Despite some early reports, fertility doesn’t improve if the female partner orgasms. Sex doesn’t have to be emotionally or physically satisfying in order to conceive. Sexuality and fertility don’t have to fit together at all. But that doesn’t mean sexuality doesn’t matter. Sexuality and fertility and, yes, love, are all mixed together for all of… Read more »
I’m researching test results & hormone levels, but some sources use different measurement units. How do I convert them?
When you’re researching your own fertility, you may come across numbers and data you’ve gleaned from the web, or from your own personal results. It can be helpful to empower yourself with information, but with one important warning: pay attention to the units! Some common values such as AMH, estrogen and progesterone can be measured… 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 »
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 »
How do I improve my chances for embryo implantation?
Embryo implantation is complicated, as you can imagine! But here’s a breakdown of some of the key elements that can help you maximize your chances: 1. Oocyte (egg) quality Implantation is more likely to happen when a healthy embryo is present, and the best predictor for a healthy embryo is a healthy egg. Egg quality… Read more »
Alcohol when you’re trying to conceive.
I pause when counseling around alcohol. How do I address this difficult subject? Toronto Public Health is very clear on its relationship to alcohol and pregnancy. Its May 2014 communique references these very clear key messages: There is no safe level of alcohol exposure at any time in pregnancy, and that when planning a pregnancy… Read more »
Why do you want 12 to 20 eggs for IVF? Isn’t that a lot?
You can run a modified natural cycle IVF. That would mean retrieving one egg and hoping for ongoing pregnancy. Success rates vary, but are likely between 4% and 15% per cycle. This is the best case scenario for women with good-quality eggs. If the same individual were to add in medication, she may have success… Read more »
IVF: choosing the best embryo, and the best day for embryo transfer
An IVF cycle should result in the retrieval of mature eggs. The eggs will be allowed to settle for a few hours, and then, that afternoon, fertilized with sperm. Choosing the best embryo The next day -day 1- each healthy embryo will still be a single cell, now at the two-Pro-Nucleii (2PN) stage. It… Read more »