Fertility issues

Growing up, most of us thought about having babies. We wondered whether we’d have a boy or a girl – or maybe even twins! We thought about how many we’d like and what it would be like to play house.

It was all very exciting.

Those childhood daydreams never involved wondering whether fertility would be an issue.

Fertility issues are difficult. For those that suffer through fertility issues, it’s painful and personal, and most don’t feel comfortable openly discussing it.

Because it’s not discussed, or even given much consideration until it becomes an issue, there is a lot of misinformation and a lot of myth surrounding fertility.

Fertility issues affect 16% of Canadians, that’s about 1 in 6 couples.

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What do you really know about fertility issues? We teamed up with OvaScience who have recently launched the AUGMENT treatment in Canada to assist women who are struggling with fertility due to egg health to figure out fact from fiction and provide some insight into the subject.

Myth 1: Fertility issues usually stem from the woman

Actually… Fertility issues can lie with either partner. In men some of the factors that can lead to fertility issues are:

  • Varicoceles – an enlarged vein in the testicles that may affect sperm count and shape
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, infections, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy
  • Unhealthy lifestyle issues such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, use of anabolic steroids or other illegal drugs
  • Environmental toxins such as pesticides and lead

Myth 2: It’s just stress. When you stop trying, it will happen

Actually… Stress doesn’t cause infertility, but infertility will definitely cause a lot of stress.

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Myth 3: There has to be a reason.

Actually… While there is a reason, sometimes science doesn’t have all of the answers. Both couples may be in perfect health and seem to be reproductively fit, yet there’s just no success. Unexplained fertility is the diagnosis for between 15 to 30% of couples who have undergone fertility investigation.

Myth 4: It’s easy for most women to get pregnant

Actually… Though it may seem like pregnancy is easy and immediate for most women, it’s actually not as easy as you think. Despite the fact that it might sometimes feel like you’re constantly hearing announcements of a surprise, or that someone got pregnant even though they were on birth control, it takes a very specific set of ideal circumstances to make the magic happen. The timing has to be just right – there are only a few days a month that a woman can conceive. The egg has to be healthy. The uterus has to be in balance. The ejaculate has to have quality sperm that reach the egg. Fertilization needs to occur. The cell division has to happen correctly. Implantation needs to be successful. And even then, there are numerous reasons why a pregnancy doesn’t succeed.

Myth 5: Young women don’t struggle with infertility

Actually… The rate of infertility for women between 40 to 44 is over 14.3% to 20.7%, but the infertility rate of 18 to 29 year old women is 7 to 13.7%. Infertility in women definitely has a correlation to age – fertility is at its peak in a woman’s early 20s. Eggs are healthiest, rate of miscarriage is lowest. Still, the odds of successfully getting pregnant within a cycle is about 33%. Fertility starts to decrease more quickly for a woman through her 30s. By 30, the odds of getting pregnant each cycle are about 20%. These odds decrease steadily by the years until early 40s, when the likelihood of infertility is much higher. 91% of women can get pregnant at age 30; 77% by age 35; 53% by age 40.

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Myth 6: Infertile couples will never have children

Actually… Never say never. For some it may never happen, for others, circumstances may change. For many, the odds may be slim, but they’re just odds and it may just naturally happen. While fertility issues can occur because of a wide variety of factors, each case needs to be investigated because individual issues can vary so widely and even change over time.

With scientific development and a better understanding of reproductive health, new strategies for treatment may eventually help more couples experiencing fertility issues. OvaScience has recently introduced the AUGMENT treatment across Canada to help women who are struggling with their fertility due to poor egg health. While many factors contribute to egg health, having adequate levels of mitochondria, or energy inside of the egg is essential for healthy fertilization and embryo development. The AUGMENT treatment uses the energy-producing mitochondria from a patient’s own egg precursor cell, an immature egg cell found in the protective lining of her ovaries – to supplement the existing mitochondria in her egg.

If you are experiencing infertility, or just want to learn more about this new technology, you can visit http://www.augmenttreatment.com or talk to your doctor.

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