How long should my partner abstain before the IUI? His semen analysis is normal?

For most men, a 2-3 day break is ideal. That gives the "sample" an opportunity to regenerate. Too "old" of a sample raises the risk of poor motility, white cells, and other problems. (An "old" sample would be that which is taken after more than 7 days of abstinence).

I heard that multiple cycles with fertility drugs increase the chance of getting ovarian cancer. Is this true?

No. There is no evidence that shows a statistically significant increase in the ovarian cancer risk.

My doctor says I am not ovulating regularly. How could I get my period if I do not ovulate?

Menstruation only requires development and shedding of the endometrium in response to alternating levels of estrogen then progesterone in the blood stream. These hormones can be produced by the ovary even when an egg does not mature or release.

I have questions about special precautions during treatment. Should I avoid exercise after ovulation?

Swimming and any other low impact exercise that doesn't overheat you is fine. It's best to avoid things like jogging and high impact aerobics. If you wanted to be on the cautious side, you might also avoid picking up anything too heavy during the waiting period (greater than 15 lbs.).

What about Hot Tubs?

If you are trying to become pregnant or are already pregnant, it is safest to avoid raising your core body temperature and therefore it is advisable to refrain from using the hot tub.

Should I avoid air travel or ground travel after my transfer?

Just don't overdo it. Air travel is fine as long as the pressure is maintained, which it generally is in commercial aircraft.

What is infertility?

Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse in women under 35, or after six months in women over 35, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

Is infertility a woman’s problem?

Both male and female factors contribute to infertility. Some studies suggest that male and female factors contribute equally. In many cases it may not be possible to definitely explain the reasons for infertility. It is essential that both the male and female partners be evaluated during an infertility work up.

What are the things that increase a woman’s risk of infertility?

Many things can change a woman’s ability to have a baby. These include age, smoking, excess alcohol use, stress, poor diet, being overweight or underweight, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), health problems that cause hormonal changes, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and primary ovarian insufficiency.

What are the things that increase a man’s risk of infertility?

Anything that raises the temperature of the scrotum such as the use of hot tubs or long baths or over-tight clothing can harm sperm production. A variety of medicines and recreational drugs can also decrease male fertility. These include alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, cigarettes as well as certain medications. Studies have also shown that environmental factors have contributed to decreasing sperm counts over the years. There may be physiological factors like obstruction of sperm carrying tubes also.

How soon is it advisable to seek help?

Most physicians advise you not to be concerned unless you have been trying to conceive for at least one year. If the female partner is over 30 years old, has a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, painful periods, recurrent miscarriage, or irregular periods, it might be prudent to seek help sooner. If the male partner has a known or suspected low sperm count, then it would also be prudent to seek help sooner than waiting a year.

Statistically, what are the chances of getting pregnant normally?

For a normal couple, it often takes a number of perfectly timed cycles before pregnancy is achieved. The chances of getting pregnant each cycle decreases as you get older. If you are between 20-25, your chance per cycle is about 25%. At 25-30 your chances are about 20%. At 30-35 it is about 15%. After 35 it may be about 10% per ovulatory cycle, and the chances continue with a downward trend.

What are the different types of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)?
Common methods of ART include:

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Semen is collected and washed to rid it of impurities. The woman undergoes regular ultrasound scans to determine the time of ovulation. The sperm is then injected through the cervix, into the uterus using a small catheter.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): Embryo Transfer (ET). IVF is an effective Assisted Reproductive Technique. It is often used when a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked or when a man produces too few sperms. The woman is generally put on certain drugs that cause the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Once mature, the eggs are removed from the woman in a procedure known as oocyte retrieval or ovum pick up. They are then fertilized with the man’s sperm in the embryology lab. After 3 to 5 days, healthy embryos are transferred into the woman’s uterus.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is generally used for couples in which the problem is one of male infertility.Sometimes it is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into a mature egg for fertilization. The resultant embryo is transferred into the uterus. ICSI is a good option for men with very low sperm counts to try to increase the chances of fertilization.

Laser Assisted hatching: Laser Assisted hatching is putting a small opening in the embryo’s outer layer called the zona pellucida with the use of Laser. The embryo which must normally break free of the zona to hatch prior to implantation in the uterine lining is thus assisted by the creation of a small opening. LAH is usually advised for older women (38 or over), who often have a more rigid outer layer for the embryo.

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