Basic checks before you consult a fertility doc

A checklist of things that must be okay even before you head for fertility treatments…

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You’re trying for a baby. But for some reason, it’s just not happening… Here are five things you must have checked with your specialist before considering IVF and other treatments… (Plus four for him…)

Check that you don’t have these with your gyne before heading for the fertility treatment:

Egg (ovum) production issues


Problems in producing the eggs (also known as female ova) can lead to infertility. Ovulation is primarily controlled by the various female hormones from the brain and the ovaries, and there are many potential disruptive factors affecting the balance of these hormones, such as PCOS, excessive exercise, chronic poor health and so on.

Fallopian tubes — are they clear?


These account for approximately 15 per cent of the causes of subfertility in women. The Fallopian tubes are crucial for the transport of the egg and the male sperm (which swim up the tube to meet the egg). Any blockage can interfere with this, including endometriosis, pelvic infections, a woman having had a previous ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilised egg starts developing in the tubes rather than going to the uterus) or previous pelvic surgery.

Endometriosis


When you end up with endometrial (uterus lining) tissues outside the uterus but within the pelvis — it’s endometriosis. This is a chronic inflammatory process that can potentially damage the Fallopian tubes, ovaries and even the uterus.

Uterine factors


There are several abnormalities of the uterus (or “womb”) that can contribute to fertility problems such as malformations of the uterus from your own birth, septae (when tissue divides the uterus), certain fibroids and so on.

Genetic problems


Genetic abnormalities affecting the female reproductive system are uncommon. But they can influence an affected woman’s fertility potential through different mechanisms including those mentioned above.