Todays Parent- All about Infertility

Infertility

STRUGGLING WITH INFERTILITY

It can be devastating to deal with infertility. But it’s incredibly common: one in six couples have difficulty conceiving. We’ve created a resource of information and personal stories in the hopes of making this process a little less daunting.

  • MELANIE’S STORY
    STRUGGLING WITH INFERTILITY

    Melanie's Story

  • ELLEN’S STORY
    WHEN IVF DOESN’T WORK

    Ellen's Story

  • TARA’S STORY
    FACING SECONDARY INFERTILITY

    Tara's Story

  • ERIN’S STORY
    INFERTILITY AND IVF

    Erin's Story

  • COULD I BE INFERTILE?
    WHAT TO DO NEXT

    Could we be Fertile?LEADING CAUSES OF
    INFERTILITY

    Causes of InfertilityHOW INFERTILITY AFFECTS
    YOUR RELATIONSHIP

    How Infertility affects your Relationship

  • 5 REASONS YOU’RE NOT
    GETTING PREGNANT

    5 Reasons of Not Getting PregnantHOW TO MANAGE
    INFERTILITY STRESS

    6 Ways to cope with Infertility Stress

  • FERTILITY TREATMENT GUIDE

    Treatments

  • INFERTILITY TREATMENTS
    WHAT TO EXPECT

    What to Expect with Treatment

  • SECONDARY INFERTILITY

    Secondary Fertility

  • WHAT IS IVF?

    IVF

  • WHAT IS IUI?

    IUI

  • WHAT’S A HEALTHY EGG?

    Egg Quality

  • WHAT’S A HEALTHY SPERM?

    Sperm Quality

  • ADVICE FOR COUPLES STRUGGLING
    WITH INFERTILITY

    Advice for People struggling with Infertility

  • WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE
    DEALING WITH INFERTILITY

    Things not to Say

  • WHEN A FRIEND CAN’T GET PREGNANT
    (AND YOU CAN)

    When a friend can't get Pregnant

  • YOUR OPTIONS WHEN
    IVF DOESN’T WORK

    IVF Don't Work

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  • CAN YOU BOOST YOUR
    FERTILITY?

 

Demystifying Infertility- Dr. Dan Nayot- TRIO- The Social

Starting a family is one of the most exciting times of a couple’s life. But for roughly one in six couples in Canada who have trouble conceiving, it can be frustrating and exhausting.

So, how do you know if you’re infertile? And when is the right time to seek professional help? Doctor Dan Nayot, an infertility specialist at the Toronto Centre for Advanced Reproductive Technology, stopped by to help answer these questions and more.

How is infertility defined and when is the right time to see a specialist?

  • Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex
  • But issues that come up before the end of a year can also contribute. An irregular period is a common reason that patients may want to see their doctor to make sure that everything is in check.
  • For healthy, young women, we generally recommend seeing a specialist after 12 months of trying; if you’re over 35, after six months of trying.
  • However, if you suspect you may have difficulty conceiving or are even just interested to learn more about your reproductive health, any time is the right time.

What exactly do ‘old eggs’ mean?

  • Early to mid-30s is a good estimate of when your fertility potential really starts to decline.
  • The decline is more significant in your late 30s to 40s.
  • Women are born with a set number of eggs and both the quantity and quality of these eggs decrease as women age. On the contrary, men are constantly producing new sperm (it takes about two-three months for sperm to be made), and so age is much less a factor for men.

What are the common fertility treatments and how much do they cost?

  • Fertility treatments can range from the simple (such as monitoring the menstrual cycle and helping the couple properly time their intercourse) to the more involved (such as in vitro fertilization).
  • The costs depend on the treatment, and partially on the province you live in. In Ontario, the majority of the initial testing, which may include the bloodwork, ultrasound and the consultation, are covered by OHIP.
  • Before you proceed with any fertility treatment, you need to consider several issues: What is the chance this treatment will work? What are the risks associated with it (i.e. side effects from the medications, the risk of having twins)? What is the cost? What are the alternative options?

