Center for Reproductive and Fetal Medicine

IS YOUR INFERTILITY EXPLAINABLE?

IS YOUR INFERTILITY EXPLAINABLE?

Any diagnosis of infertility can be difficult to treat - but when all the usual blood tests are normal and every diagnosis, sample and test reveals nothing remarkable - then we are talking about unexplained infertility. 

 

 

Infertility can be described as "unexplained" if a woman ovulates regularly, her fallopian tubes are OK, there is no sign of endometriosis or adhesions, and if the man has a normal sperm count. If the couple has sex at least twice a week during the ovulation period, but there is no conception after two 12 months, then a diagnosis of unexplained infertility may be appropriate. 

 

Fertility tests should include a vaginal ultrasound to check for ovarian abnormalities, blood tests to check for egg release, and a sperm test.

If one or both of you smoke, are overweight or have a medical condition that is not well controlled, fertility tests may be all normal, but the pregnancy attempt may not be successful. With a detailed review of your personal and medical history, a Reproductive Medicine Specialist may be able to identify something that needs to change to help you achieve a pregnancy.

 

Some women may release eggs before they mature or their eggs may have chromosomal abnormalities - especially if the woman is older or is experiencing premature menopause. If there is a suspicion of an egg quality or quantity problem, further tests are indicated.

 

For men, while a simple sperm analysis can show that there is enough sperm to move normally, it does not reveal if the sperm is healthy. An additional test that detects if you have high levels of damage to sperm DNA can help you understand why a pregnancy has not yet been achieved.

What not all tests can tell us is whether the sperm fertilizes the egg and unfortunately this can only be assessed during the IVF treatment itself. However, if this happens, there are treatments available that can address this issue.

 

There are many reasons for infertility and those mentioned above are some of the most common. If you have been trying to conceive for a long time without success, the best advice is to seek help early. At the "Alexandros Traianos" Center for Reproductive Medicine & Fetal Medicine we see many patients who do not have a clear reason why they have not had a pregnancy - but their treatment can be successful even if infertility remains unexplained.

 

* The content on this blog is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health care providers with questions you may have about medical conditions.

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FREQUENT QUESTIONS

The association of IVF drugs with cancer risk is a major concern for women enrolled in these programs. But the plethora of bibliographic reports collected from credible scientific studies and published in reputable medical journals worldwide are reassuring and do not confirm this concern.

Of course not. In about a third of cases, infertility is due to the woman (female factor), while in a third of cases, it is due to the man (male factor). The remaining one-third is due to both (both men and women) or even to unknown factors.

The quantity and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his health and lifestyle. Some factors that can reduce the quantity and / or quality of sperm are:

  • the alcohol
  • drugs
  • environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
  • smoking
  • health problems
  • medicines
  • radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • the age

Success rates vary at each IVF Center. Very important factors are also the age of the woman, the levels of her hormones and of course the sperm of the husband. Rates generally range from 45% or slightly higher for women up to 35 years old.

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year (or 6 months, if it is a woman over 35) with normal, regular sexual intercourse. In other words, when a year passes without the woman becoming pregnant, the couple should consult their doctor to determine the cause of the pregnancy and then treat it. We must all, however, be aware and not forget that the age factor is the most critical for female fertility and that the individualized approach of each couple is the "golden key" that solves the problem.

The number of treatment cycles a woman can undergo is not specified. It is certain that in our country there are high level obstetricians-gynecologists and organized infertility treatment centers, which offer impeccable medical services at this level. If there are correct indications (eg ovaries that respond to stimulation therapy, good quality endometrium, etc.) the success rate -especially with the use of newer techniques and biotechnological drugs, which show increased bioactivity compared to conventional drugs from urine- totals approximately 65%-70% after 4 cycles of treatment.

At the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Dr. Traianos we offer egg / sperm cryopreservation services for those who have a personal or medical reason and need this service. We use the most modern vitrification technique in the freezing of sperm and eggs.

The collection of eggs takes 10-15 minutes, it is not painful, it is done under intoxication and after the end of the process you return to your activities.

In general, experts agree that the fact that a couple has already had a child can be considered evidence that there is no infertility problem in the first place. It is like a small test that has been done and proves that they "succeeded" at least once. On the other hand, we need to know that in the meantime things may have changed and a problem may have arisen (eg the man may have had some inflammation that affects the quality of his sperm or has mediated something that affects female fertility: an inflammation, a gynecological surgery, an abortion, etc.). In any case, if a reasonable period of time (one year) passes and a couple can not achieve a pregnancy, then he should with the help of his doctor investigate if there has been a problem that causes infertility.