Fertility

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Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits can take a toll on your fertility. Hectic work schedules combined with an unhealthy diet is among the leading causes of infertility among both men and women. Cut down on your unhealthy habits and start maintaining a proper lifestyle so that your reproductive health is not compromised and you can conceive successfully when you wish to. You can start by making simple changes in your daily activities. These will surely go a long way in boosting your fertility.

Here’s what you, as a woman can do to boost your fertility:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet:

    It goes without saying that what you eat has a direct impact on your well-being; so make sure you eat balanced and nourishing meals. Your diet should contain enough of proteins and foods rich in iron, zinc and vitamins to boost your fertility. Consult your doctor if you think you require multivitamin tablets to supplement your diet.

  1. Keep a check on your weight:

    if you plan on getting pregnant, it is of utmost importance to maintain your ideal body weight. Apart from the other complications, being overweight and very underweight is known to affect your ability to conceive. You can consult your doctor and follow an exercise regime to keep yourself fit.

  1. Avoid smoking and drinking:

    Excessive smoking is linked to premature ageing of your ovaries and damage to your eggs. You can stop these effects of smoking by simply quitting and leading a healthier lifestyle. It is also observed that excessive consumption of alcohol can cause complications such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (a group of conditions that indicate problems with your baby’s development) when you’re pregnant. There is no safe level of alcohol so if you are trying to get pregnant, you should give up alcohol completely.

Here’s what you, as a man, can do to increase your fertility:

  1. Concentrate on a healthy lifestyle:

    Low sperm count is associated with some factors like heavy smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, etc. Quit your addictions to improve your Avoid prolonged hot baths and wearing tight fitting undergarments as heat can lower your sperm count.

  1. Reduce your chemical exposure:

    Chemical exposure such as to work related chemicals can cause damage to your sperm count and quality.

  1. Improve your diet:

    Include fresh fruits, whole grains, legumes and foods rich in antioxidants in your daily diet to boost your fertility. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and foods containing artificial additives. Maintain an ideal body weight as obesity is associated with loss of libido and infertility. Exercise regularly to stay healthy.

You would see a lot of difference by making these simple changes in your daily life. Following these recommendations will not only increase your fertility but will also improve your sexual health to a great extent. You can also consult your doctor from time to time in case you think you require health supplements or need to follow a particular diet and exercise regime to increase your fertility.

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Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits can take a toll on your fertility. Hectic work schedules combined with an unhealthy diet is among the leading causes of infertility among both men and women. Cut down on your unhealthy habits and start maintaining a proper lifestyle so that your reproductive health is not compromised and you can conceive successfully when you wish to. You can start by making simple changes in your daily activities. These will surely go a long way in boosting your fertility.

Here’s what you, as a woman can do to boost your fertility:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet:

    It goes without saying that what you eat has a direct impact on your well-being; so make sure you eat balanced and nourishing meals. Your diet should contain enough of proteins and foods rich in iron, zinc and vitamins to boost your fertility. Consult your doctor if you think you require multivitamin tablets to supplement your diet.

  1. Keep a check on your weight:

    if you plan on getting pregnant, it is of utmost importance to maintain your ideal body weight. Apart from the other complications, being overweight and very underweight is known to affect your ability to conceive. You can consult your doctor and follow an exercise regime to keep yourself fit.

  1. Avoid smoking and drinking:

    Excessive smoking is linked to premature ageing of your ovaries and damage to your eggs. You can stop these effects of smoking by simply quitting and leading a healthier lifestyle. It is also observed that excessive consumption of alcohol can cause complications such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (a group of conditions that indicate problems with your baby’s development) when you’re pregnant. There is no safe level of alcohol so if you are trying to get pregnant, you should give up alcohol completely.

Here’s what you, as a man, can do to increase your fertility:

  1. Concentrate on a healthy lifestyle:

    Low sperm count is associated with some factors like heavy smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, etc. Quit your addictions to improve your Avoid prolonged hot baths and wearing tight fitting undergarments as heat can lower your sperm count.

  1. Reduce your chemical exposure:

    Chemical exposure such as to work related chemicals can cause damage to your sperm count and quality.

  1. Improve your diet:

    Include fresh fruits, whole grains, legumes and foods rich in antioxidants in your daily diet to boost your fertility. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and foods containing artificial additives. Maintain an ideal body weight as obesity is associated with loss of libido and infertility. Exercise regularly to stay healthy.

You would see a lot of difference by making these simple changes in your daily life. Following these recommendations will not only increase your fertility but will also improve your sexual health to a great extent. You can also consult your doctor from time to time in case you think you require health supplements or need to follow a particular diet and exercise regime to increase your fertility.

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6 Ways To Boost Fertility

6 Ways To Boost Fertility

April 30, 2024

Sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy food habits can take a toll on you...

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            [blog_title] => Different Stages Of An IVF Treatment
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In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an effective method to conceive a child if you are facing unexplained infertility. In this method, your egg is fertilised with your partner’s sperm outside your womb in a petri dish. IVF can be a lengthy process if you opt to go for it and it’s only important that you have a fair idea of its various stages.

The various stages of an IVF Treatment

The IVF treatment tends to vary from couple to couple, depending on the kind of problem you are facing. Before the treatment commences, your doctor will recommend certain important blood tests to ensure that you are not suffering from fatal conditions like HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), Hepatitis B and C.

After the tests are done, the real process of IVF will start, and its stages are-

If you’re a woman, you’ll have to go through these:

  • Your monthly cycle is first suppressed- A two-week drug treatment is offered to suppress your monthly cycle. The medicine is administered to you in the form of an injection or nasal spray.
  • Your egg supply is given a boost- After the first stage is completed, you are recommended a fertility hormone called gonadotropin. You have to take this hormone for 12 days, and it effectively increases your egg production.
  • General progress is recorded- During the period of drug treatment, your body’s acceptance of the hormones will be monitored through ultrasound and blood tests. About 34-38 hours before the collection of your eggs, a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin would be administered. This hormone will help your eggs mature.
  • Your eggs will then be collected- Your eggs are collected with the help of A needle attached to the ultrasound probe collects your eggs from your ovary. You can experience certain side effects after the collection of your eggs such as slight vaginal bleeding and cramps. After this procedure, you are administered medication, which prepares your womb for the transfer of the embryo.
  • Fertilisation of your eggs- The collected eggs are then mixed with your partner’s sperm and cultured for about 16 to 20 hours. After this process, your eggs are checked for signs of success. The fertilised eggs or the embryos are then transferred to the laboratory incubator where they are grown for the next six During this period, your embryos are carefully monitored, after which the best is then chosen to be transferred into your womb. The remaining embryos, if any, which are suitable for transfer, are stored and frozen for use in the future.
  • Transfer of the embryo- 1 or 2 embryos will be transferred to your womb if you are 40 years of age. A total of 3 embryos will be transferred to your womb in case you are above 40. Most clinics recommended a single embryo transfer (SET) to reduce your risk of multiple births. Although, you may experience some discomfort during this procedure, the transfer is quite pain-free and does not require any sedation.

If you’re a man, these are the stages you’ll have to go through:

  • During the time your partner’s eggs are being collected, you are asked to present a sperm sample.
  • Your sperm is then washed and segregated. Only the normal and most active sperm is chosen for fertilisation.
  • In case you have stored your sperm, it is removed from the storage and allowed to thaw, after which it is prepared in the same way as mentioned above.

Generally, as a couple, you’ll have to make about 2-3 attempts at IVF to achieve any success. Infertility can be quiet disappointing, which is why both of you should consult an IVF specialist before opting for this method. An IVF treatment will give you a well-deserved chance at parenthood.

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In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an effective method to conceive a child if you are facing unexplained infertility. In this method, your egg is fertilised with your partner’s sperm outside your womb in a petri dish. IVF can be a lengthy process if you opt to go for it and it’s only important that you have a fair idea of its various stages.

The various stages of an IVF Treatment

The IVF treatment tends to vary from couple to couple, depending on the kind of problem you are facing. Before the treatment commences, your doctor will recommend certain important blood tests to ensure that you are not suffering from fatal conditions like HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), Hepatitis B and C.

After the tests are done, the real process of IVF will start, and its stages are-

If you’re a woman, you’ll have to go through these:

  • Your monthly cycle is first suppressed- A two-week drug treatment is offered to suppress your monthly cycle. The medicine is administered to you in the form of an injection or nasal spray.
  • Your egg supply is given a boost- After the first stage is completed, you are recommended a fertility hormone called gonadotropin. You have to take this hormone for 12 days, and it effectively increases your egg production.
  • General progress is recorded- During the period of drug treatment, your body’s acceptance of the hormones will be monitored through ultrasound and blood tests. About 34-38 hours before the collection of your eggs, a hormone called chorionic gonadotropin would be administered. This hormone will help your eggs mature.
  • Your eggs will then be collected- Your eggs are collected with the help of A needle attached to the ultrasound probe collects your eggs from your ovary. You can experience certain side effects after the collection of your eggs such as slight vaginal bleeding and cramps. After this procedure, you are administered medication, which prepares your womb for the transfer of the embryo.
  • Fertilisation of your eggs- The collected eggs are then mixed with your partner’s sperm and cultured for about 16 to 20 hours. After this process, your eggs are checked for signs of success. The fertilised eggs or the embryos are then transferred to the laboratory incubator where they are grown for the next six During this period, your embryos are carefully monitored, after which the best is then chosen to be transferred into your womb. The remaining embryos, if any, which are suitable for transfer, are stored and frozen for use in the future.
  • Transfer of the embryo- 1 or 2 embryos will be transferred to your womb if you are 40 years of age. A total of 3 embryos will be transferred to your womb in case you are above 40. Most clinics recommended a single embryo transfer (SET) to reduce your risk of multiple births. Although, you may experience some discomfort during this procedure, the transfer is quite pain-free and does not require any sedation.

If you’re a man, these are the stages you’ll have to go through:

  • During the time your partner’s eggs are being collected, you are asked to present a sperm sample.
  • Your sperm is then washed and segregated. Only the normal and most active sperm is chosen for fertilisation.
  • In case you have stored your sperm, it is removed from the storage and allowed to thaw, after which it is prepared in the same way as mentioned above.

Generally, as a couple, you’ll have to make about 2-3 attempts at IVF to achieve any success. Infertility can be quiet disappointing, which is why both of you should consult an IVF specialist before opting for this method. An IVF treatment will give you a well-deserved chance at parenthood.

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Different Stages Of An IVF Treatment

Different Stages Of An IVF Treatment

April 29, 2024

In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an effective method to conceive a ch...

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            [blog_title] => IVF Process: 4 Steps To Getting Pregnant
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IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation. The basic process starts by removing your egg cells from your body and also taking sperm cells from your partner or a sperm donor. Your egg cells are fertilised in a laboratory after which your embryo is placed into either your uterus or a surrogate mother’s uterus. The decision on whether to use a surrogate mother or not is taken based on your chances of getting pregnant. For example, if you have uterine fibroids, a surrogate mother may be used as your chances of getting pregnant are reduced. But before you get into that, it is vital to know the four main steps of the IVF process. Here they are:

  1. Inducing ovulation

In this first step, your ovaries are monitored to learn about when your egg releases. After this, medicine is given in the form of either an injection or a nasal spray, which suppresses your natural menstrual cycle. This is done so that inducing ovulation becomes easier. Ovulation is usually induced by giving FSH. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone and is given as a daily injection for about 10-12 days. The reason FSH has to be given to induce ovulation is that many times your natural menstrual cycle produces an egg, which cannot be fertilised, and therefore, more egg cells are needed to increase the chances of fertilisation.

  1. Egg retrieval

In this step of the IVF process, the first thing done is to give anaesthesia. The anaesthesia is given so that when a thin needle is passed through your upper vaginal wall, no pain is felt. The needle is passed through your upper vaginal wall using ultrasound so that fluid is extracted from your follicles. This is done to help in isolating your egg cells. Once the egg cell has been isolated from the follicular fluid, it will be placed in a laboratory dish, which will contain nutrient media to keep your egg cell healthy. The egg retrieval process is complete when the egg cell is transferred to the incubator.

  1. Fertilization

In this step, the sperm is mixed with your egg cells. After about 16-20 hours, it is seen whether the egg cells are fertilised or not. Sometimes ICSI, which stands for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection and is a process in which each sperm cell is directly injected into the egg cell. After fertilisation, there is another six day wait before the eggs are transferred into the womb of either yourself or a surrogate mother. If you choose not to have a surrogate mother, you will be injected with hormones, which will prepare the lining of the womb to receive the embryo. These hormones are usually given as either an injection or a gel.

  1. Embryo transfer and implantation

This stage of the process is much simpler and less painful than the egg retrieval part of the IVF process and can be accomplished using a surrogate mother. A thin tube, which is called a catheter, is passed into your vagina using which your embryos are transferred into your womb.

Irrespective of the problems you have while trying to conceiving a baby naturally, IVF does present a reasonably good chance of giving birth to 29.4% who achieve pregnancy in the IVF process, and 22.4% of women give natural births successfully after pregnancy. Therefore, it is vital to consult your gynaecologist or IVF specialist in this regard.

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IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation. The basic process starts by removing your egg cells from your body and also taking sperm cells from your partner or a sperm donor. Your egg cells are fertilised in a laboratory after which your embryo is placed into either your uterus or a surrogate mother’s uterus. The decision on whether to use a surrogate mother or not is taken based on your chances of getting pregnant. For example, if you have uterine fibroids, a surrogate mother may be used as your chances of getting pregnant are reduced. But before you get into that, it is vital to know the four main steps of the IVF process. Here they are:

  1. Inducing ovulation

In this first step, your ovaries are monitored to learn about when your egg releases. After this, medicine is given in the form of either an injection or a nasal spray, which suppresses your natural menstrual cycle. This is done so that inducing ovulation becomes easier. Ovulation is usually induced by giving FSH. FSH stands for follicle stimulating hormone and is given as a daily injection for about 10-12 days. The reason FSH has to be given to induce ovulation is that many times your natural menstrual cycle produces an egg, which cannot be fertilised, and therefore, more egg cells are needed to increase the chances of fertilisation.

  1. Egg retrieval

In this step of the IVF process, the first thing done is to give anaesthesia. The anaesthesia is given so that when a thin needle is passed through your upper vaginal wall, no pain is felt. The needle is passed through your upper vaginal wall using ultrasound so that fluid is extracted from your follicles. This is done to help in isolating your egg cells. Once the egg cell has been isolated from the follicular fluid, it will be placed in a laboratory dish, which will contain nutrient media to keep your egg cell healthy. The egg retrieval process is complete when the egg cell is transferred to the incubator.

  1. Fertilization

In this step, the sperm is mixed with your egg cells. After about 16-20 hours, it is seen whether the egg cells are fertilised or not. Sometimes ICSI, which stands for intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection and is a process in which each sperm cell is directly injected into the egg cell. After fertilisation, there is another six day wait before the eggs are transferred into the womb of either yourself or a surrogate mother. If you choose not to have a surrogate mother, you will be injected with hormones, which will prepare the lining of the womb to receive the embryo. These hormones are usually given as either an injection or a gel.

  1. Embryo transfer and implantation

This stage of the process is much simpler and less painful than the egg retrieval part of the IVF process and can be accomplished using a surrogate mother. A thin tube, which is called a catheter, is passed into your vagina using which your embryos are transferred into your womb.

Irrespective of the problems you have while trying to conceiving a baby naturally, IVF does present a reasonably good chance of giving birth to 29.4% who achieve pregnancy in the IVF process, and 22.4% of women give natural births successfully after pregnancy. Therefore, it is vital to consult your gynaecologist or IVF specialist in this regard.

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IVF Process: 4 Steps To Getting Pregnant

IVF Process: 4 Steps To Getting Pregnant

April 25, 2024

IVF stands for in vitro fertilisation. The basic process starts by...

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The inability of couples to conceive or become pregnant is a problem that is raising its ugly head far too much in the near past and present. The percentage of couples facing infertility is growing by the day. Infertility in men is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without the use of contraceptives.

Earlier, infertility was considered to be a women-centric however a problem, Studies have shown that in 32% of cases, there are problems associated with the male partner, in 32% of cases the causes are related to the female partner, there are causes attributable with both in 17% of cases and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained. Ways to prevent infertility in men include:

  1. Concentrate on a healthy lifestyle: Low sperm count is associated with some factors like heavy smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, etc. Quit your addictions to improve your Avoid prolonged hot baths and wearing tight-fitting undergarments as heat can lower your sperm count.
  1. Reduce your chemical exposure: Chemical exposure such as to work-related chemicals can cause damage to your sperm count and quality.
  1. Improve your diet: Include fresh fruits, whole grains, legumes and foods rich in antioxidants in your daily diet to boost your fertility. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and foods containing artificial additives. Maintain an ideal body weight as obesity is associated with loss of libido and infertility. Exercise regularly to stay healthy.
  1. Take nutritional supplements: Fertility-enhancing supplements including zinc and folic acid may improve sperm count. However, further studies are needed to understand how these micronutrients work together.

