,000-£8,000.

Egg freezing is becoming more popular as more people are freezing their eggs.

In 2017, there were 1,463 egg freezing cycles (in comparison to almost 70,000 IVF treatment cycles overall). Between 2010 and 2017, around 700 babies were born through frozen eggs in the UK.

If you do decided to freeze your eggs be sure to carry out some background checks on the clinic before embarking on the process. Be sure to check out the success rate for women in your age bracket.

Summary.

Eggs can only be kept for 10 years unless exceptional medical circumstances, where you can be allowed to store the eggs up to 55 years. 

To use frozen eggs for fertility process it has to be thawed, the eggs are fertilised via a fertility treatment proves known as ICSI. 

This is because the freezing process makes the outer coating around the egg tougher making fertilisation via turn normal IVF process harder. 

You must update your records at the clinic they do change. This is so that you can be contacted before the 10 years limit for destroying the eggs. 

Your Partner In Hope 

D’Ebi

Related links

https://faithfulwait.com/2019/09/27/ivf-process-step-by-step/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/08/13/single-women-and-ivf/

https://faithfulwait.com/2018/04/15/exploring-other-options-icsi/

Sources

NHS

HFEA

Giving Up: A Painful Choice.

The decision to stop seeking treatment can be a painful one and one I am thankful I did not have to make.

But I did give it a lot of thought see my post “Do You Call It Quit”?

I explored what it would be like to live without being a mum. I remember thinking I can never not be a mum. It just won’t happen, I have to have a child somehow but consoled myself with thoughts like, it will be fun. I will travel the world unhindered.

At one point we did discuss the fact that we might consider other option if at 40 I was still not pregnant. Luckily I did not have to make

that choice.

I cannot imagine the ache Lisa Riley might have gone through to make that painful decision.

She was undergoing treatment and was told she should consider stopping further treatment as the quality of her eggs were very low to produce any viable outcome.

She describe the moment as a “blow”.

The Process of grieving and healing

If you are facing the prospect of calling it quits with treatment and giving up hope of being a parent, for whatever reason. There will be a grieving and a healing process.

My friend who gave up her hope of being a parent refers to the grieving process as a burial ceremony, heart wrenching extreme loss.

When she came to the realization that this is it., the hope of never carrying her own baby, of never having to experience anyone call her mother,

The pregnancy hormones will never buzz through her body. (She was not open to adoption or other means of becoming a mum).

She had to mourn the future she will never have. She grieved for a long time then began the healing

She described the healing process as a rebirth a new beginning a rediscovering of herself and a world of endless opportunities.

This discovery was a springboard to other adventures one that led her true purpose.

She knew she was healed when she can look at a pregnant woman and not well up with tears

I don’t know how your story will end, But I do hope it ends with you having a baby of your own.

I do also hope that if you come to the point of making the painful decision to give up trying you will find peace in the process and discover your true worth.

You will come to understand a deeper sense of belonging and that we cannot be restricted by or defined by our situation, but become stronger, better by it.

Stay the course, do what you have to do, but above all, believe, pray and have faith.

Your partner in Hope

D’Ebi

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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

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