As a woman ages, her eggs are more prone to genetic chromosomal abnormalities. These abnormalities may sometimes lead to increased age-related infertility, miscarriages and birth defects. The most common cause is age. When a woman is over 4o these chances are increased and it may be healthier for the child, and the mother, to use […]
Fertility treatments have vastly improved over the past few years, which are allowing women to conceive and have healthy children, some into their 50’s.
There has been some concern that the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones could lead to sperm damage and male infertility. However, cell phones do not emit enough energy to mechanistically cause damage to sperm. For this reason, the World Health Organization recommends no further research initiatives on this topic. A recent publication in Environmental […]
The human egg has two main compartments; the nucleus, which contains a person’s DNA (genome – repository of hereditary information) organized into 46 chromosomes of which 23 are inherited from the mother and 23 from the father; and the cytoplasm, which surrounds the nucleus and contains all of the components needed to maintain egg viability and support reproduction. One can visualize the nucleus as the yolk of a sunny-side up egg and the cytoplasm as the egg white. To prepare for fertilization by sperm, the egg discards one member of each of its 23 chromosome pairs (23 discarded) in order to present the correct number to the sperm, which carries 23 chromosomes, the result being a fertilized egg (embryo) containing the normal human complement of 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. Discarding one member of each of the 23 chromosome pairs requires a lot of energy
A recent study published in the journal, Menopause, found that women, who had children later in life, were twice as likely to live longer lives (up to age 95). The group of older mothers was compared to a cohort who stopped having children by age 29. The average age of motherhood is increasing as more women delay family building in order to complete educational and professional goals. Egg freezing and egg donation are now allowing women to conceive and carry pregnancies safely into their mid-fifties. Since modern women in industrialized countries are living well into their 80’s, it is reassuring to know that later-in-life pregnancies do not foreshorten longevity.
I would like to talk to you about tubal factor infertility. This is infertility related to the fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes are actually very important for fertility. The fallopian tube picks up the egg from the ovary; it’s in the fallopian tube where the egg is actually fertilized by sperm; it’s in the fallopian tube that the embryo grows for the first 3 days of development. So the fallopian tube nourishes the embryo and helps transport it to the uterus.
Today I would like to talk to you about Ovarian Reserve. The term ovarian reserve means egg inventory, how many eggs are left in the ovary. When a woman starts menstruating as a teenager she has about 500,000 eggs in her ovaries, and over time batches of these eggs will be released every month. So by the age of 30 a woman only has 10% of her eggs left, and at age 40 she only has 3% of her eggs left. That sounds rather alarming, but the good news is fertility is still quite good when a woman is in her thirties.
Angelina Jolie recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times describing the impact breast cancer has had in her life. Angelina Jolie is a carrier of a gene mutation known as BRCA 1. Carriers of this gene mutation have an 80% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. The only known prevention is double mastectomy.
BRCA 1 and 2 genes are normal genes found in the body. The typical role of these genes is to keep DNA stable and prevent cells from growing out of control, or mutating. Mutations of either BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 genes can lead to loss of cell control and the development of various cancers, among which breast and ovarian cancers are most prevalent.
Of all infertility cases, nearly half are the result of female factor infertility, and half are the result of male factor infertility. Male infertility may include a range of issues such as: abnormal sperm, low sperm count, genetically mutated sperm, a complete absence of sperm, or sexual dysfunction.
Male fertility is evaluated with the use of the semen analysis. This test primarily evaluates the semen for sperm count, motility (how they swim) and morphology (how the sperm are shaped). Men with semen analysis abnormalities should be evaluated by a qualified practitioner as it may be the sign of other health problems.
Once evaluated, male infertility may be treatable depending on the severity of the infertility. Sperm quality may be improved by lifestyle changes such as limiting time in hot baths and. . .
I recently put together an answer to the question “What Are Fertility Drugs?,” for the Sharecare.com online health network hosted by Dr. OZ. I wanted to post my answer her on my blog too to help my own clients understand more about the differences between the various fertility medications they may be prescribed here in my own clinic and practice.
There are a variety of drugs used for fertility treatment. Some are used to produce more ovarian egg follicles. Some are also used to suppress the pituitary gland and prevent ovulation. Others are used to support the uterine lining and early pregnancy.
Read my detailed answer here. . .