Male infertility is not uncommon and neither is it a cause of embarrassment or shame. It is something that can affect anyone. Any investigation into the failure to conceive always starts with counseling the couple and understanding the cause. If for you, the cause is related to the male partner, consult a specialist who will be able to treat you is the cause can be determined.

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The inability of couples to conceive or become pregnant is a problem that is raising its ugly head far too much in the near past and present. The percentage of couples facing infertility is growing by the day. Infertility in men is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without the use of contraceptives.

Earlier, infertility was considered to be a women-centric however a problem, Studies have shown that in 32% of cases, there are problems associated with the male partner, in 32% of cases the causes are related to the female partner, there are causes attributable with both in 17% of cases and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained. Ways to prevent infertility in men include:

  1. Concentrate on a healthy lifestyle: Low sperm count is associated with some factors like heavy smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, drug abuse, etc. Quit your addictions to improve your Avoid prolonged hot baths and wearing tight-fitting undergarments as heat can lower your sperm count.
  1. Reduce your chemical exposure: Chemical exposure such as to work-related chemicals can cause damage to your sperm count and quality.
  1. Improve your diet: Include fresh fruits, whole grains, legumes and foods rich in antioxidants in your daily diet to boost your fertility. Cut down on refined carbohydrates and foods containing artificial additives. Maintain an ideal body weight as obesity is associated with loss of libido and infertility. Exercise regularly to stay healthy.
  1. Take nutritional supplements: Fertility-enhancing supplements including zinc and folic acid may improve sperm count. However, further studies are needed to understand how these micronutrients work together.

Male infertility is not uncommon and neither is it a cause of embarrassment or shame. It is something that can affect anyone. Any investigation into the failure to conceive always starts with counseling the couple and understanding the cause. If for you, the cause is related to the male partner, consult a specialist who will be able to treat you is the cause can be determined.

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4 Keys to preventing infertility in men

4 Keys to preventing infertility in men

April 24, 2024

The inability of couples to conceive or become pregnant is a problem...

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            [blog_title] => Male Infertility Tests And Diagnosis
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Most infertile couples, usually have more than one cause of infertility. Therefore, they have not managed to conceive even after a year of trying. Men who have issues that may result in infertility, do not show any signs or symptoms and need to get tested. In some cases, the cause of infertility may not be identified.

Diagnosing male infertility involves:

  • A clinical examination with a complete medical history physical examination- to rule out any physical cause for infertility or clinical signs of any hormonal dysfunction.
  • Semen Analysis- This is the most common male fertility test. What is checked is:
    • Sperm count
    • Motility of the sperm-the ability to swim
    • Velocity or forward progression of the sperm
    • Morphology of the sperm-size and shape of the sperm
    • Total semen volume
    • The liquefaction of the semen- the change from the normal gel-like state at ejaculation to a liquid state

A sample of semen is collected by masturbating and ejaculating into a special container at the doctor’s office or by using a special condom to collect semen during intercourse. The semen should then be examined within a few hours, to achieve the most accurate results.

After your semen is collected, it is sent to the laboratory to measure the number of sperms present in it and to check for abnormalities in its shape. The laboratory will also check for signs of infections in your semen. Very often, the sperm counts fluctuate from one specimen to another. In many cases, semen analysis tests are done over a period to gain accurate results. If your sperm analysis is normal, your doctor might recommend you to do a thorough test of your partner, before he conducts any more male fertility tests on you.

Your doctor may also recommend a few additional tests to help identify the cause of infertility. They are:

  • Hormone testing: Hormones that are produced by the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus and testicles, play a vital role in the sexual development and sperm production. Abnormalities present in other hormonal or organ systems might also cause infertility. However, a blood test measures the testosterone level and other hormones that can cause male infertility.
  • Genetic Tests: If your sperm concentration is extremely low, there could be a possibility of a genetic cause. However, in such cases, a blood test can reveal if there are changes in the Y chromosome which can lead to male infertility. Genetic testing can also be ordered to diagnose numerous congenital or inherited syndromes.
  • Ultrasonography: Performing an ultrasonography test on the man’s scrotum helps to find out if there is any obstruction in the testicles. It can also be used to check the presence of varicocele or other abnormalities with the supporting structures of the reproductive system.
  • Analysis of the urine: Presence of some amount of sperm in the urine indicates that sperms are travelling into the bladder instead of coming out. This helps to determine whether the person is suffering from retrograde ejaculation or not.
  • Testicular biopsy: This involves collecting samples from the testicles and conducting tests on it. It helps to identify problems with the sperm production processes. However, it is not commonly used to identify fertility problems.

Issues with fertility can be easily treated with various tests or minor surgery. Though in some cases, where infertility is caused by genetic issues, it is important to seek an expert’s advice to get the right information and treatment.

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Most infertile couples, usually have more than one cause of infertility. Therefore, they have not managed to conceive even after a year of trying. Men who have issues that may result in infertility, do not show any signs or symptoms and need to get tested. In some cases, the cause of infertility may not be identified.

Diagnosing male infertility involves:

  • A clinical examination with a complete medical history physical examination- to rule out any physical cause for infertility or clinical signs of any hormonal dysfunction.
  • Semen Analysis- This is the most common male fertility test. What is checked is:
    • Sperm count
    • Motility of the sperm-the ability to swim
    • Velocity or forward progression of the sperm
    • Morphology of the sperm-size and shape of the sperm
    • Total semen volume
    • The liquefaction of the semen- the change from the normal gel-like state at ejaculation to a liquid state

A sample of semen is collected by masturbating and ejaculating into a special container at the doctor’s office or by using a special condom to collect semen during intercourse. The semen should then be examined within a few hours, to achieve the most accurate results.

After your semen is collected, it is sent to the laboratory to measure the number of sperms present in it and to check for abnormalities in its shape. The laboratory will also check for signs of infections in your semen. Very often, the sperm counts fluctuate from one specimen to another. In many cases, semen analysis tests are done over a period to gain accurate results. If your sperm analysis is normal, your doctor might recommend you to do a thorough test of your partner, before he conducts any more male fertility tests on you.

Your doctor may also recommend a few additional tests to help identify the cause of infertility. They are:

  • Hormone testing: Hormones that are produced by the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus and testicles, play a vital role in the sexual development and sperm production. Abnormalities present in other hormonal or organ systems might also cause infertility. However, a blood test measures the testosterone level and other hormones that can cause male infertility.
  • Genetic Tests: If your sperm concentration is extremely low, there could be a possibility of a genetic cause. However, in such cases, a blood test can reveal if there are changes in the Y chromosome which can lead to male infertility. Genetic testing can also be ordered to diagnose numerous congenital or inherited syndromes.
  • Ultrasonography: Performing an ultrasonography test on the man’s scrotum helps to find out if there is any obstruction in the testicles. It can also be used to check the presence of varicocele or other abnormalities with the supporting structures of the reproductive system.
  • Analysis of the urine: Presence of some amount of sperm in the urine indicates that sperms are travelling into the bladder instead of coming out. This helps to determine whether the person is suffering from retrograde ejaculation or not.
  • Testicular biopsy: This involves collecting samples from the testicles and conducting tests on it. It helps to identify problems with the sperm production processes. However, it is not commonly used to identify fertility problems.

Issues with fertility can be easily treated with various tests or minor surgery. Though in some cases, where infertility is caused by genetic issues, it is important to seek an expert’s advice to get the right information and treatment.

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Male Infertility Tests And Diagnosis

Male Infertility Tests And Diagnosis

April 23, 2024

Most infertile couples, usually have more than one cause of inf...

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            [blog_title] => 6 Ways to Boost Female Fertility
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Each moment awaiting the result of a pregnancy test can feel like hours on end. When the result is negative, women find themselves in the depths of despair and disappointment. However, difficulty in conceiving a baby has become a common struggle for many women across the world.

According to the facts – infertility affects about 10 to 14 percent of the Indian population and rates are high in the urban areas. The road to parenthood can be an ordeal for many couples, especially when they have been trying to conceive for long with no luck. Currently, over 27.5 million couples in India trying to conceive struggle with infertility. With advancements in healthcare, infertility can be treated or overcome with self-care, lifestyle changes and medical treatments in most cases. 

While couples continue to try conceiving, below are six ways they can incorporate to smooth the path to parenthood.

Six Ways to Boost Female Fertility – Smooth Parenthood

Opt a Nutritious Diet

Food is the reflection of our bodies. Naturally, a poor diet affects chances of conceiving, so eating a healthy diet can tip the scales in the favour of those trying to conceive. Start by including wholesome foods like green vegetables, fresh fruits, full-fat dairy products, lean proteins and whole grains in the daily diet. A diet rich in iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and whole foods encourages egg production and enhances reproductive health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Multiple studies point out that being underweight and overweight negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Maintaining the right BMI (Body Mass Index) of 20-24 can be instrumental to get pregnant. However, about 25 percent of women face ovulatory infertility owing to obesity and over 12 percent suffer due to being underweight. So, maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and abstaining from junk food can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Smoking is not only injurious to your respiratory health but can also weaken fertility potential. Certain chemicals present in cigarettes are known to deplete egg count and accelerate menopause by 1-4 years. On the other hand, it badly affects the quality of sperm in men having smoking habits. Similarly, alcohol can disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause irregular ovulation in women. Cutting back on alcohol and refraining from cigarettes is a wise choice in order to boost fertility.

Manage Stress Effectively

Coping with infertility and an extended conception can be highly stressful, especially for women. But failing to manage stress can interfere with the natural processes of getting pregnant. Cortisol, a stress hormone, acts as a communication barrier between your brain and ovaries resulting in irregular cycles. Try to practice yoga, breathing exercises and mindfulness to manage stress and seek professional help from a therapist or psychologist to reduce its long-term effects.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Lack of essential vitamins and minerals in our bodies can lead to ovulatory infertility. Prenatal vitamins are specifically designed multivitamin supplements that provide the body with the required dose of daily vitamins before and during pregnancy. Two fertility-boosting nutrients- folic acid and Vitamin D promote the production of sex hormones and the development of the foetus. Make sure these vitamins are on level to reduce the chances of infertility. Starting folic acid 3 months prior to conception decreases the chances defects of brain and spinal cord in the baby. So start folic acid as soon as you start planning.

Track Ovulation Cycle

Fertility peaks during the time of ovulation. Thus, it is necessary to know when the body is ovulating to increase the chances of getting pregnant. Ovulation occurs during a narrow window of 12-24 hours which usually happens 12-14 days prior to the start of periods. By monitoring the cycle in a mobile app or through an ovulation tracking kit, one can make sure to have intercourse during and in the days leading up to their ovulation. The sperm can live in the uterus for 3-5 days when the egg is present, it increases the likelihood of fertilization.

Summing Up

While a couple waits for the miracle of pregnancy, they always take steps to boost fertility and hasten the progress by making these lifestyle and dietary changes. Most hurdles to conceiving a baby can be overcome and there’s no need to lose hope or become depressed. If all else fails, one can always seek medical help and consult a fertility specialist to know the best solutions.

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Each moment awaiting the result of a pregnancy test can feel like hours on end. When the result is negative, women find themselves in the depths of despair and disappointment. However, difficulty in conceiving a baby has become a common struggle for many women across the world.

According to the facts – infertility affects about 10 to 14 percent of the Indian population and rates are high in the urban areas. The road to parenthood can be an ordeal for many couples, especially when they have been trying to conceive for long with no luck. Currently, over 27.5 million couples in India trying to conceive struggle with infertility. With advancements in healthcare, infertility can be treated or overcome with self-care, lifestyle changes and medical treatments in most cases. 

While couples continue to try conceiving, below are six ways they can incorporate to smooth the path to parenthood.

Six Ways to Boost Female Fertility – Smooth Parenthood

Opt a Nutritious Diet

Food is the reflection of our bodies. Naturally, a poor diet affects chances of conceiving, so eating a healthy diet can tip the scales in the favour of those trying to conceive. Start by including wholesome foods like green vegetables, fresh fruits, full-fat dairy products, lean proteins and whole grains in the daily diet. A diet rich in iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and whole foods encourages egg production and enhances reproductive health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Multiple studies point out that being underweight and overweight negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Maintaining the right BMI (Body Mass Index) of 20-24 can be instrumental to get pregnant. However, about 25 percent of women face ovulatory infertility owing to obesity and over 12 percent suffer due to being underweight. So, maintaining a healthy weight by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and abstaining from junk food can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Smoking is not only injurious to your respiratory health but can also weaken fertility potential. Certain chemicals present in cigarettes are known to deplete egg count and accelerate menopause by 1-4 years. On the other hand, it badly affects the quality of sperm in men having smoking habits. Similarly, alcohol can disrupt the menstrual cycle and cause irregular ovulation in women. Cutting back on alcohol and refraining from cigarettes is a wise choice in order to boost fertility.

Manage Stress Effectively

Coping with infertility and an extended conception can be highly stressful, especially for women. But failing to manage stress can interfere with the natural processes of getting pregnant. Cortisol, a stress hormone, acts as a communication barrier between your brain and ovaries resulting in irregular cycles. Try to practice yoga, breathing exercises and mindfulness to manage stress and seek professional help from a therapist or psychologist to reduce its long-term effects.

Take Prenatal Vitamins

Lack of essential vitamins and minerals in our bodies can lead to ovulatory infertility. Prenatal vitamins are specifically designed multivitamin supplements that provide the body with the required dose of daily vitamins before and during pregnancy. Two fertility-boosting nutrients- folic acid and Vitamin D promote the production of sex hormones and the development of the foetus. Make sure these vitamins are on level to reduce the chances of infertility. Starting folic acid 3 months prior to conception decreases the chances defects of brain and spinal cord in the baby. So start folic acid as soon as you start planning.

Track Ovulation Cycle

Fertility peaks during the time of ovulation. Thus, it is necessary to know when the body is ovulating to increase the chances of getting pregnant. Ovulation occurs during a narrow window of 12-24 hours which usually happens 12-14 days prior to the start of periods. By monitoring the cycle in a mobile app or through an ovulation tracking kit, one can make sure to have intercourse during and in the days leading up to their ovulation. The sperm can live in the uterus for 3-5 days when the egg is present, it increases the likelihood of fertilization.

Summing Up

While a couple waits for the miracle of pregnancy, they always take steps to boost fertility and hasten the progress by making these lifestyle and dietary changes. Most hurdles to conceiving a baby can be overcome and there’s no need to lose hope or become depressed. If all else fails, one can always seek medical help and consult a fertility specialist to know the best solutions.

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6 Ways to Boost Female Fertility

6 Ways to Boost Female Fertility

April 22, 2024

Each moment awaiting the result of a pregnancy test can feel like ho...

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            [blog_title] => Infertility Symptoms
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Infertility Symptoms We have expert doctors at Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital to precisely understand the symptoms and diagnose correctly for managing your infertility issue. Following are the symptoms of infertility, which vary in men and women, Symptoms in men
  • Changes in hair growth
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles
  • Problems with erections and ejaculation
  • Small, firm testicles
Symptoms in women
  • Abnormal periods-The Bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual.
  • Irregular periods- The number of days in between each period varies each month.
  • Amenorrhea-You have never had a period, or periods suddenly stop.
  • Dysmenorrhea-Back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping may happen.
At times, female infertility is induced by hormone problem. Then, the symptoms can also include:
  • Skin changes, including more acne
  • Changes in sex drive and desire
  • Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
  • Loss of hair or thinning hair
  • Weight gain
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Infertility Symptoms We have expert doctors at Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital to precisely understand the symptoms and diagnose correctly for managing your infertility issue. Following are the symptoms of infertility, which vary in men and women, Symptoms in men
  • Changes in hair growth
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles
  • Problems with erections and ejaculation
  • Small, firm testicles
Symptoms in women
  • Abnormal periods-The Bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual.
  • Irregular periods- The number of days in between each period varies each month.
  • Amenorrhea-You have never had a period, or periods suddenly stop.
  • Dysmenorrhea-Back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping may happen.
At times, female infertility is induced by hormone problem. Then, the symptoms can also include:
  • Skin changes, including more acne
  • Changes in sex drive and desire
  • Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
  • Loss of hair or thinning hair
  • Weight gain
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Infertility Symptoms

Infertility Symptoms

April 17, 2024

Infertility Symptoms We have expert doctors at A...

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            [blog_title] => Comparison Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SONO AVC)
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Comparision Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SONO AVC) With Conventional 2D Manual Follicular Tracking In In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Cycles; A Prospective Study
Dr. Usha B R.

PURPOSE – To compare the predictive value of manual follicle monitoring v/s the use of Sono AVC, a new software in routine follicle monitoring in IVF practice.

METHODS – This is a prospective study done at the ART centre. Sono AVC (automated volume calculation) is a new 3-D ultrasound software which allows for a more objective and reproducible assessment of follicle. A total of forty six patients undergoing in-vitro fertilisation at our ART centre were recruited. Follicle monitoring was done both manually in 2-D and with the use of 3-D Sono-AVC. Both the techniques were performed in same patients by a single trained observer with Voluson S6 and 4-D transvaginal probe. The follicle count and dimensions were noted using 2-D and the 3-D technique on the day of oocyte retrieval and compared with the number of oocytes retrieved.

