Latest Posts

Quit Smoking to Increase Fertility and the Health of Your Child

March 13, 2013 5:29 pm

The UK`s annual national no smoking day brings with it thoughts and promises of health, financial savings and a better environment for those around the people who choose to give up. One benefit that is often overlooked when considering giving up smoking is the increase for both men and women regarding fertility. If you and your partner smoke and are trying to conceive with or without the help of private fertility clinics you are already at a disadvantage compared to those who have never smoked or have given up. If you are utilizing the services of private fertility clinics the experienced staff there will have already informed you of the importance of quitting smoking but, if you are still unsure... View Article

Seven Things That Can Improve Your Fertility

November 8, 2012 6:46 am

  Whether you are trying for a baby now, or thinking about your long term fertility there are a few things that you can address and change if necessary.  Almost everyone will relate to some or other items on the following list, and it is never a case of blaming yourself for fertility problems.  The real situation is always far more complex and there can be very many factors involved when trying to get pregnant.  What follows are seven very common areas that you can consider to improve or preserve your fertility.  They all have scientific evidence to support their inclusion. You can give yourself the best chance of pregnancy by identifying which ones might be relevant to you.  ... View Article

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

October 30, 2012 11:24 am

Polycystic Ovaries and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome The term polycystic ovary (PCO) refers to ovaries that contain numerous small ovarian cysts.  This problem is very common and affects a quarter of all women during their reproductive years.  The ovary normally recruits more than a single follicle every month and usually around five follicles start to mature, but only one usually proceeds to full maturity and releases an egg.  The other follicles do not mature and usually disappear, however, they can sometimes remain as ovarian cysts and this gives rise to PCO.  At least a dozen cysts are often present, though a few ovarian cysts may be considered normal. PCO is often asymptomatic and does not always have a significant impact on... View Article

Endometriosis

October 10, 2012 8:21 am

What is Endometriosis? The normal endometrium Endometriosis takes its name from the lining of the womb, which is called the endometrium.  The endometrium forms the uterine lining in which the early embryo implants.  It is the most dynamic of all tissue in the body, as it is shed each month and then completely regrows. At the beginning of the female monthly cycle the endometrium responds mainly to oestrogen and rapidly proliferates, thickens and becomes receptive for embryo implantation.  The endometrium is maintained in this state by progesterone in the second half of the cycle.  If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels fall and the endometrium disintegrates and bleeding occurs, and then the cycle begins again.  Displaced endometrial tissue in the... View Article

Uterine Fibroids and Fertility

October 1, 2012 8:06 am

  What are Fibroids? Fibroids are a non-cancerous growth deriving from smooth muscle in the wall of the uterus (womb).  They are present in around a quarter of all women at some time in their lives.  Some fibroids are tiny, only a few millimetres across while others may continue to grow and reach a large size.   Fibroids are usually harmless and are often undetected.   Symptoms are experienced by only around 30% of women with fibroids.   Types of Fibroids Fibroids are named according to their location as follows:- Intramural fibroids are the most common type of fibroid and grow within the muscle tissue of the womb, beginning as small nodules which may cause distortion to the uterine cavity as they... View Article

When Should I Seek Advice About Fertility?

September 24, 2012 11:33 am

Should I Seek Fertility Advice? According to UK figures collated by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), about one in seven couples experience some difficulty in having a baby.  Dramatic advances in medical science mean that many previously misunderstood fertility problems can now be overcome.  However, many couples remain unsure if and when to seek professional help. How long should a couple try for a baby before suspecting that there may be a genuine difficulty?  This is not always an easy question to answer, after all there is only one opportunity each month to fertilise a single egg.  Furthermore, not all egg/sperm combinations are successful, and the majority of potential embryos naturally fail to develop, so one cannot expect... View Article

What is Your Ovarian or Reproductive Age?

September 24, 2012 11:03 am

  In my fertility practice, there have been occasions when men in their late 60s or even early 70s have come for consultation, keen to father a child. I have prescribed the semen analysis expecting low sperm numbers (oligozoospermia) or poorly swimming sperm (asthenozoospermia), only to see the patient a few weeks later in my clinic with normal semen results and be confronted with the question, ‘What next?’  In males, the creation of sperm is a continuous process which is maintained until late in life.  Collection of the male gametes is generally easy. By contrast, the situation in females is very different.  Women ovulate only during the reproductive phase of their life. Nature predetermines a fixed number of oocytes while... View Article

Outline of a Typical Stimulated Cycle for IVF, ICSI or Egg Freezing

September 11, 2012 9:42 am

Preparing for Treatment Once any diagnostic investigations are complete and you have decided to opt for a stimulated cycle, your clinic will probably organise a nurses meeting so that consents and paperwork can be completed, along with the opportunity to see the clinic where egg collection will take place.  Your clinic should also make sure that the correct medications are given to you, and that mandatory blood screens have been done.  These are Hepatitis B core Antibody, Hepatitis B surface antigen, Hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV1&2).  Preparing for egg collection involves stimulating your ovaries to produce as many good quality eggs as possible, instead of a single egg as is the case in a natural cycle.  This involves... View Article

Men’s Guide to Sperm Tests

August 29, 2012 12:31 pm

It might appear that men are neglected when it comes to the fertility clinic.  This isn’t really the case, it’s just that female infertility is usually overcome by treating the woman and male infertility is also often a matter treating the female, sometimes with sperm that has been specially prepared or obtained.  The primary purpose of the semen analysis is to decide whether any intervention is necessary and if so, to select the most appropriate way forwards.  What follows is a brief guide to the tests that the semen laboratory will carry out along with an explanation of what the results mean.   Producing the sample The best semen sample is obtained after between 2 – 3 days sexual abstinence. ... View Article

Sperm DNA Fragmentation: Is It Clinically Relevant?

August 22, 2012 9:30 am

A single spermatozoon is a remarkable achievement of nature.  This is the smallest and most physically active cell in the human body and is highly specialised for one simple function – fertilisation of the egg.  To achieve this, the sperm have adapted to eliminate all unnecessary baggage.  The sperm consists of a tail connected to a biological engine which provides huge energy supplies for the long journey to the egg.  At the head of the sperm is tiny bag-like structure called the acrosome, which detonates on contact, shedding enzymes which cut through the outer layers of the egg allowing the sperm access to the surface, where it binds and then enters initiating fertilisation.  This must surely be one of the... View Article