Feb 13

Side effects of Fertility Treatment

The side effects of fertility treatment can be different for everyone. Undergoing infertility treatments is no easy venture. Not only is it tough emotionally – waiting to see if you’ll finally have a successful pregnancy – but it can be taxing on your body physically too. Before you undergo any sort of treatment, it is important to know about all the possible side effects you might experience while using them.

 

While treatments like IVF are most popular today, fertility medications are still important to take while undergoing these treatments. There are different types of treatment methods that may be prescribed, but they all carry similar side effects. Below are some of the most common drugs used during treatments along with their potential side effects.

Some Common Drugs and Potential Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

Clomid or Serophene

These are often the first choice in treatment for most women because they have been used to treat infertility for over 20 years. Another reason is because of their little or no side effects experienced for most people. Some side effects include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Headaches

Clomid can also cause changes in cervical mucus, making it harder at times to tell if you are fertile. It has also been known to cause multiple births in some people, but comes with very small instances of this compared to other fertility treatments.

side effects of fertility treatment

side effects of fertility treatment

 

Injectable Hormones

If Clomid or Serophene aren’t effective in treating your infertility, your doctor may recommend Injectable hormones as a second option. These can include any of the following:

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (hMG)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Agonist (GnRH agonist)
  • Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone Antagonist (GnRH antagonist)

 

These injectable treatments do raise the risk for carrying multiples quite a bit. So before undergoing these treatments, it is important to consider whether this would be a viable option for you and your partner. Aside from this, the physical infertility treatment side effects experienced during treatment are not particularly worse than with Clomid.

 

  • Bruising, swelling or redness at the injection site.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation: Although this is a rare condition, it causes the ovaries to become enlarged and tender.

    side effects of fertility treatment

Other Side Effects of Fertility Treatment

Although these treatments below are used far less often in infertility treatment, in certain cases they do become necessary.

 

Heparin: Heparin is used for women who experience multiple spontaneous miscarriages. Side effects can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Fever or chills
  • Headache, nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or weakness in limbs
  • Increased menstrual bleeding
  • Bruise-like patches on skin
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Hair loss

 

Antagon (ganirelix): This is another injectable used to stop women from ovulating prematurely during infertility treatments. Some possible side effects include:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Weight gain
  • Stomach pain or swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased urination

 

Parlodel and Dostinex: These are used to lower certain hormones (prolactin) and decrease the size of a pituitary tumor that may be causing a decrease in ovulation. These are given orally or vaginally, not injected. Side effects are very mild and can include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble sleeping

If you experience more serious side effects such as confusion, swelling, nasal discharge, shortness of breath or hallucinations, then contact a doctor immediately.

 

Although side effects can seem overwhelming at first, keep in mind that they are not experienced by everybody, and when they are usually mild.

Feb 05

How To Get Good Infertility Counseling

When you are having trouble conceiving and going through infertility treatments, it can be a stressful time. That is why any specialists recommend you seek  specialized, good infertility counseling during your treatment.

 

When you need to go through the treatment processes, the stress you experience emotionally and physically may

impact other parts of your life. It can affect your job performance, your social life and even your relationship with your partner. There will also be many important decisions you will need to make that can be difficult to decide on, as well as a lot of terms and procedures you don’t understand. You may need advice, direction, or just a listening ear.

 

Good Infertility Counseling can Help

 

Infertility counselors are trained to help you specifically with the issues and questions you are facing that your doctor may not always answer clearly enough. Even if you are not under heavy stress, you may have a lot of questions you need answered, or even help speaking with medical professionals or agencies. Infertility specialists know how to help you with these issues and more. These counselors can help you:

 