RESULTS – A total of 46 patients were studied i.e. a total of 91 ovaries were studied, as there was one patient with an absent ovary. Mean duration of time taken for manual and Sono AVC are 209.2s and 156.6s respectively (p-0.01). Manual count of total number of follicles in comparison to Sono AVC total count of follicles>10mm was found to be lesser with a mean of difference of -1.45 and was found to be statistically significant. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but correlates better with d(V)(mean of difference -0.09).

CONCLUSION – 3-D Sono AVC is a useful adjunct in routine follicle monitoring, with significant reduction in time and correlates well with manual counts.It is a very good tool to counsel patients regarding ovarian response as it is pictorial and also serves to maintain graphical record of each cycle which could serve as a guide in the future if need arises. Further research with larger sample size is required to further validate our study. Keywords- Sono AVC, follicle monitoring, 3-D ultrasound.

INTRODUCTION With the rising trend in infertility, the number of patients being referred for ART centres is also on the rise. Ultrasound follicle monitoring is an integral part of any ART cycle. After recruitment of a patient in a cycle follicular scans begin on day 1 and continues after day 5/6 every alternate day depending on the follicular response. With this frequent monitoring, there is a requirement of a method of follicle tracking which is more objective or reproducible and could also lessen the time taken for busy practitioners.

SONO AVC (Sonography based Automated Volume Calculation) is a new software introduced by GE company in its VOLUSON machine. This software is based on the inversion mode principle, takes a 3-D sweep of the entire ovary, makes automated volume based calculations and gives results within seconds. The inversion mode allows the cystic areas or follicles in the ovary to appear uniformly echogenic in its entirety and the background grey areas to appear transparent.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This was a prospective study done at our ART centre. A total of 46 patients were recruited for in-vitro fertilisation cycles enrolled. Follicular monitoring was done with GE Voluson S6 pro machine with a 4-D transvaginal probe. Follicular measurements were made manually in 2-D plane taking into account the average of breadth and length of the follicle. Following this, 3-D Sono AVC was also applied to note the leading follicle diameter. All decisions to increase or reduce the dose of gonadotropins and the ovulation trigger were based on the manual measurements. On the day of oocyte retrieval, just prior to the procedure, total number of follicles was counted manually and manual measurement of average diameter of all follicles more than 10mm was done and time required for the same noted. After this 3-D Sono AVC was applied to take a sweep of the complete ovary. Volume analysis is selected and the area of interest, that is the ovary alone, is selected.

Sono AVC makes automated calculations. It calculates largest diameters in three orthogonal planes and gives an average of these three which is the mean diameter (mn.d) of the follicle. It also calculates volume(V) based on this diameter. It creates a perfect sphere of this volume and then calculates the diameter which is mentioned in the chart as volume based diameter(d(V)).Sometimes there may be compression of follicles especially in ovaries where there is over-crowding of follicles. This causes follicle to get elongated in one of the diameters giving false values. The concept of volume based diameter eliminates this error as it creates diameter of the follicle if it were not to be compressed.

Sono AVC gives a chart where it lists volume based diameter, the diameters in the three orthogonal planes as dx, dy and dz , the mean diameter (mn.d) and the volume (V) of each follicle. Once the list of follicles is obtained, we need to scroll through the ovary to see if all the follicles and only the follicles have been included. Sometimes, erroneously a nearby vessel or hydrosalpinx could be picked as a follicle which needs to be removed or many a times a big follicle may not be picked if the prior 2-D image is not good in which case it needs to be added. A 3-D view of the ovary can be obtained on cine calculation where the entire ovary can be rotated upto 3600 to view the follicles which are presented in different colours. Sono AVC also gives a follicle tracking chart from day 1 of stimulation. This chart could be made either based on measurements of mean diameter or volume based diameter or volume of each follicle.

In our study each ovary was observed as a different subject we have done 4 important comparisons. First, the total number of follicles (total count) measured manually v/s total number of follicles seen in Sono AVC chart of >10mm. We have taken this 10 mm as cut off to compare with the oocyte retrieval as follicles <10mm do not fetch an oocyte. Second, the leading follicle diameter measured manually was compared with the mean diameter and volume based diameter obtained on 3-D Sono AVC. Third, we have compared total count measured manually and 3-D Sono AVC with the number of oocytes retrieved. Fourth, the total time taken for measuring all the follicles manually and time taken for 3-D Sono AVC including the post-processing is noted and compared.

STATISTICAL METHODS

For agreement analysis, the difference between two parameters and mean of the two parameters were computed. The mean of differences and its 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Kendall’s tau-b coefficient between difference and mean were compiled. Measurement error (Standard deviation of differences/√2) was calculated and Error range was computed as measurement error × 1.96 (critical value).

Finally, intra- class correlation co-efficient was computed between the 2 parameters. Bi-variant correlation coefficient was computed between manual count and number of oocytes retrieved. Similarly, Bi-variant correlation co-efficient was computed between Sono AVC count and number of oocytes retrieved. For all statistical tests, p<0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

A total of 46 patients and a total of 91 ovaries were studied, as there was one patient with single ovary. Mean duration of time with manual and SONO AVC are 209.2s and 156.6s respectively (p-0.01).

Fig-1 Sono AVC report

  Mean of differences 95% C.I. Kendall’s tau b coefficient Error range Intra class correlation
Total count of follicles(manual v/s 3-D) -1.45 -1.94 to -0.95 -0.39 (p=0.00) 3.25 0.906
Leading follicle diameter(manual v/s 3-D mn.d) -1.70 -2.2 to -1.20 -0.06 (p=0.40) 3.31 0.708
Leading follicle (manual v/s 3-d(V)) -0.09 -0.46 to -0.27 0.083 (p=0.24) 2.43 0.829

Table-1

  Manual count of total number of follicles in comparison to Sono AVC total count of follicles>10mm was found to be lesser with a mean of difference of -1.45 and was found to be statistically significant. This simply means Sono AVC picks up more number of follicles. Most of our decision making in IVF cycles is based on leading follicle diameter. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but correlates better with d(V)(mean of difference -0.09).

Fig –2 showing the good correlation between manual leading follicle diameter and Sono AVC values.

  PEARSON CORRELATION (r) P-VALUE
Manual count and oocyte retrieval 0.729 <0.001
3-D Sono AVC count and oocyte retrieval 0.688 <0.001

Table -2

The above table explains that both manual count and Sono AVC count of total number of follicles correlate well with the number of oocytes retrieved.

DISCUSSION

Sono AVC software definitely seems promising as a present and future of follicle tracking. There are many advantages with this technique. It saves on time for the busy practitioners. It is more objective and reproducible compared to manual measurements. It requires only a little bit of training to master the technique. It would be easier for senior consultants to ask the juniors or residents to do follicle tracking with this software. Subjective errors during measurement of follicle like re-measuring the same follicle or missing out on a follicle as it may be bigger in a different plane can be reduced with the 3-D technique.It provides a graphical record of the ovarian response which can be stored for follow-up in next IVF cycles. It is pictorial providing a colourful picture of the ovary representing follicles with different colours and it would be easy to counsel the patients with pictures. Patients can be told about the numbers of follicles either poorly responding or hyper responding so that they know as to what to expect from that cycle prior to the oocyte retrieval.Sono AVC can also be used to measure antral follicle count. In pregnancy, studies have reported the use of Sono AVC for the measurement of gestational sac volume, embryo volume, fetal stomach volume, fetal cardiac ventricle volume and neuro sonoembyology.1

Fig –3 Ovarian response shown as Normal, Hyper response and Poor response.

Sono AVC software is not completely fool proof as it has pitfalls. There are two important things to get a good report. One is prior to taking a 3-D sweep we need to ensure that the image obtained in 2-D plane is crisp with margins of follicles being clearly defined.Second, after taking a 3-D sweep, we need to select the area of interest i.e. the ovary completely in all three orthogonal planes. Sono AVC for follicle monitoring requires minimal post processing if a good 2-D image is obtained. If a good 2-D image is not obtained, then the procedure requires post processing, which makes it semi-automated. Post processing involves scrolling through the entire ovary to see if all the follicles have been included. Sometimes erroneously adjacent blood vessel, cyst, encysted collection is also picked up as follicle.So we need to do post- processing to add or remove follicles, cut or merge follicles or adjust the settings of growth or separation of two follicles. This consumes a bit of the time with Sono AVC, which otherwise provides results within seconds.The other most important disadvantage is the cost of the machine which would add on to the burden of the ART centre.

Fig- 4 showing pitfalls of Sono AVC requiring post-processing

Baris Ata et al reported a study of 100 women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation.Each follicle was measured manually as well as with the use of Sono-AVC. Both SonoAVC-generated mean follicle diameter, volume based diameter, follicle counts, as well as the leading follicle diameter had good agreement with conventional 2D US measurements. SonoAVC measurements had very good reproducibility, with intra-class correlation coefficient ≥0.8 for most evaluations.2

N.Raine-Fenning et al report a study of Sono AVC in 51 women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation. They made volume estimations of 224 follicles using Sono-AVC, VOCAL AND manually and measured the follicular aspirate volume during oocyte retrieval. Sono AVC provided highly accurate measurements in comparison to VOCAL and manual measurements.3The same group also report another prospective study of 89 subjects undergoing in-vitro fertilisation. The number of follicles and the mean diameter of follicles were measured both manually and with Sono AVC.There was no significant difference in the number of follicles with mean diameters >9 mm, >13 mm and >17 mm measured by either method. The total time taken for follicular measurements was significantly less (P < 0.01) for the automated 3D method (180.5 ± 63.6 versus 236.1 ± 57.1 s) which was associated with significantly less exposure to ultrasound (39.0 ± 6.0 versus 236.10 ± 57.1 s; P < 0.001).4

CONCLUSION

3-D Sono AVC is a useful adjunct in routine follicle monitoring, with significant reduction in time and correlates well with manual counts. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but more so with d(V).It is a very good tool to counsel patients regarding ovarian response as it is pictorial and also serves to maintain graphical record of each cycle. Further research with larger sample size is required to further validate our study.

REFERENCES

1.Baris Ata, Togas Tulandi . Ultrasound automated volume calculation in reproduction and in pregnancy. Fertility and Sterility Vol. 95, No. 7, June 2011.

2.Baris Ata, Ayse Seyhan . Comparison of automated and manual follicle monitoring in an unrestricted population of 100 women undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation for IVF. Human Reproduction, Vol.0, No.0 pp. 1–7, 2010.

3.N. Raine-Fenning, K. Jayaprakasan . SonoAVC: a novel method of automatic volume calculation. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2008; 31: 691–696.

4.N Raine-Fenning, K Jayaprakasan . Automated follicle tracking improves measurement reliability in patients undergoing ovarian stimulation. Reproductive BioMedicine Online Volume 18, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 658–663.

5.Juan Luis Alcazar.The Use of Three dimensional Ultrasound in Gynecological patients. Donald School Journal of ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. October- December 2008 ; 2(4) :10-16.

6.Sonal Panchal, Chaitanya Nagori. Comparison of anti-mullerian hormone and antral follicle count for assessment of ovarian reserve. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2012 Sep-Dec; 5(3): 274–278.

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Comparision Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SONO AVC) With Conventional 2D Manual Follicular Tracking In In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Cycles; A Prospective Study
Dr. Usha B R.

PURPOSE – To compare the predictive value of manual follicle monitoring v/s the use of Sono AVC, a new software in routine follicle monitoring in IVF practice.

METHODS – This is a prospective study done at the ART centre. Sono AVC (automated volume calculation) is a new 3-D ultrasound software which allows for a more objective and reproducible assessment of follicle. A total of forty six patients undergoing in-vitro fertilisation at our ART centre were recruited. Follicle monitoring was done both manually in 2-D and with the use of 3-D Sono-AVC. Both the techniques were performed in same patients by a single trained observer with Voluson S6 and 4-D transvaginal probe. The follicle count and dimensions were noted using 2-D and the 3-D technique on the day of oocyte retrieval and compared with the number of oocytes retrieved.

RESULTS – A total of 46 patients were studied i.e. a total of 91 ovaries were studied, as there was one patient with an absent ovary. Mean duration of time taken for manual and Sono AVC are 209.2s and 156.6s respectively (p-0.01). Manual count of total number of follicles in comparison to Sono AVC total count of follicles>10mm was found to be lesser with a mean of difference of -1.45 and was found to be statistically significant. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but correlates better with d(V)(mean of difference -0.09).

CONCLUSION – 3-D Sono AVC is a useful adjunct in routine follicle monitoring, with significant reduction in time and correlates well with manual counts.It is a very good tool to counsel patients regarding ovarian response as it is pictorial and also serves to maintain graphical record of each cycle which could serve as a guide in the future if need arises. Further research with larger sample size is required to further validate our study. Keywords- Sono AVC, follicle monitoring, 3-D ultrasound.

INTRODUCTION With the rising trend in infertility, the number of patients being referred for ART centres is also on the rise. Ultrasound follicle monitoring is an integral part of any ART cycle. After recruitment of a patient in a cycle follicular scans begin on day 1 and continues after day 5/6 every alternate day depending on the follicular response. With this frequent monitoring, there is a requirement of a method of follicle tracking which is more objective or reproducible and could also lessen the time taken for busy practitioners.

SONO AVC (Sonography based Automated Volume Calculation) is a new software introduced by GE company in its VOLUSON machine. This software is based on the inversion mode principle, takes a 3-D sweep of the entire ovary, makes automated volume based calculations and gives results within seconds. The inversion mode allows the cystic areas or follicles in the ovary to appear uniformly echogenic in its entirety and the background grey areas to appear transparent.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

This was a prospective study done at our ART centre. A total of 46 patients were recruited for in-vitro fertilisation cycles enrolled. Follicular monitoring was done with GE Voluson S6 pro machine with a 4-D transvaginal probe. Follicular measurements were made manually in 2-D plane taking into account the average of breadth and length of the follicle. Following this, 3-D Sono AVC was also applied to note the leading follicle diameter. All decisions to increase or reduce the dose of gonadotropins and the ovulation trigger were based on the manual measurements. On the day of oocyte retrieval, just prior to the procedure, total number of follicles was counted manually and manual measurement of average diameter of all follicles more than 10mm was done and time required for the same noted. After this 3-D Sono AVC was applied to take a sweep of the complete ovary. Volume analysis is selected and the area of interest, that is the ovary alone, is selected.

Sono AVC makes automated calculations. It calculates largest diameters in three orthogonal planes and gives an average of these three which is the mean diameter (mn.d) of the follicle. It also calculates volume(V) based on this diameter. It creates a perfect sphere of this volume and then calculates the diameter which is mentioned in the chart as volume based diameter(d(V)).Sometimes there may be compression of follicles especially in ovaries where there is over-crowding of follicles. This causes follicle to get elongated in one of the diameters giving false values. The concept of volume based diameter eliminates this error as it creates diameter of the follicle if it were not to be compressed.

Sono AVC gives a chart where it lists volume based diameter, the diameters in the three orthogonal planes as dx, dy and dz , the mean diameter (mn.d) and the volume (V) of each follicle. Once the list of follicles is obtained, we need to scroll through the ovary to see if all the follicles and only the follicles have been included. Sometimes, erroneously a nearby vessel or hydrosalpinx could be picked as a follicle which needs to be removed or many a times a big follicle may not be picked if the prior 2-D image is not good in which case it needs to be added. A 3-D view of the ovary can be obtained on cine calculation where the entire ovary can be rotated upto 3600 to view the follicles which are presented in different colours. Sono AVC also gives a follicle tracking chart from day 1 of stimulation. This chart could be made either based on measurements of mean diameter or volume based diameter or volume of each follicle.

In our study each ovary was observed as a different subject we have done 4 important comparisons. First, the total number of follicles (total count) measured manually v/s total number of follicles seen in Sono AVC chart of >10mm. We have taken this 10 mm as cut off to compare with the oocyte retrieval as follicles <10mm do not fetch an oocyte. Second, the leading follicle diameter measured manually was compared with the mean diameter and volume based diameter obtained on 3-D Sono AVC. Third, we have compared total count measured manually and 3-D Sono AVC with the number of oocytes retrieved. Fourth, the total time taken for measuring all the follicles manually and time taken for 3-D Sono AVC including the post-processing is noted and compared.

STATISTICAL METHODS

For agreement analysis, the difference between two parameters and mean of the two parameters were computed. The mean of differences and its 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Kendall’s tau-b coefficient between difference and mean were compiled. Measurement error (Standard deviation of differences/√2) was calculated and Error range was computed as measurement error × 1.96 (critical value).

Finally, intra- class correlation co-efficient was computed between the 2 parameters. Bi-variant correlation coefficient was computed between manual count and number of oocytes retrieved. Similarly, Bi-variant correlation co-efficient was computed between Sono AVC count and number of oocytes retrieved. For all statistical tests, p<0.05 was considered significant.

