file.jpg

When Are Women Most Fertile?

Women trying to become pregnant can increase their chances by closely tracking their monthly cycle. Pinpointing the most fertile days of the month depends on identifying exactly when you are ovulating. Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases an egg, which then travels to the fallopian tube. If a couple has intercourse during this time, sperm can fertilize the egg, resulting in a pregnancy. Since women are at their most fertile for only five to six days a month, it’s important to track your menstrual cycle and plan intercourse around that brief window.  How to Track Ovulation Although each woman’s menstrual cycle varies, the average length counting from the first day…

file.jpg

The Connection Between Stress and Infertility

Stress affects so many aspects of our physical wellbeing, from our cardiovascular fitness to our mental health. But could stress also play a role in fertility? Several studies completed in the last decade show there may be a link. In 2010, researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford studied whether stress negatively impacted a woman’s ability to conceive. The researchers monitored the ovulation cycles of 274 English women aged 18 to 40 trying to become pregnant. Their stress levels were measured by the amount of alpha-amylase and cortisol in their saliva — both substances produced by the body in response to stress. Women with high…

file.jpg

Can an Ovarian Cyst Cause Infertility?

Many premenopausal women develop ovarian cysts that emerge during the ovulation cycle. These non-cancerous, fluid-filled sacs rarely cause symptoms and often disappear without treatment. Even so, if you’ve been diagnosed with an ovarian cyst, you may wonder whether it could impact your fertility.  Fortunately, unless the cysts are associated with another condition that affects fertility, an ovarian cyst will not interfere with your ability to become pregnant. For instance, cysts that develop due to endometriosis — an abnormal growth of uterine tissue outside of the womb — may produce endometriomas that could hinder fertility. Another condition, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), leads to the formation of many small cysts on the…

file.jpg

How Effective Are Fertility Treatments?

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 12 to 13 percent of couples experience infertility, which is defined as a failure to achieve a pregnancy after one year of trying. A third of infertility cases are attributed to women, while a third are linked to men. Another third may be due to both partners, or an exact cause is not determined. Fortunately, several assisted reproductive technology (ART) techniques can help couples conceive a child. Depending on the method used, success rates rise to nearly 50 percent.  Primary ART options include intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and ovulation induction. Here’s what couples need to know about the effectiveness…

file.jpg

How to Boost Male Fertility

If you’re suffering from infertility, follow these four tips to increase your chances of pregnancy. Although female infertility is more often discussed, approximately one-third of all infertility cases can be attributed to male reproductive issues. Therefore, if a couple is unable to conceive after a year of trying, both partners should undergo fertility testing.  If a man is experiencing infertility, there are several ways to increase the chances of pregnancy. The first step is determining the underlying cause of infertility in order to best address the problem.  What Is Male Fertility Testing? Male fertility testing centers on three factors: sperm count, sperm quality, and sperm motility. The majority of male…

file.jpg

How Diet Can Impact Your Fertility

Fertility can be affected by many factors, including age and personal health history. According to a Harvard study, diet can also have an important impact on a couple’s ability to become pregnant. A review of previous studies conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School found a connection between the foods we eat and the ability — or inability — to conceive. These results suggest that many of the 12 to 13 percent of couples who struggle with infertility could increase their chances of becoming pregnant simply by changing their diet.  Let’s take a look at what foods and nutrients can boost…

file.jpg

How Long Should You Wait to Have Your Fertility Tested?

Generally, couples should wait six months to a year before having their fertility tested. If either couple is experiencing infertility, there are many effective treatments available. Many couples wonder how long it should take to become pregnant. Should they wait three months? Six months? A year?  Although the timetable for every couple is different based on age and health, the general rule is a woman under the age of 35 should try to conceive for a year before she and her partner consult a fertility specialist. The wait period shortens to six months for a woman over the age of 35. In addition to those broad guidelines, a woman who…

file.jpg

What Does It Mean to Have a Low Ovarian Reserve?

A low ovarian reserve diminishes the odds of becoming pregnant, but a couple can still conceive with the help of fertility treatments. As women age, they tend to lose eggs, which can lead to difficulties becoming pregnant. At birth, a woman may have a million eggs in what is called an “ovarian reserve.” But by their late 30s, women often have only 27,000 eggs. Fewer eggs make conceiving more challenging, especially when women reach their 40s. While a low ovarian reserve lowers the chances of a successful pregnancy, it does not mean a couple can’t conceive a child. Reproductive medicine offers women several options to become pregnant even with a…

file.jpg

Should I Consider Preimplantation Genetic Testing?

Testing for genetic or chromosomal abnormalities can help couples realize their dream of having a child. Couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) may decide to have the embryo tested for genetic or chromosomal abnormalities. Since a healthy embryo increases the chances of a successful pregnancy, couples who have suffered repeated miscarriages may find preimplantation genetic testing worthwhile. A history of miscarriages isn’t the only reason a couple may consider preimplantation genetic testing, however. If several IVF cycles have failed to produce a pregnancy, genetic testing may be recommended. Couples known to carry certain genetic diseases may also benefit from preimplantation testing. Older patients or those with low egg quality would…

file.jpg

Donor Egg IVF: Here’s What You Need to Know

For some women, becoming pregnant using their own eggs isn’t possible. Fortunately, there are other options. Some women are unable to produce an egg that leads to pregnancy due to various medical reasons. In these cases, donor egg in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be a viable option. With donor egg IVF, an egg from a donor is fertilized with the father’s sperm and implanted into the intended mother’s womb. Women experiencing premature menopause, decreased ovarian activity, or poor egg quality are often candidates for a donor egg. Having gone through IVF previously without success, being a known carrier of genetic diseases, and being over the age of 40 also qualify…