At SpringCreek Fertility we understand that for couples experiencing difficulty achieving a pregnancy, the ability to conceive is elusive. The uncertainty can at times be overwhelming and the questions are numerous.
Here is a list of questions that we commonly get:
The day you start your menstrual period is “Day 1.” Around “Day 14″ you may ovulate and release an egg. The egg is viable for 24 hours so this is your most fertile time. However, not all women ovulate on “Day 14.” Some ovulate earlier and some later. Some women do not ovulate at all. Your ovulation pattern can vary month to month. Even if you are getting your period, that does not mean you are ovulating.
Severe endometriosis can distort pelvic anatomy, making it difficult for the fallopian tubes to pick up eggs. The connection between milder endometriosis and infertility is less clear. Some experts believe that substances produced by endometriosis may be toxic to eggs, sperm and/or embryos.
In women with polycystic ovary syndrome, the ovary doesn’t make all of the hormones it needs for an egg to fully mature. The follicles may start to grow and build up fluid, but ovulation does not occur. Instead, some follicles may remain as cysts. For these reasons, ovulation does not occur and the hormone progesterone is not made. Without progesterone, a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Plus, the ovaries produce male hormones, which also prevent ovulation.
Because egg quality declines with advancing age, it takes longer for women to conceive as they get older and the risk of miscarriage is higher. However, that does not preclude the possibility of having a successful pregnancy. Be aware that the medical risk of pregnancy increases with age, including the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Women who have had one miscarriage have no increased risk of miscarriage in future pregnancies. There does appear to be an increased risk of pregnancy loss if a second miscarriage occurs, and this risk substantially increases after three miscarriages.
Egg donors may be either anonymous or designated. Most IVF programs have a list of young, fertile women who are willing to donate eggs anonymously. An egg donor is chosen by the couple based on physical characteristics, age and other non-identifying characteristics. Some couples choose to use a relative or friend as an egg donor.