RESULTS

A total of 46 patients and a total of 91 ovaries were studied, as there was one patient with single ovary. Mean duration of time with manual and SONO AVC are 209.2s and 156.6s respectively (p-0.01).

Fig-1 Sono AVC report

  Mean of differences 95% C.I. Kendall’s tau b coefficient Error range Intra class correlation
Total count of follicles(manual v/s 3-D) -1.45 -1.94 to -0.95 -0.39 (p=0.00) 3.25 0.906
Leading follicle diameter(manual v/s 3-D mn.d) -1.70 -2.2 to -1.20 -0.06 (p=0.40) 3.31 0.708
Leading follicle (manual v/s 3-d(V)) -0.09 -0.46 to -0.27 0.083 (p=0.24) 2.43 0.829

Table-1

  Manual count of total number of follicles in comparison to Sono AVC total count of follicles>10mm was found to be lesser with a mean of difference of -1.45 and was found to be statistically significant. This simply means Sono AVC picks up more number of follicles. Most of our decision making in IVF cycles is based on leading follicle diameter. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but correlates better with d(V)(mean of difference -0.09).

Fig –2 showing the good correlation between manual leading follicle diameter and Sono AVC values.

  PEARSON CORRELATION (r) P-VALUE
Manual count and oocyte retrieval 0.729 <0.001
3-D Sono AVC count and oocyte retrieval 0.688 <0.001

Table -2

The above table explains that both manual count and Sono AVC count of total number of follicles correlate well with the number of oocytes retrieved.

DISCUSSION

Sono AVC software definitely seems promising as a present and future of follicle tracking. There are many advantages with this technique. It saves on time for the busy practitioners. It is more objective and reproducible compared to manual measurements. It requires only a little bit of training to master the technique. It would be easier for senior consultants to ask the juniors or residents to do follicle tracking with this software. Subjective errors during measurement of follicle like re-measuring the same follicle or missing out on a follicle as it may be bigger in a different plane can be reduced with the 3-D technique.It provides a graphical record of the ovarian response which can be stored for follow-up in next IVF cycles. It is pictorial providing a colourful picture of the ovary representing follicles with different colours and it would be easy to counsel the patients with pictures. Patients can be told about the numbers of follicles either poorly responding or hyper responding so that they know as to what to expect from that cycle prior to the oocyte retrieval.Sono AVC can also be used to measure antral follicle count. In pregnancy, studies have reported the use of Sono AVC for the measurement of gestational sac volume, embryo volume, fetal stomach volume, fetal cardiac ventricle volume and neuro sonoembyology.1

Fig –3 Ovarian response shown as Normal, Hyper response and Poor response.

Sono AVC software is not completely fool proof as it has pitfalls. There are two important things to get a good report. One is prior to taking a 3-D sweep we need to ensure that the image obtained in 2-D plane is crisp with margins of follicles being clearly defined.Second, after taking a 3-D sweep, we need to select the area of interest i.e. the ovary completely in all three orthogonal planes. Sono AVC for follicle monitoring requires minimal post processing if a good 2-D image is obtained. If a good 2-D image is not obtained, then the procedure requires post processing, which makes it semi-automated. Post processing involves scrolling through the entire ovary to see if all the follicles have been included. Sometimes erroneously adjacent blood vessel, cyst, encysted collection is also picked up as follicle.So we need to do post- processing to add or remove follicles, cut or merge follicles or adjust the settings of growth or separation of two follicles. This consumes a bit of the time with Sono AVC, which otherwise provides results within seconds.The other most important disadvantage is the cost of the machine which would add on to the burden of the ART centre.

Fig- 4 showing pitfalls of Sono AVC requiring post-processing

Baris Ata et al reported a study of 100 women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation.Each follicle was measured manually as well as with the use of Sono-AVC. Both SonoAVC-generated mean follicle diameter, volume based diameter, follicle counts, as well as the leading follicle diameter had good agreement with conventional 2D US measurements. SonoAVC measurements had very good reproducibility, with intra-class correlation coefficient ≥0.8 for most evaluations.2

N.Raine-Fenning et al report a study of Sono AVC in 51 women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation. They made volume estimations of 224 follicles using Sono-AVC, VOCAL AND manually and measured the follicular aspirate volume during oocyte retrieval. Sono AVC provided highly accurate measurements in comparison to VOCAL and manual measurements.3The same group also report another prospective study of 89 subjects undergoing in-vitro fertilisation. The number of follicles and the mean diameter of follicles were measured both manually and with Sono AVC.There was no significant difference in the number of follicles with mean diameters >9 mm, >13 mm and >17 mm measured by either method. The total time taken for follicular measurements was significantly less (P < 0.01) for the automated 3D method (180.5 ± 63.6 versus 236.1 ± 57.1 s) which was associated with significantly less exposure to ultrasound (39.0 ± 6.0 versus 236.10 ± 57.1 s; P < 0.001).4

CONCLUSION

3-D Sono AVC is a useful adjunct in routine follicle monitoring, with significant reduction in time and correlates well with manual counts. Leading follicle diameter measured manually is in agreement with volume based diameter d(V) as well as mean diameter measured on Sono AVC but more so with d(V).It is a very good tool to counsel patients regarding ovarian response as it is pictorial and also serves to maintain graphical record of each cycle. Further research with larger sample size is required to further validate our study.

REFERENCES

1.Baris Ata, Togas Tulandi . Ultrasound automated volume calculation in reproduction and in pregnancy. Fertility and Sterility Vol. 95, No. 7, June 2011.

2.Baris Ata, Ayse Seyhan . Comparison of automated and manual follicle monitoring in an unrestricted population of 100 women undergoing controlled ovarian stimulation for IVF. Human Reproduction, Vol.0, No.0 pp. 1–7, 2010.

3.N. Raine-Fenning, K. Jayaprakasan . SonoAVC: a novel method of automatic volume calculation. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2008; 31: 691–696.

4.N Raine-Fenning, K Jayaprakasan . Automated follicle tracking improves measurement reliability in patients undergoing ovarian stimulation. Reproductive BioMedicine Online Volume 18, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 658–663.

5.Juan Luis Alcazar.The Use of Three dimensional Ultrasound in Gynecological patients. Donald School Journal of ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. October- December 2008 ; 2(4) :10-16.

6.Sonal Panchal, Chaitanya Nagori. Comparison of anti-mullerian hormone and antral follicle count for assessment of ovarian reserve. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2012 Sep-Dec; 5(3): 274–278.

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Comparison Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SONO AVC)

Comparison Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SONO AVC)

April 12, 2024

Comparision Of A New 3D Automated Volume Calculation Technique (SON...

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            [blog_title] => Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation
            [metaTitle] => Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation | Apollo Cradle
            [metaDescription] => The absence of menstruation, is a condition where menstrual periods are missing for three months or more. Learn about its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.
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Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or one or more missed period cycles. When you miss three consecutive periods in a row, you may be diagnosed with Amenorrhea. Also, the young girls who haven’t started their period, maximum by the age of 15, are said to have amenorrhea. Of course, one of the most common reasons for amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation is pregnancy. But, the other causes are problems in the reproductive organs or a defect in the glands that stabilize the hormone levels. When the underlying conditions are treated, it can cure amenorrhea.

Symptoms

Apart from the absence of periods, you may also experience;

  • Milky nipple discharge
  • Hair loss
  • A headache
  • Changes in vision
  • Excess facial hair
  • Pelvic pain
  • Acne

Causes

There are several natural causes of amenorrhea, but some medications can also do the same.

Natural Causes

During your life, you may experience the natural causes of the absence of menstruation, such as pregnancy problems, breastfeeding, and menopause.

READ: Menopause: What it is, Age, Signs, Causes & Complications

Contraception

For some women, who depend on contraceptive pills, their menstruation cycle may stop. However, after discarding the medicines, it may take time for regular ovulation and menstruation to return back to normal. Contraceptives that are injected or implanted can also lead to the absence of periods, even the intrauterine device.

Medications

A few drugs can interfere with the regular menstrual cycle. They are; Antipsychotics, cancer chemotherapy, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and allergy medicines.

 

 

Lifestyle factors

A few lifestyle choices can also have repercussions and cause amenorrhea. They are;

  • Low Body Weight

If your body weight is exceedingly low, it can interfere with the normal hormonal functions, which can halt the ovulation. It is especially seen in women who suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Therefore, the period stops because of abnormal hormonal changes.

  • Too much Exercise

Being healthy is a good thing, exercising regularly is even better. But, women who undergo religious training for activities, such as ballet, may notice that their period cycle gets interrupted. This can be because of the high energy expenditure, the stress, the heavy-duty exercise or even the low body fat.

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Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or one or more missed period cycles. When you miss three consecutive periods in a row, you may be diagnosed with Amenorrhea. Also, the young girls who haven’t started their period, maximum by the age of 15, are said to have amenorrhea. Of course, one of the most common reasons for amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation is pregnancy. But, the other causes are problems in the reproductive organs or a defect in the glands that stabilize the hormone levels. When the underlying conditions are treated, it can cure amenorrhea.

Symptoms

Apart from the absence of periods, you may also experience;

  • Milky nipple discharge
  • Hair loss
  • A headache
  • Changes in vision
  • Excess facial hair
  • Pelvic pain
  • Acne

Causes

There are several natural causes of amenorrhea, but some medications can also do the same.

Natural Causes

During your life, you may experience the natural causes of the absence of menstruation, such as pregnancy problems, breastfeeding, and menopause.

READ: Menopause: What it is, Age, Signs, Causes & Complications

Contraception

For some women, who depend on contraceptive pills, their menstruation cycle may stop. However, after discarding the medicines, it may take time for regular ovulation and menstruation to return back to normal. Contraceptives that are injected or implanted can also lead to the absence of periods, even the intrauterine device.

Medications

A few drugs can interfere with the regular menstrual cycle. They are; Antipsychotics, cancer chemotherapy, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and allergy medicines.

 

 

Lifestyle factors

A few lifestyle choices can also have repercussions and cause amenorrhea. They are;

  • Low Body Weight

If your body weight is exceedingly low, it can interfere with the normal hormonal functions, which can halt the ovulation. It is especially seen in women who suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Therefore, the period stops because of abnormal hormonal changes.

  • Too much Exercise

Being healthy is a good thing, exercising regularly is even better. But, women who undergo religious training for activities, such as ballet, may notice that their period cycle gets interrupted. This can be because of the high energy expenditure, the stress, the heavy-duty exercise or even the low body fat.

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Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation

Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation

April 11, 2024

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation...

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            [blog_title] => 7 Tips On How To Increase Fertility For Men
            [metaTitle] => 7 Tips On How To Increase Fertility For Men
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It takes two to create a baby. If your sperm is not strong or healthy enough to reach or penetrate the egg, there will be no fertilisation process, and hence your partner will not be able to conceive. Some problems, ranging from genetics and hormonal factors to lifestyle and environmental exposures may cause issues in terms of fertility in men.

You must have and maintain an erection, possess the adequate amount of sperm that moves in the correct way and has good sperm quality to fertilize the egg off your partner. It takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg but any factor that affects any of the above can result in infertility. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success, it’s time you make a few lifestyle changes. Mentioned below are seven tips to boost male fertility:

1.Stay fit and lose those extra pounds

It is very important to exercise, stay fit and aim for a healthy weight to increase your fertility. A recent study has concluded that men who are overweight or obese not only have a decreased sperm count but also decreased quality. Having a high BMI can decrease your sperm’s ability to swim and damages the DNA i.e. the genetic material present in your sperm. Researchers also believe that excessive body fat can cause changes in and reduce the reproductive hormone levels such as the testosterone level, causing infertility in men.

2.Abstain from smoking

Smoking hurts your health. Another reason to kick this habit is because it also affects your fertility. Smoking is terrible for your sperm quality as it results in low sperm count, a decrease in sperm movement and affects sperm quality. According to recent studies, the sperm’s ability to fertilise a woman’s egg also decreases if you smoke.

3.Reduce your alcohol intake

Research proves that too much alcohol increases male infertility as it decreases sperm motility (i.e. the ability of your sperm to move properly), affects sperm quality and reduces your sperm count. It is also advisable to quit drinking if you are undergoing IVF treatment since it increases the risk of stillbirth.

4.Add antioxidants to your diet

Apart from fighting heart diseases and cancer, antioxidants also increase fertility in men. There was a huge reduction in DNA damaged sperms in those men who consumed antioxidants in their diet according to a recent study. The antioxidants mentioned below are especially noticed to improve sperm quality and should be a part of your daily diet:

  • Zinc- oysters, crabs, red meat, beans
  • Vitamin C- papaya, berries, citrus fruits
  • Selenium- tuna, chicken, cod, beef
5.Frequent sex and ejaculation

Having a happy relationship with frequent and happy sex can work wonders in causing you to relax and remove the element of infertility related to stress and anxiety.

6.Avoid a chemically toxic environment

It is very important to avoid a toxic environment since it increases male infertility. Farmers exposed to pesticides, and those exposed to varnishes and paints are prone to fertility complications such as lower sperm count due to their exposure to chemicals. Wear gloves or a mask and keep your body covered from toxic chemicals if you happen to work or live in such an environment.

7.Keep things cool

You need to keep your genitals cool as higher temperatures are known to affect your sperm resulting issues in terms of fertility in men. Avoid frequent and prolonged hot baths or working for long hours with the laptop in your lap can cause this effect. Also, wear breathable clothes and switch to boxers from briefs.

However, sometimes despite doing all you can to increase your fertility levels, problems may persist. In such cases, visiting a fertility specialist can be of great help as he or she can guide you and offer you the correct diagnosis for the specific problem you face.

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It takes two to create a baby. If your sperm is not strong or healthy enough to reach or penetrate the egg, there will be no fertilisation process, and hence your partner will not be able to conceive. Some problems, ranging from genetics and hormonal factors to lifestyle and environmental exposures may cause issues in terms of fertility in men.

You must have and maintain an erection, possess the adequate amount of sperm that moves in the correct way and has good sperm quality to fertilize the egg off your partner. It takes just one sperm to fertilize the egg but any factor that affects any of the above can result in infertility. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time without success, it’s time you make a few lifestyle changes. Mentioned below are seven tips to boost male fertility:

1.Stay fit and lose those extra pounds

It is very important to exercise, stay fit and aim for a healthy weight to increase your fertility. A recent study has concluded that men who are overweight or obese not only have a decreased sperm count but also decreased quality. Having a high BMI can decrease your sperm’s ability to swim and damages the DNA i.e. the genetic material present in your sperm. Researchers also believe that excessive body fat can cause changes in and reduce the reproductive hormone levels such as the testosterone level, causing infertility in men.

2.Abstain from smoking

Smoking hurts your health. Another reason to kick this habit is because it also affects your fertility. Smoking is terrible for your sperm quality as it results in low sperm count, a decrease in sperm movement and affects sperm quality. According to recent studies, the sperm’s ability to fertilise a woman’s egg also decreases if you smoke.

3.Reduce your alcohol intake

Research proves that too much alcohol increases male infertility as it decreases sperm motility (i.e. the ability of your sperm to move properly), affects sperm quality and reduces your sperm count. It is also advisable to quit drinking if you are undergoing IVF treatment since it increases the risk of stillbirth.

4.Add antioxidants to your diet

Apart from fighting heart diseases and cancer, antioxidants also increase fertility in men. There was a huge reduction in DNA damaged sperms in those men who consumed antioxidants in their diet according to a recent study. The antioxidants mentioned below are especially noticed to improve sperm quality and should be a part of your daily diet:

  • Zinc- oysters, crabs, red meat, beans
  • Vitamin C- papaya, berries, citrus fruits
  • Selenium- tuna, chicken, cod, beef
5.Frequent sex and ejaculation

Having a happy relationship with frequent and happy sex can work wonders in causing you to relax and remove the element of infertility related to stress and anxiety.

6.Avoid a chemically toxic environment

It is very important to avoid a toxic environment since it increases male infertility. Farmers exposed to pesticides, and those exposed to varnishes and paints are prone to fertility complications such as lower sperm count due to their exposure to chemicals. Wear gloves or a mask and keep your body covered from toxic chemicals if you happen to work or live in such an environment.

7.Keep things cool

You need to keep your genitals cool as higher temperatures are known to affect your sperm resulting issues in terms of fertility in men. Avoid frequent and prolonged hot baths or working for long hours with the laptop in your lap can cause this effect. Also, wear breathable clothes and switch to boxers from briefs.

However, sometimes despite doing all you can to increase your fertility levels, problems may persist. In such cases, visiting a fertility specialist can be of great help as he or she can guide you and offer you the correct diagnosis for the specific problem you face.

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7 Tips On How To Increase Fertility For Men

7 Tips On How To Increase Fertility For Men

April 8, 2024

It takes two to create a baby. If your sperm is not strong or health...

