17 months ago, the Ontario provincial government promised to extend OHIP coverage to cover one round of IVF for eligible patients. This change was expected to occur in 2015. However, many questions about the coverage were unanswered — and unfortunately, still haven’t been answered. Now that we’re creeping closer to the end of 2015, patients… Read more »
My TSH is low. Should I be worried? What should I do?
We received this excellent question from a woman whose email address seemed to have a typo in it, so we were unable to respond directly to her — we hope she’s reading this! The most common reason for a low TSH is taking too much thyroid medication. If you aren’t taking medication of that kind,… Read more »
Hypothyroidism and Fertility
The thyroid is a gland that sits in your lower throat and secretes a hormone called thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism is a condition that results when the gland does not produce enough of this hormone. The gland can also produce too much hormone, and this is called hyperthyroidism. What can happen if you have hypothyroidism? You… Read more »
3 situations where you’ll want to consider IVF
Nobody wants to do IVF. Whenever a couple or individual arrives at a fertility clinic, the strong goal is to work as naturally as possible to maximize the chances for pregnancy. My suspicion is that this comes down to two reasons. Financial, yes, but importantly, emotional: For all of us, the plan was to achieve… Read more »
What is DNA Fragmentation?
The DNA Fragmentation is one of several elements of semen quality used to assess the male fertility potential. Sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg is dependant on healthy DNA. But some sperm are fragmented. Healthy DNA is arranged in a double-helix spiral bound by cross-bonds resembling a ladder. DNA damage means the bridges become unstable… Read more »
What are the guidelines for known sperm donation?
Health Canada does not support known-donor, fresh-sperm insemination. The rationale is to protect the health of women involved. Guidelines are clear that couples must be having sexual intercourse before a fertility clinic can use a fresh sample in an insemination. We can help you monitor your cycle – we can even make sure you have… Read more »
We’re considering using an anonymous sperm donor. How does it work in Canada?
Health Canada has guidelines in place to allow women to have safe access to donor sperm. However, there are some logistical challenges limiting choice. There is only one Canadian sperm bank: ReproMed, based in Toronto. To allow for a greater variety of sperm available to Canadians, Health Canada has allowed for the importation of non-altruistically-donated… Read more »
What can I do about pain during procedures?
“I am scheduled for an Echovist HyCoSy test as part of my fertility diagnostic process. I have serious concerns about the pain I will experience during the procedure given the scar tissue on my cervix from a laser cone. (A regular pap test is painful; a colposcopy is almost unbearable.) I am wondering whether it… Read more »
Smoking, illicit drugs, alcohol and fertility
Such a difficult topic, of course, because the very clear-cut, medically/legally safe answer is entirely straightforward: never drink, smoke or use illicit drugs. As physicians, it’s our duty to inform all patients that this is accepted dogma and that there is no minimal dose that is known to be safe and, therefore, no one should… Read more »
What’s more effective: IUI or FSP?
“My husband and I have unexplained secondary infertility and are about to start our first IUI. I was reading about the success rates of FSP (fallopian sperm perfusion) for unexplained infertility and how FSP may be more effective than IUI. It is suggested that couples with unexplained infertility may benefit from FSP over IUI, resulting in higher… Read more »