Do I Need IVF Treatment? Fertility Awareness

This question arises in many anxious couple who are trying for a baby for some time. IVF treatment has been advertised in many platforms and all those planning for baby are aware of it. But all fertility process doesn’t mean IVF treatment. If you are trying to conceive you should be aware of all fertility enhancing methods.

Ovulation
Ovulation

Not all the patients attending the fertility clinic need IVF treatment. Approximately 80% of couples will conceive in the first 6 months of attempting pregnancy. The first thing you can do is gain knowledge about fertility cycles. Awareness about fertile period, calculation of your ovulatory days is some of the basic knowledge about fertility. You should slowly try to notice few changes in the body which occur cyclically. Mid cycle pain and profuse vaginal discharge which is not itchy indicate ovulation. Increase body temperature and breast tenderness are also noticed by some women.

Regularly cycling women often ovulate normally. Irregular cycles indicate hormone imbalance and will need correction. Diet and regular exercise can correct hormone problems in some women with PCOD. Antioxidant rich foods also help in improving egg quality in women.

      Fertility enhancement by natural methods are encouraged by many fertility center. Lifestyle modifications like diet, exercise, avoiding smoking can improve fertility rates in young couples. Like many aspects of our health, fertility is improved by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining an ideal weight, a diet rich in antioxidants (found in fruits and vegetables), as well as multi-vitamins may improve the quality of egg and sperm. Avoiding pollution, smoking, junk food, reducing stress and controlling chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes may also improve a couple’s chances of fertility. Couples with underlying medical or genetic conditions should get screened by doctors so that they can increase their overall health before conceiving. Overweight men interested in optimising fertility are encouraged to attain an ideal body weight before fertility treatment. Antioxidants such as vitamins E and C are supplemented which have been found to result in a slight increase in both sperm count and movement. Maintaining an ideal weight avoids PCOS {polycystic ovaries} hence improves the quality of egg and chances of ovulation. Good sleep and avoiding anxiety also is a part of fertility enhancement.

  If the natural methods are not working for you, your consultant may advise few screening tests for both of you. Investigations are aimed at finding fault with egg or sperm. Semen parameters can be analysed by a simple test in men. Similarly, few hormone tests and ultrasound of pelvis can indicate any fault in the woman. If these tests are found to be normal maybe you can try for few more cycles with some medications like ovulation inducing drugs. At time this treatment fails if the fallopian tubes are blocked. Tubes can be checked by an X-ray called HSG or by laparoscopy where the specialist can visualise your reproductive organs.

Fertilisation
Fertilisation

          If your fallopian tubes are healthy then you will be asked for a simple fertility treatment called IUI. IUI is done for young couple without any evidence of problem in their investigations. But you should not forget that IUI is successful only in 9-10% cases in one cycle. Hence be prepared to undergo IUI for 3 to 5 cycles.

               A highly successful IUI programme requires active customisation of protocols and selection of appropriate patient groups. Accurate follicular tracking, controlling the quality of eggs by use of fertility drugs and timing of IUI are crucial for better success rates by IUI. You may be advised a down-regulated IUI protocol which gives optimum success in PCOS patients. In spite of all normal tests 15% couple don’t conceive naturally or IUI and it can be termed as unexplained infertility.

After 3 to 4 years of trying all these methods unsuccessfully your consultant may suggest IVF treatment. However, you may be advised IVF early if you have any of the following –

  1. Your partner has defects in semen analysis like low count or unhealthy sperm.
  2. You are elderly and your ovaries are getting exhausted of eggs.
  3. You have blocked fallopian tubes.
  4. You have resistant PCOS
  5. You have low AMH or poor ovarian reserve.
IVF treatment
Fertility Treatment
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