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            [blog_title] => Common Causes Of Infertility In Women
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Infertility can be defined as a medical condition that is characterized by the inability to conceive even after one year of trying. The process of conception involves the release of an egg from the ovary and fertilization of this egg by a sperm. You need to have open fallopian tubes through which the sperm will swim to meet the egg and fertilize it. The fertilized egg will then travel through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. A problem in any of these steps can cause infertility.

So what are the causes?

In women different types of factors can interfere with the process of getting pregnant.

Ovulation Disorders- These are disorders in which ovulation occurs infrequently or not at all. These disorders may be caused by problems in the ovary or in the regulation of the reproductive hormones in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – In this condition, several changes occur within the hypothalamus, ovaries or the pituitary glands, that result in a hormonal imbalance, affecting ovulation. It is the most common cause of female infertility.
  2. Hypothalamic dysfunction that is caused by any form of extreme stress. It is accompanied by irregular or missed periods.
  3. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency– This is mainly caused by an autoimmune response wherein the body’s defense mechanism attacks the ovarian tissues or interferes with the ovulation process as well as brings about hormonal imbalance within the body.

Tubal Infertility– Fallopian tubes are the passage through which the sperm swims to meet the egg and through which the fertilized egg moves into the uterus. Any sort of damage to the tubes blocks the movement of the egg. The causes of fallopian tube damage or blockage include:

  1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or any sort of sexually transmitted infections that affect the uterus.
  2. Surgery in the past in the abdomen or pelvis.
  3. Pelvic Tuberculosis which is a rare form of tuberculosis that develops in the pelvic region.
  4. Endometriosis– It is a medical condition in which the tissues that normally grow in the uterus, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can interfere with the fertilization process and also affect the lining on the wall of the uterus causing damage to the fertilized egg, leading to infertility.

Cervical and uterine causes– Several causes can result in infertility by interfering with the implantation process, thereby increasing the chances of miscarriage.

  1. Benign tumors of the uterus
  2. Anatomical abnormalities present from birth
  3. Cervical narrowing or any form of cervical damage
  4. Cervical mucus that is not receptive to the sperm

Sometimes, it may happen that the actual cause of infertility cannot be determined even after a thorough clinical examination. While this may be disappointing, infertility is a condition that should be treated by an expert to give you the best chance of success if that is possible.

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Infertility can be defined as a medical condition that is characterized by the inability to conceive even after one year of trying. The process of conception involves the release of an egg from the ovary and fertilization of this egg by a sperm. You need to have open fallopian tubes through which the sperm will swim to meet the egg and fertilize it. The fertilized egg will then travel through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. A problem in any of these steps can cause infertility.

So what are the causes?

In women different types of factors can interfere with the process of getting pregnant.

Ovulation Disorders- These are disorders in which ovulation occurs infrequently or not at all. These disorders may be caused by problems in the ovary or in the regulation of the reproductive hormones in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.

  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – In this condition, several changes occur within the hypothalamus, ovaries or the pituitary glands, that result in a hormonal imbalance, affecting ovulation. It is the most common cause of female infertility.
  2. Hypothalamic dysfunction that is caused by any form of extreme stress. It is accompanied by irregular or missed periods.
  3. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency– This is mainly caused by an autoimmune response wherein the body’s defense mechanism attacks the ovarian tissues or interferes with the ovulation process as well as brings about hormonal imbalance within the body.

Tubal Infertility– Fallopian tubes are the passage through which the sperm swims to meet the egg and through which the fertilized egg moves into the uterus. Any sort of damage to the tubes blocks the movement of the egg. The causes of fallopian tube damage or blockage include:

  1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or any sort of sexually transmitted infections that affect the uterus.
  2. Surgery in the past in the abdomen or pelvis.
  3. Pelvic Tuberculosis which is a rare form of tuberculosis that develops in the pelvic region.
  4. Endometriosis– It is a medical condition in which the tissues that normally grow in the uterus, grows outside the uterus. This tissue can interfere with the fertilization process and also affect the lining on the wall of the uterus causing damage to the fertilized egg, leading to infertility.

Cervical and uterine causes– Several causes can result in infertility by interfering with the implantation process, thereby increasing the chances of miscarriage.

  1. Benign tumors of the uterus
  2. Anatomical abnormalities present from birth
  3. Cervical narrowing or any form of cervical damage
  4. Cervical mucus that is not receptive to the sperm

Sometimes, it may happen that the actual cause of infertility cannot be determined even after a thorough clinical examination. While this may be disappointing, infertility is a condition that should be treated by an expert to give you the best chance of success if that is possible.

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Common Causes Of Infertility In Women

Common Causes Of Infertility In Women

April 4, 2024

Infertility can be defined as a medical condition that is characteri...

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            [blog_title] => Myths And Facts About Infertility
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Infertility is a complex and often misunderstood condition that has a lot of confusion surrounding it. Medical science has advanced rapidly over the years with newer technologies being used in the treatment of fertility issues. There are many beliefs around the treatment of infertility. However, it is important to separate the myths from the truth.
myth-4

Myth 1: Infertility is a woman’s problem.

Fact: Studies have shown that in 32% of cases there are problems associated with the male partner, in 32% of cases the causes are related to the female partner, there are causes attributable with both in 17% of cases and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained.

Myth 2: A woman can get pregnant only on a single day of her menstrual cycle.

Fact: The fertile window is the six-days that end on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the three days before ovulation. Keep track of ovulation with the calendar method (ovulation occurs around 14 days before the menstrual period is due) or by using an ovulation predictor kit. Frequent sex boosts your chances of conceiving. It’s important to have a happy sex life. Be relaxed and have sex often throughout the month.
 
 
shutterstock_416369638

Myth 3: Infertility is a psychological problem, not a physical one!

Fact: Friends and family may suggest that infertility is due to you being under stress or due to worrying too much. While infertility is usually a condition of the reproductive system, in 19% of cases the cause is unexplained. Stress in any situation is never good for your health and studies indicate that time to achieve pregnancy can be reduced and success rates for achieving pregnancy increased by cutting down on stress. Start relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation for about 10-20 minutes a day, which can relieve your stress and improve your overall well-being.

infertility

Myth 4: If a couple adopts a child, the woman will get pregnant.

Fact: This must be painful to hear if you are a couple who is trying to start a family. There is no truth in it as well. This is based on anecdotal evidence and has no scientific basis.

Myth 5: Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you that you’ll aren’t meant to be parents!

Facts:  This is another suggestion that must be very difficult to hear. Especially when you are going through the emotional rollercoaster of handling the treatment for infertility. But you must trust your gut instinct that is always right, when it tells you that you would make marvellous and loving parents to a very lucky child.

Myth 6: Infertile couples will never be happy or have a fulfilled life.

Fact: When a couple is unable to conceive, despite multiple trials, it can leave them with sadness, despair, grief and a sense of failure. It is normal to go through a range of emotions at this time. While some couples get through it successfully, for others it can be a very difficult situation to accept. It is important to seek professional help and counseling to help you get in touch with your inner strength to find ways to fill the emotional void.

There are many more such myths about infertility that most infertile couples face in their everyday lives. However, it is important to visit your Gynaecologist to get authentic information and advice on infertility or pregnancy related issues.

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Infertility is a complex and often misunderstood condition that has a lot of confusion surrounding it. Medical science has advanced rapidly over the years with newer technologies being used in the treatment of fertility issues. There are many beliefs around the treatment of infertility. However, it is important to separate the myths from the truth.
myth-4

Myth 1: Infertility is a woman’s problem.

Fact: Studies have shown that in 32% of cases there are problems associated with the male partner, in 32% of cases the causes are related to the female partner, there are causes attributable with both in 17% of cases and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained.

Myth 2: A woman can get pregnant only on a single day of her menstrual cycle.

Fact: The fertile window is the six-days that end on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the three days before ovulation. Keep track of ovulation with the calendar method (ovulation occurs around 14 days before the menstrual period is due) or by using an ovulation predictor kit. Frequent sex boosts your chances of conceiving. It’s important to have a happy sex life. Be relaxed and have sex often throughout the month.
 
 
shutterstock_416369638

Myth 3: Infertility is a psychological problem, not a physical one!

Fact: Friends and family may suggest that infertility is due to you being under stress or due to worrying too much. While infertility is usually a condition of the reproductive system, in 19% of cases the cause is unexplained. Stress in any situation is never good for your health and studies indicate that time to achieve pregnancy can be reduced and success rates for achieving pregnancy increased by cutting down on stress. Start relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation for about 10-20 minutes a day, which can relieve your stress and improve your overall well-being.

infertility

Myth 4: If a couple adopts a child, the woman will get pregnant.

Fact: This must be painful to hear if you are a couple who is trying to start a family. There is no truth in it as well. This is based on anecdotal evidence and has no scientific basis.

Myth 5: Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you that you’ll aren’t meant to be parents!

Facts:  This is another suggestion that must be very difficult to hear. Especially when you are going through the emotional rollercoaster of handling the treatment for infertility. But you must trust your gut instinct that is always right, when it tells you that you would make marvellous and loving parents to a very lucky child.

Myth 6: Infertile couples will never be happy or have a fulfilled life.

Fact: When a couple is unable to conceive, despite multiple trials, it can leave them with sadness, despair, grief and a sense of failure. It is normal to go through a range of emotions at this time. While some couples get through it successfully, for others it can be a very difficult situation to accept. It is important to seek professional help and counseling to help you get in touch with your inner strength to find ways to fill the emotional void.

There are many more such myths about infertility that most infertile couples face in their everyday lives. However, it is important to visit your Gynaecologist to get authentic information and advice on infertility or pregnancy related issues.

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Myths And Facts About Infertility

Myths And Facts About Infertility

March 20, 2024

Infertility is a complex and often m...

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            [blog_title] => When Am I the Most Fertile?
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It is a wrong assumption that women can easily get pregnant at any time of the month. If you are planning to get pregnant it is very important to track your ovulation and increase sexual activity around that time of the month. This can increase the chances of conceiving.
Ovulation is the process in which the ovaries release eggs and it moves through the fallopian tubes. If the egg fuses with a male sperm within 12 to 24 hours, woman can conceive. This is how it works. Thus, it is very important to know the schedule of your menstrual cycle.

A Brief Concept on Ovulation Cycle:

Ovulation do not takes place the day period starts. The day your period starts is the cycle day one. This goes on for several weeks. In a general 28 day menstrual cycle, ovulation takes place on or around 14th cycle day. If there is no sperm present to fuse with the egg, the cycle restarts. Thus, knowing the cycle well and planning sexual activities can help achieve a successful pregnancy.

How to Know When are you Ovulating?

As ovulation does not occur at the same time every month, it might be difficult to track ovulation. There are certain symptoms that can help you identify your ovulation period. There are slight changes in your bodily functions that will help you recognize when you are ovulating. The symptoms can be an increased body temperature, higher sex drive, increased white discharge, periodic cramps in your lower abdomen.
These are certain changes in your body that will help you know that you are ovulating. Also, there are some kits available that help you track your ovulation by measuring your hormone levels from urine.

Will My Age Affect the Chances of Conceiving?

Age can highly affect ovulation. The women in their late 30’s and early 40’s can face some problems conceiving because of lower quality and quantity of eggs released by the ovaries. Fertility can start decreasing after the age of 35 for a woman. However, there can be several other issues for infertility which can be treated by various medications and procedures. The chances to conceive easily might be reduced after a certain age but it’s not impossible to conceive.

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It is a wrong assumption that women can easily get pregnant at any time of the month. If you are planning to get pregnant it is very important to track your ovulation and increase sexual activity around that time of the month. This can increase the chances of conceiving.
Ovulation is the process in which the ovaries release eggs and it moves through the fallopian tubes. If the egg fuses with a male sperm within 12 to 24 hours, woman can conceive. This is how it works. Thus, it is very important to know the schedule of your menstrual cycle.

A Brief Concept on Ovulation Cycle:

Ovulation do not takes place the day period starts. The day your period starts is the cycle day one. This goes on for several weeks. In a general 28 day menstrual cycle, ovulation takes place on or around 14th cycle day. If there is no sperm present to fuse with the egg, the cycle restarts. Thus, knowing the cycle well and planning sexual activities can help achieve a successful pregnancy.

How to Know When are you Ovulating?

As ovulation does not occur at the same time every month, it might be difficult to track ovulation. There are certain symptoms that can help you identify your ovulation period. There are slight changes in your bodily functions that will help you recognize when you are ovulating. The symptoms can be an increased body temperature, higher sex drive, increased white discharge, periodic cramps in your lower abdomen.
These are certain changes in your body that will help you know that you are ovulating. Also, there are some kits available that help you track your ovulation by measuring your hormone levels from urine.

Will My Age Affect the Chances of Conceiving?

Age can highly affect ovulation. The women in their late 30’s and early 40’s can face some problems conceiving because of lower quality and quantity of eggs released by the ovaries. Fertility can start decreasing after the age of 35 for a woman. However, there can be several other issues for infertility which can be treated by various medications and procedures. The chances to conceive easily might be reduced after a certain age but it’s not impossible to conceive.

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When Am I the Most Fertile?

When Am I the Most Fertile?

March 19, 2024

It is a wrong assumption that women c...

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Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after trying over for a long period. There are two types of infertility problems; one is primary infertility that refers to not getting conceived after one long year inspite of not using any birth control methods. But, in secondary infertility, the person will get pregnant once and later becomes impotent for the second pregnancy.

There may be numerous reasons for infertility, however, in men it occurs due to libido, varicocele, sperm damage or certain diseases. A woman may develop infertility due to problems in the ovulation, blockage in the fallopian tubules, abnormal uterus, and uterine fibroids. Other factors such as stress, poor nutrition, medications, other health issues, smoking, and alcohol consumption would also pose a risk of developing infertility. In Apollo Fertility, the expert panel of doctors evaluates the underlying cause that is making you incapable of getting pregnant.

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Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after trying over for a long period. There are two types of infertility problems; one is primary infertility that refers to not getting conceived after one long year inspite of not using any birth control methods. But, in secondary infertility, the person will get pregnant once and later becomes impotent for the second pregnancy.

There may be numerous reasons for infertility, however, in men it occurs due to libido, varicocele, sperm damage or certain diseases. A woman may develop infertility due to problems in the ovulation, blockage in the fallopian tubules, abnormal uterus, and uterine fibroids. Other factors such as stress, poor nutrition, medications, other health issues, smoking, and alcohol consumption would also pose a risk of developing infertility. In Apollo Fertility, the expert panel of doctors evaluates the underlying cause that is making you incapable of getting pregnant.

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What Is Infertility

What Is Infertility

March 14, 2024

Infertility is the inability to get pregnant afte...

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Infertility is not always a woman’s problem there is also infertility in male & female both. Among couples that seek medical treatment, 20% conceive before the treatment actually begins and 50% conceive within two years from starting treatment. Studies show that anxiety may be one of the reasons contributing to the fertility problem, so contacting a doctor and counseling helps.

Studies show that in 32% of cases the problems are associated in the male partner and in 32% of cases, the causes are associated with the female partner. 17% of cases relate to both male & female partner and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained.

Male infertility is extremely complex to diagnose and cure. It is also tough to recognize at the early stage. Male fertility problems are majorly caused by abnormalities in sperm numbers, movement or shape. This problem can be evaluated by a semen analysis although the causes of many sperm problems is unknown.

Male Infertility Causes
  • Failed vasectomy reversal
  • Blocked ducts: Problems with tubes carrying sperm
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Varicocele: A condition that can lead to decreased sperm production and quality
  • Problems getting an erection or ejaculating
  • Genetic problem or undescended testes in childhood
  • Medical conditions such as infection ,diabetes, trauma, testicular failure or treatment with chemotherapy/radiation
  • Absence of vas deferens

Female infertility: Apart from being easier to understand as in majority of cases, in female infertility the problem is known. Female fertility problems commonly include:

Female Infertility Causes
  • Endometriosis: A condition that occurs when the tissue lining the uterus begins to grow outside it
  • Disorders of ovulation
  • Damage to fallopian tubes
  • Conditions affecting the uterus
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Age: Studies show that female fertility declines sharply after the age of 35
  • Gynaecological problems such as ectopic pregnancy or frequent miscarriage
  • Hormonal problems or medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid or eplapsy
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Recurrent genito-urinary infections
Unexplained infertility:

19% of couples will have no reasonable cause for their infertility, including those experiencing secondary fertility. This happens when a couple goes through all the testing available & everything comes back clear. In the case of unexplained infertility it can be hard to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it could be as simple as a nutritional deficiency, inaccurate timing of sexual intercourse, low cervical mucous, or a pre-existing health issue. In such cases, it is important to cover all the basic and additional testing.

When should couples seek help?

