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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Gestational Surrogacy?

Couples unable to conceive because of a serious medical condition or uterine abnormality can still realize their dreams of having a child. Advancements in reproductive care now offer partners hoping to become parents the options of traditional or gestational surrogacy. But how do couples determine which of these treatments is right for them? In short, the difference between the two methods centers on the source of the egg. In traditional surrogacy, a surrogate’s egg is used, while gestational surrogacy uses the egg of the mother. Each alternative offers unique benefits as well as some disadvantages. By consulting with a specialist and understanding fully what these options entail, couples can decide…

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What Is the Main Cause of PCOS?

PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition where hormonal imbalances cause women to suffer from a variety of health issues and side effects. Women with PCOS may experience unwanted hair growth, irregular periods, weight gain, acne, thinning hair, painful ovarian cysts, and infertility. Explore the causes of PCOS and what treatments may be available. High Insulin Levels Insulin is an important hormone in the body that regulates blood sugar levels. When you eat, your blood sugar raises, which triggers your pancreas to produce insulin to keep blood sugar levels steady. PCOS can be caused by insulin resistance, where the body’s cells do not respond appropriately to insulin. This means…

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How Long Does It Take to Ovulate After an HCG Injection?

HCG injections are a widely used for enhancing fertility. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a naturally occurring hormone that supports the development of an egg while inside the ovary and triggers the release of the egg when it is ready. Women also produce HCG when they are pregnant and it is the hormone that pregnancy tests check for.  When a woman struggles to become pregnant on her own, HCG injections can help stimulate ovulation. This is a process known as ovulation induction.  What Is Ovulation Induction?  Ovulation induction with HCG can help a woman to ovulate more than once during a single menstrual cycle by stimulating the growth and…