What are the success rates for the different treatments?

  • When talking about treatments, we usually speak in “cycles,” which refers to monthly ovulation.
  • The number of cycles really varies depending on your personal situation. Sometimes all you need is a single cycle to get pregnant. I have even had the good fortune of meeting a couple for a fertility consultation and finding out that they were in fact pregnant and didn’t know.
  • Just to put things into prospective, for a young healthy couple just starting to try to get pregnant, their chance to conceive is about 15-20 per cent per month. Some fertility treatments have success rates over 30 per cent per cycle, but again this depends on the patient and their partner.
  • Choosing the right treatment is critical. Of course, the goal is to have a baby, but doing so in the safest way possible is key. You and your doctor need to discuss which treatment makes sense for you.

 

Fertilized Human Egg Emits Flash of Light- CBC

Fertilized human egg emits microscopic flash of light

When an egg is fertilized, the rapid release of zinc creates a spark

By Jillian Bell, CBC News Posted: Apr 27, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 27, 2016 5:00 AM ET

In vitro fertilization is seen in this file photo. The size of 'zinc sparks' has been linked to an egg's quality and ability to grow into a viable embryo, which could improve the selection process for in vitro fertilization.

In vitro fertilization is seen in this file photo. The size of ‘zinc sparks’ has been linked to an egg’s quality and ability to grow into a viable embryo, which could improve the selection process for in vitro fertilization. (Dr. Thomas Hannam)

When you meet someone who ignites your passion, it can feel like fireworks going off. New research by Northwestern University researchers, published in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that when human sperm meets an egg, it can also set off sparks.

For the first time, scientists have proven that when a human egg is fertilized, it releases what are called zinc sparks. Upon fertilization, calcium increases and zinc is rapidly released. When this happens, the zinc joins itself to small, light-emitting molecule probes. In other words, it creates a microscopic flash of light.

The scientists were unable to fertilize eggs with sperm for this study due to legal issues surrounding research with human embryos. Instead, they injected the eggs with a sperm enzyme, triggering the egg activation process and causing the increase in calcium and release of zinc.

Zinc sparks had previously been seen in animal studies, but the discovery that they also occur in humans could have significant ramifications for assisted reproduction technology. This is because the animal studies, where the eggs could actually be fertilized, have shown that the size of the zinc sparks is a direct reflection of the egg’s quality and ability to grow into a viable embryo.

In vitro game changer

Currently, during the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process, doctors don’t know how viable a fertilized egg or embryo is until pregnancy occurs. But if scientists are able to develop a way to measure zinc sparks without harming the zygote, it could be a game changer.

“This means if you can look at the zinc spark at the time of fertilization, you will know immediately which eggs are the good ones to transfer in in vitro fertilization,” Teresa Woodruff, one of the study’s senior authors and a Northwestern University professor of obstetrics and gynecology, said in a news release.

Using only the most viable embryos could save a lot of time and heartache for IVF patients, while sparing them from the potential risks of extended embryo culture (keeping the embryo in a culture medium from the third day of fertilization on, which has been associated with pre-term births) and multiple embryo transfer (which increases the risk of becoming pregnant with multiple fetuses), the study says.

New 2016 Census- Fertility Matters

2016 National Census – Let’s make infertility count!
Many of you have received the national census questionnaire and about to respond. This an opportunity to have an accurate picture about infertility in Canada and we’re counting on you to help make this happen.

One out of four households will receive the long questionnaire and will have a chance to raise awareness about infertility. In the section about Activities of the Daily Living, question 11 f) allows the respondent to specify a health problem or long-term condition that has lasted or is expected to last for six months or more. We are encouraging you to answer “Infertility”.

Having accurate statistics can go a long way in having more open discussion about infertility in our lives and in our society. It can also help us advocate for better access to affordable, fair and safe medical treatments. Good luck!