A normal fertile couple in their 20’s have on average a 25% chance of conceiving each month. If you’ve had more than a year of regular unprotected sexual relationship and you haven’t achieved pregnancy, it’s best to seek help. If not, a good strategy is to plan to have sexual relationship during the days the woman is ovulating. The fertile window is the six days that ends on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the 3 days before ovulation. (Ovulation occurs around 14 days before the menstrual period is due)

However, it is advisable to seek help early if you experience any of the below factors

  • Women with irregular periods (a sign that ovulation may not be occurring;
  • Women over 35 years of age. (Female age is one of the most important predictors of whether pregnancy will be achieved)
  • Women who have had pelvic surgery or pelvic infection which may have damaged fallopian tubes;
  • Women with known reproductive pathology such as endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, thyroid disorders and genetic conditions
  • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Men who have had genital surgery, infection or significant trauma.
  • If case of the following sperm issues such as poor sperm morphology (abnormally shaped); poor motility (slow-moving); low sperm count; the presence of anti-sperm antibodies; ejaculatory problems or azoospermia (no sperm present); vasectomy

A woman’s ability to conceive a child reduces with age. The younger you are the higher your chances of success. Hence it is advisable to seek medical help at the earliest

Apollo Fertility offers several specialized procedures to investigate infertility in men and women. It is advisable for the both the partners to come for the first visit and get infertility testing. During the first visit, a detailed history and previous reports are reviewed.

Your journey begins with a few blood tests to understand you and your body so that we can personalize your treatment. You will have a full medical history to understand and design the best pathway for you.

*Your options will be explained to you. Less invasive treatments will always be tried first. If unsuccessful, we have the expertise and technology to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

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Infertility is not always a woman’s problem there is also infertility in male & female both. Among couples that seek medical treatment, 20% conceive before the treatment actually begins and 50% conceive within two years from starting treatment. Studies show that anxiety may be one of the reasons contributing to the fertility problem, so contacting a doctor and counseling helps.

Studies show that in 32% of cases the problems are associated in the male partner and in 32% of cases, the causes are associated with the female partner. 17% of cases relate to both male & female partner and in 19% of cases the reasons are unexplained.

Male infertility is extremely complex to diagnose and cure. It is also tough to recognize at the early stage. Male fertility problems are majorly caused by abnormalities in sperm numbers, movement or shape. This problem can be evaluated by a semen analysis although the causes of many sperm problems is unknown.

Male Infertility Causes
  • Failed vasectomy reversal
  • Blocked ducts: Problems with tubes carrying sperm
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Varicocele: A condition that can lead to decreased sperm production and quality
  • Problems getting an erection or ejaculating
  • Genetic problem or undescended testes in childhood
  • Medical conditions such as infection ,diabetes, trauma, testicular failure or treatment with chemotherapy/radiation
  • Absence of vas deferens

Female infertility: Apart from being easier to understand as in majority of cases, in female infertility the problem is known. Female fertility problems commonly include:

Female Infertility Causes
  • Endometriosis: A condition that occurs when the tissue lining the uterus begins to grow outside it
  • Disorders of ovulation
  • Damage to fallopian tubes
  • Conditions affecting the uterus
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Age: Studies show that female fertility declines sharply after the age of 35
  • Gynaecological problems such as ectopic pregnancy or frequent miscarriage
  • Hormonal problems or medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid or eplapsy
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Recurrent genito-urinary infections
Unexplained infertility:

19% of couples will have no reasonable cause for their infertility, including those experiencing secondary fertility. This happens when a couple goes through all the testing available & everything comes back clear. In the case of unexplained infertility it can be hard to figure out what to do next. Sometimes it could be as simple as a nutritional deficiency, inaccurate timing of sexual intercourse, low cervical mucous, or a pre-existing health issue. In such cases, it is important to cover all the basic and additional testing.

When should couples seek help?

A normal fertile couple in their 20’s have on average a 25% chance of conceiving each month. If you’ve had more than a year of regular unprotected sexual relationship and you haven’t achieved pregnancy, it’s best to seek help. If not, a good strategy is to plan to have sexual relationship during the days the woman is ovulating. The fertile window is the six days that ends on the day of ovulation. Pregnancy is most likely to occur with intercourse within the 3 days before ovulation. (Ovulation occurs around 14 days before the menstrual period is due)

However, it is advisable to seek help early if you experience any of the below factors

  • Women with irregular periods (a sign that ovulation may not be occurring;
  • Women over 35 years of age. (Female age is one of the most important predictors of whether pregnancy will be achieved)
  • Women who have had pelvic surgery or pelvic infection which may have damaged fallopian tubes;
  • Women with known reproductive pathology such as endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS, thyroid disorders and genetic conditions
  • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Men who have had genital surgery, infection or significant trauma.
  • If case of the following sperm issues such as poor sperm morphology (abnormally shaped); poor motility (slow-moving); low sperm count; the presence of anti-sperm antibodies; ejaculatory problems or azoospermia (no sperm present); vasectomy

A woman’s ability to conceive a child reduces with age. The younger you are the higher your chances of success. Hence it is advisable to seek medical help at the earliest

Apollo Fertility offers several specialized procedures to investigate infertility in men and women. It is advisable for the both the partners to come for the first visit and get infertility testing. During the first visit, a detailed history and previous reports are reviewed.

Your journey begins with a few blood tests to understand you and your body so that we can personalize your treatment. You will have a full medical history to understand and design the best pathway for you.

*Your options will be explained to you. Less invasive treatments will always be tried first. If unsuccessful, we have the expertise and technology to increase your chances of getting pregnant.

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What Causes Infertility In Male & Female

What Causes Infertility In Male & Female

March 6, 2024

Infertility is not always a woman’s problem there is also infert...

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            [blog_title] => Low Estrogen Levels: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Ways to Boost Them
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Estrogen, often referred to as the “female hormone,” is more than just a menstrual regulator. It plays a pivotal role in women’s health, maintaining bone health, cardiovascular function, and even mood.

Many women experience low estrogen levels at some point in their lives, leading to a range of symptoms and potential health concerns.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of low estrogen levels and explore natural ways to increase estrogen production.

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is associated with female reproductive development and function. This hormone is secreted by the ovaries, placenta, adrenal glands, and fatty tissues and influences various aspects of a woman’s overall well-being.

While predominantly found in higher concentrations in females, males also produce small amounts of estrogen.

There are different types of estrogen hormones:

Estrone:

This type of estrogen is a weaker form, primarily produced in the woman’s body after menopause. The body can convert estrone to other forms (such as estradiol) as necessary.

Estradiol:

This “powerhouse” estrogen is produced by both sexes, but women have significantly higher levels during their reproductive years. Estradiol plays a crucial role in numerous functions, but too much can lead to:

  • Acne
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of uterine and breast cancer (at very high levels)

Low estradiol levels can also be harmful, potentially contributing to weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

Estriol:

This “pregnancy-specific” estrogen surges during pregnancy, promoting uterine growth and preparing the body for delivery. Its levels peak just before birth.

Functions of Estrogen Hormone

The functions of estrogen include:

  • Drives the development of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive maturation in puberty.
  • Promotes the development of egg follicles
  • Sustains the thickness of the vaginal wall and encourages lubrication
  • Controls the growth and functionality of the uterus
  • Supports and preserves the mucous membrane lining the uterus, while also controlling the flow and thickness of uterine mucus secretions.
  • Helps in forming breast tissue and halts milk flow post-weaning.
  • Regulates the menstrual cycle
  • Primarily responsible for the physiological changes during pregnancy.
  • Plays a crucial role in pelvic widening
  • Increases body hair growth
  • Controls cholesterol levels
  • Influences mood, cardiovascular health, and bone metabolism

Causes of Low Estrogen

Estrogen levels in females fluctuate throughout life due to various factors, one of which is age.

In females, estrogen levels typically increase during puberty. Throughout their reproductive years, hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle cause these levels to naturally rise and fall.

As women approach perimenopause, a transitional stage leading to menopause, estrogen levels gradually decline.

Certain health conditions and circumstances can also impact estrogen production, which include the following:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pituitary gland dysfunction
  • Recent childbirth or breastfeeding
  • Low body weight
  • Certain congenital conditions like Turner syndrome
  • Medical treatments like chemotherapy
  • Early ovarian failure
  • Eating disorders
  • Uterine removal (hysterectomy)

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Symptoms of low estrogen are not always evident, and when they do manifest, they can mimic those of various other conditions. Thus, diagnosing it based on symptoms alone is challenging.

As a woman approaches menopause, they may experience signs such as irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Other signs and symptoms of low estrogen, occurring either during or outside the menopause, include:

  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Brain fog (difficulty focusing)
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of sexual desires (libido)
  • Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse
  • Increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Bone fractures due to osteoporosis
  • Infertility
  • Elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Risk of coronary heart disease

How to Increase Estrogen?

If you believe your estrogen levels are low, you may explore ways to boost them. One viable option to consider is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves using synthetic estrogen to artificially regulate hormone levels, typically through patches, vaginal creams, or pills.

While HRT can be effective for many, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects associated with estrogen-related HRT:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Weigh gain
  • Blood clots
  • Tender breasts
  • An increased risk of certain cancer types

With these side effects, women with low estrogen levels may seek alternative ways to increase estrogen naturally.

How to Increase Estrogen Naturally?

Here are 5 tips to increase estrogen levels naturally:

Add phytoestrogen-rich foods to your diet:

Plants are full of bioactive compounds called phytochemicals that act as antioxidants and guard plants against DNA damage. Among these phytochemicals, one special group called phytoestrogens mimics your body’s own estrogen. Upon digestion, they are absorbed and recognized as estrogen, binding to the body’s estrogen receptors and offering similar effects.

While phytoestrogens may not have the same potency as estrogen produced internally or used in HRT, a study suggests that phytoestrogens may be able to reduce symptoms associated with low estrogen levels.

Here are various food types abundant in phytoestrogens:

  • Soy: Tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso, and soy milk are all loaded with isoflavones, the most potent plant estrogens.
  • Legume: Lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, peas, and mung beans, rich in phytoestrogens, also serve as excellent plant-based protein sources.
  • Nuts and seeds: Flaxseeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, and peanuts are packed with lignans, another type of plant estrogen.
  • Whole Grains: Swap your white bread for whole grain options like wheat, barley, oats, rye, or flax. These grains are rich in lignans and offer a wealth of other nutrients.
  • Fruits: Plums, pears, apples, grapes, and berries are abundant in phytoestrogens.
  • Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, garlic, onion, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini contain phytoestrogens.
  • Eggs and Milk: Animal estrogens in eggs and milk can also contribute to estrogen intake.

Incorporating these foods into your diet provides natural sources of estrogen and contributes to a well-balanced and healthy eating plan.

Consume phytoestrogen-containing herbal supplements:

Consuming certain herbal supplements containing phytoestrogens may be one of the best ways to increase estrogen levels. Some examples include:

  • Black cohosh: These supplements are traditionally used by Native Americans to support menstrual and menopausal issues. A study suggests that black cohosh also includes specific chemicals that activate estrogen receptors.
  • Red Clover: Rich in isoflavones, similar to those in soy, red clover supplementation might contribute to elevated estrogen levels.
  • Dong Quai: A staple of traditional Chinese medicine for menopause, dong quai may promote estrogen production, as studies suggest.
  • Chasteberry: Known for its potential to alleviate PMS symptoms, chasteberry contains the phytoestrogen apigenin that has shown estrogenic effects.

However, make sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements.

Manage weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for both physical and hormonal balance. For some women who fall below their ideal weight, this can impact estrogen production, leading to certain symptoms. In such cases, gaining weight may help alleviate these symptoms and improve overall health.

If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight through diet alone, consulting a dietitian or healthcare provider can be beneficial. They can help you tailor your diet to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients and calories.

Minimize stress levels:

If you frequently face stress, it may contribute to lower estrogen levels. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol can hinder estrogen production, affecting your hormone levels.

To address this, engage in stress management techniques:

  • Exercise regularly (in moderation)
  • Practice meditation and breathing exercises
  • Learn to decline stressful requests when necessary
  • Allocate time for self-care daily
  • Seek guidance from a professional counselor
  • Limit caffeine intake

Improve your sleep routine:

Ensuring adequate rest is crucial for optimal bodily function. Adults typically require 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep per night, with some needing even more.

If you face difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, consider these tips:

  • Build a calming pre-sleep routine.
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime every night.
  • Get up at the same time every morning.
  • Avoid lengthy daytime naps.
  • Minimize caffeine intake, particularly in the afternoon.
  • Engage in regular exercises and avoid strenuous activity just before bedtime.
  • Limit water consumption before bedtime.
  • Avoid eating a few hours before going to sleep.

Take Away

Low estrogen levels can significantly impact a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. Understanding the causes and symptoms is the first step toward effective management. While medical interventions, such as HRT, are available, incorporating natural lifestyle and dietary changes can contribute to hormonal balance and overall health.

If you have concerns about your estrogen levels, consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your situation.

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Estrogen, often referred to as the “female hormone,” is more than just a menstrual regulator. It plays a pivotal role in women’s health, maintaining bone health, cardiovascular function, and even mood.

Many women experience low estrogen levels at some point in their lives, leading to a range of symptoms and potential health concerns.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of low estrogen levels and explore natural ways to increase estrogen production.

What is Estrogen?

Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is associated with female reproductive development and function. This hormone is secreted by the ovaries, placenta, adrenal glands, and fatty tissues and influences various aspects of a woman’s overall well-being.

While predominantly found in higher concentrations in females, males also produce small amounts of estrogen.

There are different types of estrogen hormones:

Estrone:

This type of estrogen is a weaker form, primarily produced in the woman’s body after menopause. The body can convert estrone to other forms (such as estradiol) as necessary.

Estradiol:

This “powerhouse” estrogen is produced by both sexes, but women have significantly higher levels during their reproductive years. Estradiol plays a crucial role in numerous functions, but too much can lead to:

  • Acne
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of uterine and breast cancer (at very high levels)

Low estradiol levels can also be harmful, potentially contributing to weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

Estriol:

This “pregnancy-specific” estrogen surges during pregnancy, promoting uterine growth and preparing the body for delivery. Its levels peak just before birth.

Functions of Estrogen Hormone

The functions of estrogen include:

  • Drives the development of secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive maturation in puberty.
  • Promotes the development of egg follicles
  • Sustains the thickness of the vaginal wall and encourages lubrication
  • Controls the growth and functionality of the uterus
  • Supports and preserves the mucous membrane lining the uterus, while also controlling the flow and thickness of uterine mucus secretions.
  • Helps in forming breast tissue and halts milk flow post-weaning.
  • Regulates the menstrual cycle
  • Primarily responsible for the physiological changes during pregnancy.
  • Plays a crucial role in pelvic widening
  • Increases body hair growth
  • Controls cholesterol levels
  • Influences mood, cardiovascular health, and bone metabolism

Causes of Low Estrogen

Estrogen levels in females fluctuate throughout life due to various factors, one of which is age.

In females, estrogen levels typically increase during puberty. Throughout their reproductive years, hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle cause these levels to naturally rise and fall.

As women approach perimenopause, a transitional stage leading to menopause, estrogen levels gradually decline.

Certain health conditions and circumstances can also impact estrogen production, which include the following:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Pituitary gland dysfunction
  • Recent childbirth or breastfeeding
  • Low body weight
  • Certain congenital conditions like Turner syndrome
  • Medical treatments like chemotherapy
  • Early ovarian failure
  • Eating disorders
  • Uterine removal (hysterectomy)

Symptoms of Low Estrogen

Symptoms of low estrogen are not always evident, and when they do manifest, they can mimic those of various other conditions. Thus, diagnosing it based on symptoms alone is challenging.

As a woman approaches menopause, they may experience signs such as irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Other signs and symptoms of low estrogen, occurring either during or outside the menopause, include:

  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Brain fog (difficulty focusing)
  • Mood changes
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Loss of sexual desires (libido)
  • Experiencing pain during sexual intercourse
  • Increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Bone fractures due to osteoporosis
  • Infertility
  • Elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides
  • Risk of coronary heart disease

How to Increase Estrogen?

If you believe your estrogen levels are low, you may explore ways to boost them. One viable option to consider is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which involves using synthetic estrogen to artificially regulate hormone levels, typically through patches, vaginal creams, or pills.

While HRT can be effective for many, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects associated with estrogen-related HRT:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Indigestion
  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Weigh gain
  • Blood clots
  • Tender breasts
  • An increased risk of certain cancer types

With these side effects, women with low estrogen levels may seek alternative ways to increase estrogen naturally.

How to Increase Estrogen Naturally?

Here are 5 tips to increase estrogen levels naturally:

Add phytoestrogen-rich foods to your diet:

Plants are full of bioactive compounds called phytochemicals that act as antioxidants and guard plants against DNA damage. Among these phytochemicals, one special group called phytoestrogens mimics your body’s own estrogen. Upon digestion, they are absorbed and recognized as estrogen, binding to the body’s estrogen receptors and offering similar effects.

While phytoestrogens may not have the same potency as estrogen produced internally or used in HRT, a study suggests that phytoestrogens may be able to reduce symptoms associated with low estrogen levels.

