Infertility: General information
Management of fertility problems has been a central part of my practice for the last 20 years. I can think of no more satisfying area in medicine than helping couples achieve their dream of making a family.
While I am proud to be a part of the Genea team, I will always look for the simplest solution to fertility problems and IVF is not “routine”. It is just a very effective tool in some situations.
All management begins with a consultation in my rooms. Ideally, bring your partner.
Slowness to conceive can be a source of great anxiety and being surrounded by the children of family members and friends who have conceived easily doesn’t help this sense of failure. It is natural to speculate on the cause but the reason is frequently unclear.
Egg quality can be a significant factor. On average, egg quality starts declining from age 35 and the decline accelerates after 38 years of age. Few women conceive by any means after age 43 unless donor egg IVF is used.
Therefore, women over 36 should come in for review after 6 months of trying to conceive. Not because there is little natural chance beyond this point, but because it is important to identify major problems early in this age group while egg quality is still reasonable.
Male age is usually much less important.
Fertility Key Points
- If you have a regular cycle (26 to 35 days) you are almost certainly ovulating. The various ovulation tests available are generally not very reliable or helpful. Come in to discuss ovulation if you are concerned.
- Pregnancies arise from intercourse that takes place before ovulation and sperm last for 2-3 days. Trying to “pin-point” time intercourse usually doesn’t help much if intercourse is reasonably frequent because of this ability of sperm to “hang around”.
- Even a very healthy, fertile young couple will take on average 4 months to conceive (up to a year is considered normal). This is because the early steps in fertilisation and embryo formation often go awry. 50% of all human conceptions will not progress to viable pregnancies. These very early conceptions often pass without notice. It is the natural state for human beings.
- Not many couples have absolute infertility. A complete absence of eggs or sperm is rare. Provided egg quality is reasonable, there is usually a good chance of success if the problem is dealt with in a thoughtful, systematic way.
- There are a variety of strategies to assist fertility including dietary and lifestyle modification pills to treat ovulation disorders, tubal flushing (HSG with oil), removal of endometriosis, and management of poor sperm counts.
- IVF has become popular because we do not fully understand all the mechanisms for slowness to conceive and the reason is sometimes multifactorial. Rather than launching into speculative therapies when there is not a simpler effective solution, IVF offers a pragmatic “by-pass” option. It can be effective in a variety of situations because it allows us to leave fewer steps to nature. We “leap-frog” the reproductive processes that we can’t control.
Why Choose Genea?
Genea (formerly Sydney IVF) is an excellent IVF unit because the science is superb. With more than 30 years of fertility experience, Genea has helped many couples achieve their dream of a family. In fact, 65 per cent of patients aged 36 or less who were unsuccessful at another clinic had a baby with Genea*.
Genea has been at the forefront of worldwide IVF development. Genea’s fertility technologies have helped bring nearly a million babies into the world.
There is excellent embryo freezing capacity and Genea has the ability to test individual embryos for a variety of conditions.
*A study of a subset of Genea non-PGD patients whose first OPU was in 2012 with success achieved in a cycle commencing prior to July 2014.
How to Initiate Fertility Care (Including IVF at Genea):
Call my practice manager, Sarah, on (02) 9221 2904 to make an initial appointment. Ideally, bring your partner and any relevant reports. I will go through your story and order follow-up tests as needed.
Management strategies are discussed. Usually, after one or two consultations a strategy is determined. If this is IVF under my care at Genea, I will guide you regarding the next steps. You may find IVF in brief helpful.
My fee for IVF management is included in the global Genea fee. Once we have planned your treatment strategy, you will be able to obtain a precise fee from Genea. Genea is more expensive than some other clinics, but the relatively high success rate makes it cost effective.