Fertility Melbourne Mothers
Reasons not falling pregnant
Quick summary: I am not falling pregnant. What can I do?
When you come and see your gynaecologist at Melbourne Mothers, you are in a safe environment to even talk about the basics if you feel that is necessary. We make an important first step together by discussing things, and that may include a talk about what is involved when you want to have a baby.
If you have challenges falling pregnant, we assist in many ways. Once we have covered what you are doing or not doing, we can plan routine tests. They may include female and male tests.
Sometimes couples don’t conceive because of male factor infertility.
Here is an overview of what could be at play:
- Thyroid problems
- Early menopause
- Genetic conditions
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Sperm quality, mobility, quantity
- Ovarian insufficiency
- Lifestyle factors
- Ovulation disturbance
- Timing of intercourse
By understanding your individual situation and carrying out baseline investigations, we will seek to develop a personalised roadmap to pregnancy for you.
Natural fertility and lifestyle changes
Timing, age and lifestyle
A few obvious aspects of fertility come to mind when we look at the majority of subfertility or infertility situations.
As a woman, you ovulate at a specific time in your monthly cycle. This means that there are specific times when you are more or less likely to fall pregnant. Our role is to either refresh that knowledge, or to explain it to you so you both have a clear understanding and can time intercourse in the most optimal way.
We can not change our age, yet it is important to know how age impacts our fertility as humans. As a woman, fertility decreases with age, and that is why it is essential not to waste time when you are trying to conceive after a certain age. But don’t let statistics affect your confidence. We will look at your personal circumstances, test results and overall health, and discuss the chances of conceiving at your age.
Lifestyle choices can affect fertility both in men and in women. Unhealthy food habits, drinking habits, smoking…they don’t contribute to good fertility health and if you are serious about conceiving and giving birth to a healthy baby, we will need to address these topics if they apply to your life. It’s important to start your journey with an open mind as a couple, because sometimes lifestyle recommendations will apply for both of you (female and male partner).
Female fertility factors: blocked tubes
Blocked fallopian tubes
Blocked fallopian tubes are a more mechanical or anatomic cause of infertility. Fallopian tubes are important female organs if you want to conceive because they allow eggs to meet sperm and access the uterus. Every month when you ovulate in the middle of your cycle, an egg is carried from one of your ovaries to your uterus. And it happens through the fallopian tubes.
That place in your body is important for another reason: it is where the egg can be fertilised. If the egg meets sperm in the fallopian tube, it travels through to your uterus for implantation.
The typical reasons we see for this type of blockage are pelvic inflammation, scar tissue from endometriosis, fibroids, or previous surgeries. Previous infections can also cause damaged tubes.
We use advanced laparoscopic surgery to remove unwanted tissue and to unblock your fallopian tubes, which improves your chances of falling pregnant.
Female fertility factors: medical
Treating underlying medical conditions
Quite often, the best choice is to first look at any underlying medical condition and treat it, rather than choosing to have IVF treatment straight away.
With a condition such as endometriosis scar tissue is formed outside your uterus, by endometrial tissue, the tissue that makes up the lining of your uterus. Removing this unwanted excess tissue can maximise your fertility.
A hormonal disorder such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can lead to hormonal imbalances. Your ovaries work differently, and they may produce too many male-type hormones.
Fibroids are benign growths in the wall of your uterus. They don’t always cause symptoms, but sometimes they can cause severe pain and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Menopause and Fertility Melbourne Mothers
Premature and early menopause
Premature menopause is when you reach menopause before you turn 40. We call it early menopause if you reach it before you turn 45.
About 1 in 10 women who are diagnosed with early menopause still fall pregnant, and research has not fully explained this.
In case you are diagnosed with early menopause, apart from fertility, our focus may be the management of your symptoms: hot flushes, vaginal dryness, mood changes. You may need hormone therapy, to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis.
Ovarian reserve and fertility Melbourne Mothers
Male factors and fertility Melbourne Mothers
Sperm quality, quantity and mobility
You will often hear the term ‘male factor infertility’ and that refers to the properties of the male partner’s sperm.
When scientists analyse sperm, there are several parameters that need attention:
- Sperm quality: the morphology, the shape of the individual sperm when we look at them under a microscope. Their shape defines their ability to fertilise the egg.
- Sperm count: if there is a low count, there is a lower chance of a sperm fertilising the one egg that is released.
- Motility: sperm motility refers to the speed individual sperm can reach when they are moving towards the fallopian tubes. Healthy sperm travels at 25 micrometers per second or faster.
Cancer treatment and fertility
Previous cancer treatment
If you have had cancer treatment it may be necessary to collect and store your eggs.
This type of fertility treatment helps you preserve your fertility even when chemotherapy and radiotherapy is needed. Egg quality is known to decrease with cancer treatment and this approach makes use of your eggs while they are at their best.