Monday, April 11, 2016

Advances against infertility

Yes! Success!
I suffered two miscarriages and also used donor sperm, so I was on the fringes of the infertility dance back in the day. It can be all-consuming.

Stephanie Estes, a board-certified fertility specialist and director of the Robotic Surgery Program at Penn State, says a breast cancer treatment called Letrozole increases ovulation in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and works better than Clomid, the former stand-by (also fewer side efx and multiple births).

If your infertility is caused by irregular ovulation, she recommends you ask your doc about this drug.

First, of course, infertility experts must try to determine the reason you are not getting pregnant. Depending on the cause, some approaches include:

Intra-uterine insemination. The sperm is placed directly into the uterus so it doesn't have so far to travel.

In vitro fertilization. The woman's eggs are harvested, combined with sperm and then when an embryo forms, that embryo is placed back in her uterus. This technology is getting better and more insurance companies are paying.

Insurance companies also pay for testing--so why not test and see what's what, Estes says.

When is testing justified? Couples should be 35 or older with regular cycles and who have had unprotected sex for six months with no results. Under 35--same conditions, test if no pregnancy in a year.

Other treatments include clearing off stray uterine tissue gumming up the works (endometriosis). Removal or shirnkage of large fibroids can also help. And the doctors also check for blocked Fallopian tubes.

Also maximizing chances? Clean up your lifestyle in the "trying" phase--stop smoking, limit caffeine and alcohol--and also learn your cycle and try to have sex at the "good" times.

You can gauge the good times by taking your temperature every morning...when it drops half a degree, that could be a good time. I learned with many month's practice, my good time was about day 12 counting from the first day of my period. Every woman differs.

The sperm remains viable for a couple of days--but it's good to have it in there just before the egg starts down the tube.

Too much personal info? Just trying to help.

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