  • Learn more about any sort of fertility treatment options or medications
  • Find support groups and other parenting resources like doctors, playgroups, parenting courses or more
  • Help you make a decision that would best fit your family, depending on your situation and goals in the process
  • Help you maintain healthy relationships with your spouse, family and friends or even outside relationships like co workers and acquaintances
  • Help you through tough times like losing a pregnancy or having an unsuccessful attempt at conception
  • Looking at all of the fertility options available to you and deciding on one that suits your lifestyle and family
  • Deciding to choose alternate paths to build your family, such as adoption or fostering

 

How Infertility Counseling Works

Here is a glimpse inside a typical counseling session. Your counselor can:

 

  • Help you sort through your emotions and get to the root of your stress
  • Help you sort through treatment options, including both medical ones like IVF, or others like adoption or deciding to not have children
  • Discuss with you how your decisions will impact others in your life, and may change your relationships
  • Help you speak with doctors, agencies, etc to let them know exactly what you want
  • Help you deal with issues like depression, relationship problems or familial issues

 

Finding a Counselor

Good Infertility Counseling

Good Infertility Counseling

Here are some things to consider when looking for Infertility counseling

 

  • Is the counselor a certified member of a government-regulated agency or group?
  • Do they have the specialized training to deal with infertility issues?
  • If cost is an issue for you, be sure that your insurance will be accepted.

 

As you may have seen, good infertility counseling can be a truly valuable tool during treatments, whether you are experiencing emotional stress or just struggling with a decision. By seeing a counselor you and your partner may find yourselves able to open up easier than with a straightforward doctor, and make better informed decisions for your family and future.

Feb 03

How Does Infertility Treatment Work?

Answers to the question of how does infertility treatment work?

 

It is estimated that one tenth of the population becomes infertile in their reproductive years. That is a huge number and can seem daunting, but luckily science is always advancing in this area and there are increasingly more options for infertile couples. Many couples even have success without extensive treatments like IVF, opting instead for more modern options that are less physically (and financially) taxing.

 

Although the treatment you require will depend on your situation, medical history and maybe even your location, there are many options available to most. Keep reading below for a little more information on the most popular treatments successfully used to get some answers to the big question of how does infertility treatment work?

 

Fertility Medications

Fertility drugs are either taken orally or injected. These drugs work by releasing hormones that can induce ovulation and increase egg production. They also make the uterus more likely to accept implantation.

 

These types of treatments are usually for women who do not ovulate properly or have partners with low sperm count. About 40% of women who use this method will get pregnant.

 

Costs vary widely for this option, depending on whether ultrasounds and tests are included, ranging from $60 to $6000.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination uses specially cleaned sperm put directly into the uterus through a catheter. Usually this

How does infertility treatment work

How does infertility treatment work

method also includes taking fertility drugs to ensure successful insemination.

 

Typically, it is used for couples where the man has a low sperm count, making conception difficult. Some women with low or acidic cervical mucus that does not carry sperm properly can also benefit from the procedure.

 

While on the plus side it is a simple treatment that is done right in the doctor’s office, it has also been known to cause multiple births. On average the cost ranges from $800-$1000.

 

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

IVF works in processes called cycles. One cycle means that some eggs are extracted and mixed with sperm in a laboratory. Once embryos begin to develop, they are implanted in the uterus and the rest put in storage.

 

IVF is usually used for women over age 35 who may have trouble conceiving because of biological reasons, or

How does infertility treatment work

How does infertility treatment work

women with damaged Fallopian tubes. It is also used for couples with unexplained infertility, or where the man has low sperm count.

 

Having been one of the longest standing treatment options, IVF has pretty good success rates. At least 20% of couples will successfully become pregnant from just one cycle. Subsequent cycles can use the stored embryos from earlier extractions. The con here is usually the cost, costing $8000 per cycle.

 

Sperm From a Donor

This process uses sperm from a donor other than the intended father. The sperm is used for a typical IVF process (as detailed above). This process is usually used for male infertility, single women, men carrying genetic disorders, or two women.

How does infertility treatment work

How does infertility treatment work

 

While the procedure can have an 80% success rate, this is typically after 6 or more cycles. One cycle has a 15% rate, with subsequent ones getting higher and higher.