Here are various food types abundant in phytoestrogens:

  • Soy: Tofu, tempeh, edamame, miso, and soy milk are all loaded with isoflavones, the most potent plant estrogens.
  • Legume: Lentils, kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, peas, and mung beans, rich in phytoestrogens, also serve as excellent plant-based protein sources.
  • Nuts and seeds: Flaxseeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, and peanuts are packed with lignans, another type of plant estrogen.
  • Whole Grains: Swap your white bread for whole grain options like wheat, barley, oats, rye, or flax. These grains are rich in lignans and offer a wealth of other nutrients.
  • Fruits: Plums, pears, apples, grapes, and berries are abundant in phytoestrogens.
  • Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like alfalfa sprouts, cabbage, garlic, onion, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and zucchini contain phytoestrogens.
  • Eggs and Milk: Animal estrogens in eggs and milk can also contribute to estrogen intake.

Incorporating these foods into your diet provides natural sources of estrogen and contributes to a well-balanced and healthy eating plan.

Consume phytoestrogen-containing herbal supplements:

Consuming certain herbal supplements containing phytoestrogens may be one of the best ways to increase estrogen levels. Some examples include:

  • Black cohosh: These supplements are traditionally used by Native Americans to support menstrual and menopausal issues. A study suggests that black cohosh also includes specific chemicals that activate estrogen receptors.
  • Red Clover: Rich in isoflavones, similar to those in soy, red clover supplementation might contribute to elevated estrogen levels.
  • Dong Quai: A staple of traditional Chinese medicine for menopause, dong quai may promote estrogen production, as studies suggest.
  • Chasteberry: Known for its potential to alleviate PMS symptoms, chasteberry contains the phytoestrogen apigenin that has shown estrogenic effects.

However, make sure to consult your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements.

Manage weight:

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for both physical and hormonal balance. For some women who fall below their ideal weight, this can impact estrogen production, leading to certain symptoms. In such cases, gaining weight may help alleviate these symptoms and improve overall health.

If you struggle with maintaining a healthy weight through diet alone, consulting a dietitian or healthcare provider can be beneficial. They can help you tailor your diet to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients and calories.

Minimize stress levels:

If you frequently face stress, it may contribute to lower estrogen levels. Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Elevated cortisol can hinder estrogen production, affecting your hormone levels.

To address this, engage in stress management techniques:

  • Exercise regularly (in moderation)
  • Practice meditation and breathing exercises
  • Learn to decline stressful requests when necessary
  • Allocate time for self-care daily
  • Seek guidance from a professional counselor
  • Limit caffeine intake

Improve your sleep routine:

Ensuring adequate rest is crucial for optimal bodily function. Adults typically require 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep per night, with some needing even more.

If you face difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, consider these tips:

  • Build a calming pre-sleep routine.
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime every night.
  • Get up at the same time every morning.
  • Avoid lengthy daytime naps.
  • Minimize caffeine intake, particularly in the afternoon.
  • Engage in regular exercises and avoid strenuous activity just before bedtime.
  • Limit water consumption before bedtime.
  • Avoid eating a few hours before going to sleep.

Take Away

Low estrogen levels can significantly impact a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. Understanding the causes and symptoms is the first step toward effective management. While medical interventions, such as HRT, are available, incorporating natural lifestyle and dietary changes can contribute to hormonal balance and overall health.

If you have concerns about your estrogen levels, consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your situation.

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Low Estrogen Levels: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Ways to Boost Them

Low Estrogen Levels: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Ways to Boost Them

March 22, 2023

Estrogen, often referred to as the “female hormone,” is ...

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Your journey to motherhood starts with what you nourish your body with. A healthy diet isn’t just about weight; it’s about building a strong foundation for conception and pregnancy. Think of it as your body’s pre-game prep, boosting fertility and getting ready for the amazing changes ahead.

Don’t wait until that positive test – start making positive food and lifestyle choices today. Understand the essential role of diet in fertility and explore 10 foods that increase fertility in a woman.

Importance of Diet in Fertility

Your dietary choices can play a crucial role in influencing your ability to conceive. Here are some of the reasons why a balanced diet is essential for fertility:

  • A well-rounded and healthy diet ensures your body receives essential nutrients such as folic acid. This vitamin promotes healthy egg development, prevents birth defects, and reduces the risks of ovulatory infertility.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for fertility. Both being underweight and overweight can lead to hormonal imbalances that hinder conception. A balanced diet helps achieve and sustain an optimal weight, thereby supporting fertility.
  • A nutritious diet contributes to stress reduction, particularly affecting ovulation in women.
  • For women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a healthy diet helps manage insulin resistance, lowering the risk of diabetes and promoting regular menstrual cycles.
  • Dietary choices can influence vaginal pH levels, with certain foods like yogurt and cranberries supporting a healthy balance. Maintaining proper pH creates an environment conducive to sperm survival and successful egg fertilization.

What to Eat to Increase Fertility in Females?

Here’s a list of foods that can increase fertility in females:

1. Omega-3 Fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for female fertility. These “fabulous fats” are readily available in oily fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, and herring. If fish isn’t your favorite, don’t worry. You can also find omega-3s in flaxseed, seaweed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and enriched eggs (“omega” or “DHA” eggs).

These essential fats offer multiple benefits:

  • Boost blood flow to your reproductive organs for improved conception chances.
  • Regulate crucial hormones for ovulation and overall reproductive health.
  • Enhance egg quality and delay aging, leading to better embryos.
  • Support the vital development of your baby’s nervous system.

Incorporating omega-3-rich foods into your diet can naturally boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. So, feel free to top your meal with some “fabulous fats”!

2. Plant Protein

Women trying to conceive can benefit from incorporating more vegetable protein into their diet. A study suggests that a higher intake of vegetable protein has been linked to more than 50% lower risk of ovulatory infertility, which is a common cause of difficulty in getting pregnant.

Vegetable protein is primarily found in:

  • Beans and legumes: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc.
  • Ancient grains: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Vegetables (smaller quantities): leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.

While vegetable protein is a fantastic way to enhance fertility, you can still enjoy animal protein as part of a balanced diet. However, it’s essential to limit the amount and frequency of animal protein consumption, as research suggests that high intake can negatively impact fertility.

Always consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you are trying to conceive.

3. Folate

Folate, also known as folic acid, is a crucial B vitamin that supports your well-being. It fuels cell metabolism, promotes healthy cell formation, and can even help your body combat the negative effects of stress, improving fertility. An adequate amount of this vitamin is essential during the early stages of pregnancy since it supports the healthy development of your baby and prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.

Some excellent fertility-promoting foods rich in folate include:

  • Dark leafy greens (broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts)
  • Asparagus
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
  • Beets
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, and lemons)
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews)
  • Fortified cereals and breads

If you struggle to get enough folate from your diet, consider taking a folic acid supplement. However, consult your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

4. Vitamin D

The “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D, is essential for conception. It boosts immunity, regulates hormones, and fights inflammation, all of which can improve ovulation, hormonal balance, and insulin resistance.

While sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, it’s not always possible or safe. Consider adding these vitamin D-rich foods to your diet:

  • Fatty fish (trout, salmon)
  • Mushrooms (UV-treated)
  • Sardines
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Chicken breast
  • Fortified foods
  • Some milk and cereals

You can also consider taking a daily supplement, especially during conception and pregnancy, to ensure optimal levels.

5. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the body’s guardians, protecting cells from harmful oxidative stress. This stress can lead to damage, premature aging, and inflammation throughout the body, potentially affecting even the reproductive system.

These mighty warriors are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli
  • Vitamin E: Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados
  • Beta-carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kale, spinach
  • Lutein: Spinach, kale, collard greens, eggs

So, load up on these healthy and delicious foods to boost your antioxidant intake and support overall well-being.

6. Complex Carbohydrates

Choosing foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) can significantly impact your well-being. Unlike simple carbohydrates found in white bread, sugary treats, and white potatoes, low-GI foods offer numerous benefits:

  • Releases energy slowly and prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes
  • Promotes stable insulin levels
  • Reduces your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers your risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Maintains a healthy weight
  • Boosts your chances of conception

Examples of Low GI Foods:

  • Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat bread
  • Beans and legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans
  • Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans
  • Starchy vegetables: Sweet potato
  • Fruits: Apples, berries, oranges, grapefruits

So, ditch the sugar-rich treats and refined carbs and consume low-GI foods for a healthier body.

7. Fiber

Fiber isn’t just good for digestion but helps maintain hormonal balance and blood sugar levels.

A study shows that soluble fiber, abundant in avocados, sweet potatoes, oats, and fruits, may help keep estrogen and progesterone levels in check. Another study found that increasing cereal fiber intake by 10 grams daily significantly reduced the risk of ovulatory infertility in women over 32 years old by 44%, further highlighting the potential benefits of fiber for hormonal health.

Incorporate these high-fiber foods into your diet:

  • Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Fruits: apples, berries, pears, bananas, oranges
  • Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, spinach, brussels sprouts
  • Beans: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans

However, it’s best to consult your doctor to determine your fiber needs. They can guide you on the appropriate amount of fiber based on your overall health and diet.

8. High-Fat Dairy

Research suggests that opting for high-fat dairy over low-fat might benefit your fertility. A study even found that women who enjoyed at least one serving of full-fat dairy daily had a 27% lower risk of infertility.

So, consider replacing one low-fat dairy serving per day with high-fat options, such as:

  • Whole milk
  • Full-fat yogurt
  • Creamy cheese
  • Butter or ghee
  • Whipped cream

Remember, balance is key. While high-fat dairy can offer fertility benefits, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy overall diet. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice that’s right for you.

9. Iron

An insufficient supply of iron has been associated with anovulation, a condition where eggs are not released. A study suggests iron supplements and plant-based iron (non-heme) might help prevent this type of infertility in women.

To keep your levels up and support healthy ovulation, prioritize iron-rich foods, including:

  • Shellfish (clams, oysters, and mussels)
  • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and cashews)
  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard)
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and peas)
  • Tofu and soy products
  • Dried fruits (apricots, raisins, and prunes)
  • Fortified cereals

If you have concerns about your iron intake, talk to your doctor about incorporating iron-rich foods or supplements into your diet.

10. Choline

Choline, an essential nutrient for healthy brain and nerve functions, plays a crucial role in female fertility. It improves ovarian function, manages endocrine disorders like PCOS, and promotes your baby’s development, protecting them from certain birth defects.

Choline is found in various foods, including:

  • Eggs
  • Liver (in moderation)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Legumes

Including choline-rich foods in your diet can contribute to overall fertility and support the healthy development of your baby.

What Not to Eat to Boost Fertility?

Now that you know what to eat to boost fertility, let’s focus on things you should stay away from while conceiving:

1. Caffeine

Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and some medications, caffeine disrupts nutrient absorption and raises miscarriage risks and pregnancy complications. Limit or avoid caffeine; consult a doctor about safe amounts during pregnancy.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can reduce fertility, increasing the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Additionally, alcohol can disrupt hormone balance and women’s menstrual cycles, making it difficult for them to conceive.

3. Processed Foods

Packed with unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar, processed foods can cause inflammation in the body, which can hinder conception. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains since they reduce obesity risk and provide essential elements for a healthy pregnancy.

4. High-Mercury Fish

Avoid mercury-rich fish, such as sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, as they can damage growing brains and nerve systems and are particularly harmful during pregnancy. Choose low-mercury options like shrimp, pollock, or salmon (up to 12 ounces/week).

5. Unhealthy Fats

Trans fats (in processed foods), saturated fats (in animal products), and omega-6 fatty acids (in certain vegetable oils) contribute to inflammation and fertility issues. Replace them with healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

6. High-sugar Drinks and Soda

Sugary foods and drinks lower fertility, cause inflammation, age internal organs, and may reduce the success rates of In-vitro fertilization (IVF). Limit intake to enhance chances of conception.

Take Away

A healthy diet and lifestyle are your partners when it comes to conceiving. They create a strong foundation for you and your future baby. So, focus on eating the nutrient-rich foods that increase fertility in the woman and avoid foods that lack nutrition.

However, do not stress over restrictive diets. Instead, focus on a balanced approach that makes you feel good, inside and out.

Begin by making small, positive changes today, like including colorful fruits, whole grains, and vegetable proteins in your meals. And remember, you’re not alone. Talk to your healthcare team – they’re here to support you on your journey to get pregnant.

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Your journey to motherhood starts with what you nourish your body with. A healthy diet isn’t just about weight; it’s about building a strong foundation for conception and pregnancy. Think of it as your body’s pre-game prep, boosting fertility and getting ready for the amazing changes ahead.

Don’t wait until that positive test – start making positive food and lifestyle choices today. Understand the essential role of diet in fertility and explore 10 foods that increase fertility in a woman.

Importance of Diet in Fertility

Your dietary choices can play a crucial role in influencing your ability to conceive. Here are some of the reasons why a balanced diet is essential for fertility:

  • A well-rounded and healthy diet ensures your body receives essential nutrients such as folic acid. This vitamin promotes healthy egg development, prevents birth defects, and reduces the risks of ovulatory infertility.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for fertility. Both being underweight and overweight can lead to hormonal imbalances that hinder conception. A balanced diet helps achieve and sustain an optimal weight, thereby supporting fertility.
  • A nutritious diet contributes to stress reduction, particularly affecting ovulation in women.
  • For women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a healthy diet helps manage insulin resistance, lowering the risk of diabetes and promoting regular menstrual cycles.
  • Dietary choices can influence vaginal pH levels, with certain foods like yogurt and cranberries supporting a healthy balance. Maintaining proper pH creates an environment conducive to sperm survival and successful egg fertilization.

What to Eat to Increase Fertility in Females?

Here’s a list of foods that can increase fertility in females:

1. Omega-3 Fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for female fertility. These “fabulous fats” are readily available in oily fish like mackerel, sardines, salmon, tuna, and herring. If fish isn’t your favorite, don’t worry. You can also find omega-3s in flaxseed, seaweed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, and enriched eggs (“omega” or “DHA” eggs).

These essential fats offer multiple benefits:

  • Boost blood flow to your reproductive organs for improved conception chances.
  • Regulate crucial hormones for ovulation and overall reproductive health.
  • Enhance egg quality and delay aging, leading to better embryos.
  • Support the vital development of your baby’s nervous system.

Incorporating omega-3-rich foods into your diet can naturally boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant. So, feel free to top your meal with some “fabulous fats”!

2. Plant Protein

Women trying to conceive can benefit from incorporating more vegetable protein into their diet. A study suggests that a higher intake of vegetable protein has been linked to more than 50% lower risk of ovulatory infertility, which is a common cause of difficulty in getting pregnant.

Vegetable protein is primarily found in:

  • Beans and legumes: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, etc.
  • Ancient grains: quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Vegetables (smaller quantities): leafy green vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, brussels sprouts, etc.

While vegetable protein is a fantastic way to enhance fertility, you can still enjoy animal protein as part of a balanced diet. However, it’s essential to limit the amount and frequency of animal protein consumption, as research suggests that high intake can negatively impact fertility.

Always consult your doctor or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you are trying to conceive.

3. Folate

Folate, also known as folic acid, is a crucial B vitamin that supports your well-being. It fuels cell metabolism, promotes healthy cell formation, and can even help your body combat the negative effects of stress, improving fertility. An adequate amount of this vitamin is essential during the early stages of pregnancy since it supports the healthy development of your baby and prevents neural tube defects like spina bifida and anencephaly.

Some excellent fertility-promoting foods rich in folate include:

  • Dark leafy greens (broccoli, kale, and Brussels sprouts)
  • Asparagus
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
  • Beets
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, and lemons)
  • Nuts (almonds, walnuts, and cashews)
  • Fortified cereals and breads

If you struggle to get enough folate from your diet, consider taking a folic acid supplement. However, consult your doctor before starting any new supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

4. Vitamin D

The “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D, is essential for conception. It boosts immunity, regulates hormones, and fights inflammation, all of which can improve ovulation, hormonal balance, and insulin resistance.

While sunlight is the primary source of vitamin D, it’s not always possible or safe. Consider adding these vitamin D-rich foods to your diet:

  • Fatty fish (trout, salmon)
  • Mushrooms (UV-treated)
  • Sardines
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese
  • Chicken breast
  • Fortified foods
  • Some milk and cereals

You can also consider taking a daily supplement, especially during conception and pregnancy, to ensure optimal levels.

5. Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the body’s guardians, protecting cells from harmful oxidative stress. This stress can lead to damage, premature aging, and inflammation throughout the body, potentially affecting even the reproductive system.

These mighty warriors are found in a variety of foods, including:

  • Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli
  • Vitamin E: Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, avocados
  • Beta-carotene: Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kale, spinach
  • Lutein: Spinach, kale, collard greens, eggs

So, load up on these healthy and delicious foods to boost your antioxidant intake and support overall well-being.

