Taking the time to care for yourself and to learn about certain foods & lifestyle changes can really help women to not only conceive, but feel better throughout the fertility journey. Many women struggling to get pregnant have PCOS or insulin imbalances, both of which can prevent them from getting pregnant naturally or prevent them […]
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.
Over the past several years, I’ve had the good fortune of collaborating with Sarah Richards on several magazine and newspaper articles. After reading and providing technical advice on her book, Motherhood Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It, I commented that “This is a must read for every woman contemplating fertility preservation.”
Since her book came out Sarah has evolved into a spokesman for women’s fertility choices and egg freezing. Recently we were excited to see an article written by Sarah featured in Cosmopolitan. Our whole office was impressed by the way Sarah describes the egg freezing process, as well as the moral and emotional impact surrounding a woman’s choice to preserve her own fertility.
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.
This month I wanted to take the opportunity to answer some quick questions that I sometimes get here at our clinic. If you have any topics or questions you’d like me to address, post a response to this blog entry. The first step toward battling infertility is becoming educated about infertility.
Question: Can more than one egg be released during ovulation?
Answer: Every month dozens of egg follicles are released by the ovary. The pituitary gland secretes a Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in order to promote the growth of the egg follicles. Once the egg follicles begin to grow, they release a potent estrogen hormone called estradiol. This hormone travels from the ovary back to the pituitary gland and causes a decrease in secretion
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. . .