Fertility

The decision to start a family is a major one shared with your partner. To prepare yourselves for pregnancy and to ensure the best start for your baby the following lifestyle changes should be considered.

  • Nutrition: Proper nutrition (a balanced diet) is essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby.
  • Healthy Weight: being significantly under or over weight can affect your ability to conceive, as well as your baby’s health.
  • Exercise: Start a program that you can continue through the pregnancy.
  • Antenatal Vitamins: Folic Acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects but should be taken 3 months prior to conception and for the first 3 months of your pregnancy. Other vitamins may assist if you are deficient.
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking and other drugs: All three can impair your fertility and harm your baby.
  • Eliminate environmental dangers: consider your current employment, are you exposed to any harmful chemicals or excessive heat?
  • Stop using contraception: Some methods of contraception require time after ceasing their use for your body to get back to normal before you can conceive.

If it’s taking longer than you expected to get pregnant it is not uncommon to feel disappointed. Having a family, to most, is a fundamental part of life. Support groups may assist to reduce the stress you are going through, and this may improve your chances of conception

Infertility

Infertility refers to couples that have been unable to conceive after 12 months of unprotected and regular intercourse. The chances of conception at 12 months are approximately 80% and 90% at 18 months. Hence it is usual to wait 12 months before investigating. However, advancing maternal age, irregular periods or history suggestive of adhesions or endometriosis may be a reason to commence investigating earlier.

There are a number of different reasons why this may occur. 40% of cases are male related, 50% female related and 10% involve other factors.

Assessment will begin by taking a thorough history and examination and then various investigations can be undertaken depending on the reasons suspected for infertility.

Investigations that may be undertaken include:

  • Semen Analysis
  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • Blood tests to assess ovulation and ovarian function
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy and tubal patency assessment

Ongoing management will be dependent on the cause found. Treatments can include increasing egg release from the ovaries with drugs such as clomiphene. Surgery or referral for fertility treatment may be required.

Simple measures that should be taken to improve your fertility include taking folic acid daily, quitting smoking and losing weight if overweight. These measures are not only helpful for fertility but will assist in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

Occasionally no cause is found but treatment can continue to increase your fertility chances.

If you are interested in discussing your fertility concerns then call DR Kylie Isaacs for a consultation. It is recommended that you bring your partner with you where possible.

If further assistance with fertility management is required DR Kylie Isaacs has a good working relationship with the team at Fertility Solutions with an affordable edge who can provide these services.