6. Complex Carbohydrates

Choosing foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) can significantly impact your well-being. Unlike simple carbohydrates found in white bread, sugary treats, and white potatoes, low-GI foods offer numerous benefits:

  • Releases energy slowly and prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes
  • Promotes stable insulin levels
  • Reduces your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers your risk of developing heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Maintains a healthy weight
  • Boosts your chances of conception

Examples of Low GI Foods:

  • Whole grains: Brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole-wheat bread
  • Beans and legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans
  • Non-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans
  • Starchy vegetables: Sweet potato
  • Fruits: Apples, berries, oranges, grapefruits

So, ditch the sugar-rich treats and refined carbs and consume low-GI foods for a healthier body.

7. Fiber

Fiber isn’t just good for digestion but helps maintain hormonal balance and blood sugar levels.

A study shows that soluble fiber, abundant in avocados, sweet potatoes, oats, and fruits, may help keep estrogen and progesterone levels in check. Another study found that increasing cereal fiber intake by 10 grams daily significantly reduced the risk of ovulatory infertility in women over 32 years old by 44%, further highlighting the potential benefits of fiber for hormonal health.

Incorporate these high-fiber foods into your diet:

  • Whole grains: brown rice, oats, quinoa, and whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Fruits: apples, berries, pears, bananas, oranges
  • Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, spinach, brussels sprouts
  • Beans: lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans

However, it’s best to consult your doctor to determine your fiber needs. They can guide you on the appropriate amount of fiber based on your overall health and diet.

8. High-Fat Dairy

Research suggests that opting for high-fat dairy over low-fat might benefit your fertility. A study even found that women who enjoyed at least one serving of full-fat dairy daily had a 27% lower risk of infertility.

So, consider replacing one low-fat dairy serving per day with high-fat options, such as:

  • Whole milk
  • Full-fat yogurt
  • Creamy cheese
  • Butter or ghee
  • Whipped cream

Remember, balance is key. While high-fat dairy can offer fertility benefits, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy overall diet. Consult your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized advice that’s right for you.

9. Iron

An insufficient supply of iron has been associated with anovulation, a condition where eggs are not released. A study suggests iron supplements and plant-based iron (non-heme) might help prevent this type of infertility in women.

To keep your levels up and support healthy ovulation, prioritize iron-rich foods, including:

  • Shellfish (clams, oysters, and mussels)
  • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and cashews)
  • Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard)
  • Legumes (lentils, chickpeas, and peas)
  • Tofu and soy products
  • Dried fruits (apricots, raisins, and prunes)
  • Fortified cereals

If you have concerns about your iron intake, talk to your doctor about incorporating iron-rich foods or supplements into your diet.

10. Choline

Choline, an essential nutrient for healthy brain and nerve functions, plays a crucial role in female fertility. It improves ovarian function, manages endocrine disorders like PCOS, and promotes your baby’s development, protecting them from certain birth defects.

Choline is found in various foods, including:

  • Eggs
  • Liver (in moderation)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Legumes

Including choline-rich foods in your diet can contribute to overall fertility and support the healthy development of your baby.

What Not to Eat to Boost Fertility?

Now that you know what to eat to boost fertility, let’s focus on things you should stay away from while conceiving:

1. Caffeine

Found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and some medications, caffeine disrupts nutrient absorption and raises miscarriage risks and pregnancy complications. Limit or avoid caffeine; consult a doctor about safe amounts during pregnancy.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol can reduce fertility, increasing the risk of miscarriage and birth defects. Additionally, alcohol can disrupt hormone balance and women’s menstrual cycles, making it difficult for them to conceive.

3. Processed Foods

Packed with unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar, processed foods can cause inflammation in the body, which can hinder conception. Stick to whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, and whole grains since they reduce obesity risk and provide essential elements for a healthy pregnancy.

4. High-Mercury Fish

Avoid mercury-rich fish, such as sharks, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, as they can damage growing brains and nerve systems and are particularly harmful during pregnancy. Choose low-mercury options like shrimp, pollock, or salmon (up to 12 ounces/week).

5. Unhealthy Fats

Trans fats (in processed foods), saturated fats (in animal products), and omega-6 fatty acids (in certain vegetable oils) contribute to inflammation and fertility issues. Replace them with healthy fats from olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

6. High-sugar Drinks and Soda

Sugary foods and drinks lower fertility, cause inflammation, age internal organs, and may reduce the success rates of In-vitro fertilization (IVF). Limit intake to enhance chances of conception.

Take Away

A healthy diet and lifestyle are your partners when it comes to conceiving. They create a strong foundation for you and your future baby. So, focus on eating the nutrient-rich foods that increase fertility in the woman and avoid foods that lack nutrition.

However, do not stress over restrictive diets. Instead, focus on a balanced approach that makes you feel good, inside and out.

Begin by making small, positive changes today, like including colorful fruits, whole grains, and vegetable proteins in your meals. And remember, you’re not alone. Talk to your healthcare team – they’re here to support you on your journey to get pregnant.

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10 Foods That Increase Fertility in a Woman

10 Foods That Increase Fertility in a Woman

September 1, 2020

Your journey to motherhood starts with what you nourish your body wi...

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            [blog_title] => Understanding the Process of Fertilisation
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Understanding the existence of any form of life has been a very fascinating topic since the beginning of time and scientists made sure that no stone is left unturned. Every living being on this planet, which is a result of sexual reproduction, marks the start of its journey on this planet when a female egg is fertilised with male sperm. Let’s find out more about this process.

General Fertilisation Overview:

Fertilisation occurs when a sperm fuses with the female act during intercourse and further forms an egg that gets implanted in uterus of the female. The sperm travels through the fallopian tube and penetrates the zona pellucida layer of the ovum (female egg) and fuses with it which forms zygote (fertilized egg). Thousand of sperms are produced in male body to compensate for the ones unfit and non- motile ones. Once the zygote is formed, it gets implanted in the uterus and further growth takes place when cells start dividing and forming tissues and tissues form organ which results in formation of an organ system, ultimately turning into an organism.

Detailed Fertilisation Overview:

There are many steps involved in the whole process of fertilisation, right from the capacitation of sperm to Zona reaction and post-fertilization events. Let’s look into it in detail:
  • Sperm Capacitation – it literally translates to the preparation of sperm for fertilisation. The sperm becomes hyperactive and its motility increases. This step ensures that the sperm is in ideal condition to fertilise the egg.
  • Sperm-Zona Pellucida Binding–  This is the next step if the sperm finds an ovum. Sperm binds with Zona Pellucida layer of an ovum and a receptor-ligand reaction occurs. After this binding process occurs, no other sperm can enter through this layer.
  • Penetration of Zona Pellucida– The shape of sperm’s head helps in cutting through the layers of ovum. It further activates growth of ovum which is arrested at one stage of meiosis which only resumes after the egg gets fertilised.
  • Acrosome Reaction–  The head of sperm (acrosome) contains various Zona Pellucida digesting enzymes which help it in deeper penetration into the layers of ovum. The head of sperm diminishes with deeper penetration. It is crucial for sperm to retain its acrosomal content before it fertilises the ovum.
  • Cortical Reaction– Egg activation takes place at this stage as the egg is previously frozen at metaphase stage in meiotic division II.  A rapid development of the ovum takes place and cortical granules fuse with Zona Pellucida along with exocytosis.
  • Zona Reaction –  The Zona Pellucida layer hardens and this completes the process of fertilisation.

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Gynaecologist in New Delhi Pediatrician in New Delhi
Gynaecologist in Amritsar Pediatrician in Amritsar
 
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Understanding the existence of any form of life has been a very fascinating topic since the beginning of time and scientists made sure that no stone is left unturned. Every living being on this planet, which is a result of sexual reproduction, marks the start of its journey on this planet when a female egg is fertilised with male sperm. Let’s find out more about this process.

General Fertilisation Overview:

Fertilisation occurs when a sperm fuses with the female act during intercourse and further forms an egg that gets implanted in uterus of the female. The sperm travels through the fallopian tube and penetrates the zona pellucida layer of the ovum (female egg) and fuses with it which forms zygote (fertilized egg). Thousand of sperms are produced in male body to compensate for the ones unfit and non- motile ones. Once the zygote is formed, it gets implanted in the uterus and further growth takes place when cells start dividing and forming tissues and tissues form organ which results in formation of an organ system, ultimately turning into an organism.

Detailed Fertilisation Overview:

There are many steps involved in the whole process of fertilisation, right from the capacitation of sperm to Zona reaction and post-fertilization events. Let’s look into it in detail:
  • Sperm Capacitation – it literally translates to the preparation of sperm for fertilisation. The sperm becomes hyperactive and its motility increases. This step ensures that the sperm is in ideal condition to fertilise the egg.
  • Sperm-Zona Pellucida Binding–  This is the next step if the sperm finds an ovum. Sperm binds with Zona Pellucida layer of an ovum and a receptor-ligand reaction occurs. After this binding process occurs, no other sperm can enter through this layer.
  • Penetration of Zona Pellucida– The shape of sperm’s head helps in cutting through the layers of ovum. It further activates growth of ovum which is arrested at one stage of meiosis which only resumes after the egg gets fertilised.
  • Acrosome Reaction–  The head of sperm (acrosome) contains various Zona Pellucida digesting enzymes which help it in deeper penetration into the layers of ovum. The head of sperm diminishes with deeper penetration. It is crucial for sperm to retain its acrosomal content before it fertilises the ovum.
  • Cortical Reaction– Egg activation takes place at this stage as the egg is previously frozen at metaphase stage in meiotic division II.  A rapid development of the ovum takes place and cortical granules fuse with Zona Pellucida along with exocytosis.
  • Zona Reaction –  The Zona Pellucida layer hardens and this completes the process of fertilisation.

Apollo Cradle Specialist

Gynaecologist in Hyderabad Pediatrician in Hyderabad
Gynaecologist in Bangalore Pediatrician in Bangalore
Gynaecologist in New Delhi Pediatrician in New Delhi
Gynaecologist in Amritsar Pediatrician in Amritsar
 
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Understanding the Process of Fertilisation

Understanding the Process of Fertilisation

September 30, 2018

Understanding the existence of any form...

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            [blog_title] => Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a procedure which is involved with IVF, i.e., in vitro fertilization by virtue of which a single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg cell that is held in place. This elaborate process is conducted in the lab by experienced embryologists using a holding tool and a fine glass injection needle. The only difference between Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection with IVF is the method of introducing the sperm cell. ICSI is more advantageous as compared to the latter because it doesn’t require a large number of sperms in the surrounding media of the egg. Thus, it has provided hope to many males who might have a low sperm count. ICSI doesn’t depend on sperm count and the concept of “chance meeting” is also done away with.

Who is ICSI a Blessing For?

From the perspective of the patient, applying for an ICSI is similar to IVF.
Circumstances under which ICSI may be apt for are:

  • When sperm count is extremely low.
  • When sperm has no or little or even defective motility is abnormal by other means.
  • When sperms have been removed from the epididymis (MESA/PESA) or the testes.
  • When sperms have been removed from urine or by electro-ejaculation (TESE/TESA)
  • When there are large proportions of antibodies in semen.
  • When there has been a case of failure with traditional IVF procedure.

What Does ICSI Involve?

Stimulation of ovaries to encourage maturation of follicles thereby facilitating ovulation.

  • Retrieving the eggs safely.
  • Fertilizing the eggs with the sperm and culturing the embryo.
  • Transfer of embryo back into the uterus for further development.

What is the Success Rate for ICSI?

As such, the success rate of performing ICSI generally varies from individual to individual, particularly dependent on the age of the woman. According to statistics, about 25% of couples will be able to have a baby on the first attempt at ICSI.

Any Probable Risks of ICSI?

Although the success rate of an ICSI fertilization can be quite high, there are some probable risks that can’t be completely ignored. Unfortunately, not all fertilized zygotes using artificial techniques grow into healthy individuals.

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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a procedure which is involved with IVF, i.e., in vitro fertilization by virtue of which a single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg cell that is held in place. This elaborate process is conducted in the lab by experienced embryologists using a holding tool and a fine glass injection needle. The only difference between Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection with IVF is the method of introducing the sperm cell. ICSI is more advantageous as compared to the latter because it doesn’t require a large number of sperms in the surrounding media of the egg. Thus, it has provided hope to many males who might have a low sperm count. ICSI doesn’t depend on sperm count and the concept of “chance meeting” is also done away with.

Who is ICSI a Blessing For?

From the perspective of the patient, applying for an ICSI is similar to IVF.
Circumstances under which ICSI may be apt for are:

  • When sperm count is extremely low.
  • When sperm has no or little or even defective motility is abnormal by other means.
  • When sperms have been removed from the epididymis (MESA/PESA) or the testes.
  • When sperms have been removed from urine or by electro-ejaculation (TESE/TESA)
  • When there are large proportions of antibodies in semen.
  • When there has been a case of failure with traditional IVF procedure.

What Does ICSI Involve?

Stimulation of ovaries to encourage maturation of follicles thereby facilitating ovulation.

  • Retrieving the eggs safely.
  • Fertilizing the eggs with the sperm and culturing the embryo.
  • Transfer of embryo back into the uterus for further development.

What is the Success Rate for ICSI?

As such, the success rate of performing ICSI generally varies from individual to individual, particularly dependent on the age of the woman. According to statistics, about 25% of couples will be able to have a baby on the first attempt at ICSI.

Any Probable Risks of ICSI?

Although the success rate of an ICSI fertilization can be quite high, there are some probable risks that can’t be completely ignored. Unfortunately, not all fertilized zygotes using artificial techniques grow into healthy individuals.

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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

September 24, 2018

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a pro...

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            [blog_title] => Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation
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Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or one or more missed period cycles. When you miss three consecutive periods in a row, you may be diagnosed with Amenorrhea. Also, the young girls who haven’t started their period, maximum by the age of 15, are said to have amenorrhea. Of course, one of the most common reasons for amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation is pregnancy. But, the other causes are problems in the reproductive organs or a defect in the glands that stabilize the hormone levels. When the underlying conditions are treated, it can cure amenorrhea.

Symptoms

Apart from the absence of periods, you may also experience;

  • Milky nipple discharge
  • Hair loss
  • A headache
  • Changes in vision
  • Excess facial hair
  • Pelvic pain
  • Acne

Causes

There are several natural causes of amenorrhea, but some medications can also do the same.

Natural Causes

During your life, you may experience the natural causes of the absence of menstruation, such as pregnancy problems, breastfeeding, and menopause.

Contraception

For some women, who depend on contraceptive pills, their menstruation cycle may stop. However, after discarding the medicines, it may take time for regular ovulation and menstruation to return back to normal. Contraceptives that are injected or implanted can also lead to the absence of periods, even the intrauterine device.

Medications

A few drugs can interfere with the regular menstrual cycle. They are; Antipsychotics, cancer chemotherapy, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and allergy medicines

 

Lifestyle factors

A few lifestyle choices can also have repercussions and cause amenorrhea. They are;

  • Low Body Weight

If your body weight is exceedingly low, it can interfere with the normal hormonal functions, which can halt the ovulation. It is especially seen in women who suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Therefore, the period stops because of abnormal hormonal changes.

  • Too much Exercise

Being healthy is a good thing, exercising regularly is even better. But, women who undergo religious training for activities, such as ballet, may notice that their period cycle gets interrupted. This can be because of the high energy expenditure, the stress, the heavy-duty exercise or even the low body fat.

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Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or one or more missed period cycles. When you miss three consecutive periods in a row, you may be diagnosed with Amenorrhea. Also, the young girls who haven’t started their period, maximum by the age of 15, are said to have amenorrhea. Of course, one of the most common reasons for amenorrhea or the absence of menstruation is pregnancy. But, the other causes are problems in the reproductive organs or a defect in the glands that stabilize the hormone levels. When the underlying conditions are treated, it can cure amenorrhea.

Symptoms

Apart from the absence of periods, you may also experience;

  • Milky nipple discharge
  • Hair loss
  • A headache
  • Changes in vision
  • Excess facial hair
  • Pelvic pain
  • Acne

Causes

There are several natural causes of amenorrhea, but some medications can also do the same.

Natural Causes

During your life, you may experience the natural causes of the absence of menstruation, such as pregnancy problems, breastfeeding, and menopause.

Contraception

For some women, who depend on contraceptive pills, their menstruation cycle may stop. However, after discarding the medicines, it may take time for regular ovulation and menstruation to return back to normal. Contraceptives that are injected or implanted can also lead to the absence of periods, even the intrauterine device.

Medications

A few drugs can interfere with the regular menstrual cycle. They are; Antipsychotics, cancer chemotherapy, antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and allergy medicines

 

Lifestyle factors

A few lifestyle choices can also have repercussions and cause amenorrhea. They are;

  • Low Body Weight

If your body weight is exceedingly low, it can interfere with the normal hormonal functions, which can halt the ovulation. It is especially seen in women who suffer from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Therefore, the period stops because of abnormal hormonal changes.

  • Too much Exercise

Being healthy is a good thing, exercising regularly is even better. But, women who undergo religious training for activities, such as ballet, may notice that their period cycle gets interrupted. This can be because of the high energy expenditure, the stress, the heavy-duty exercise or even the low body fat.

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Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation

Amenorrhea or Absence of Menstruation

September 6, 2018

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation...

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