 

This option costs $300 or more, but must also include IVF treatment, which can add upwards of $8000.

Feb 01

5 Of The Most Common Causes of Infertility in Women

The most common causes of infertility in women often go unnoticed until you actually try and conceive. This can leave many couples feeling discouraged and wondering whether they will ever be able to get pregnant. Infertility however, is a condition that is treated far more commonly now and it is possible for most to have a successful pregnancy. But before jumping into treatment options, it is important to understand why your body might not be getting pregnant, and how you can help it along. You may even be able to do so with other methods sometimes. Below are the most common conditions associated with infertility.

 

Most Common Causes of Infertility in Women

 

Endometriosis

What it is: This is a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. This excess growth can cause

fallopian tube blockages and ovulation problems.

 

Symptoms: Painful periods, pelvic pain, painful urination or bowel movements during menstruation.

 

Treatments: Laparoscopic surgery is most commonly used to treat endometriosis by removing abdominal tissue or unblocking tubes, certain fertility drugs are also used such as intrauterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization.

 

Ovulation Problems

What it is: When someone says ovulation problems ‘they are referring to anything that prevents an ovary from releasing a mature egg,

 

Symptoms: Usually symptoms are related to menstruation – missed periods, or very light or very heavy bleeding. Infrequent or irregular cycles can signal problems too.

 

Treatments: Ovulation stimulating medications or prolactin suppressants. These can include clomiphene, bromocriptine and others.

 

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

What it is: Small cysts may grow on the ovary during each cycle, disrupting ovulation. PCOS is caused by a

most common causes of infertility in women

Most common causes of infertility in women

hormonal imbalance.

 

Symptoms: Symptoms are usually mild, but can include weight gain, irregular periods or excessive body hair growth.

 

Treatments: Treatments options can include small, natural lifestyle changes such as losing weight or dietary changes. Ovulation stimulating drugs are also used when needed.

 

Low Egg Quality

What it is: Low egg quality typically develops in women over age 35. Egg quality declines during this time and can lead to damaged eggs, or eggs with abnormalities that cannot sustain a pregnancy.

most common causes of infertility in women

Most common causes of infertility in women

 

Symptoms: The only symptoms here are difficulty conceiving and miscarriages.

 

Treatments: Egg or embryo donation or surrogacy is typically the options most couples use. Some also choose to adopt.

 

Tube Blockages

What it is: Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes can cause eggs to not be able to reach the uterus, or can stop sperm from reaching eggs. Pelvic inflammatory disease, STDs and previous sterilization surgeries can all be factors.

 

Symptoms: Aside from inability to conceive, there are no other symptoms.

 

Treatments: Laparoscopic surgery to open the tubes. IVF is another option if tubes are too damaged to be repaired with surgery.

 

Determining the Problem

In order to find out what the cause of infertility might be, your doctor may order any one of several tests. These can include:

  • blood tests to check your hormone levels
  • endometrial biopsy to check the lining of the uterus

 

In certain cases where tubes might be blocked or excess scar tissue is present, these tests may also be ordered:

 

  • Hysterosalpingography (HSG): this test includes x rays and ultrasounds taken of the reproductive organs.
  • Laparoscopy: A small tube with a fiber optic camera is inserted into the abdomen through a very small incision. This way, the doctor can see the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes easily and be able to diagnose conditions.

 

No matter what problems you are experiencing, it is important to discuss it with your doctor. That way you can get to the root of the problems and find solutions sooner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 31

10 Major Symptoms of Infertility in Females

When you are looking to find answers about symptoms of infertility in females, there are a lot of signs you can look out for at home by yourself, before even heading to the doctor. If you think you might be having trouble conceiving, keep reading below to discover if any of these symptoms or problems might signal that you need some extra help.

symptoms of infertility in females

symptoms of infertility in females

 

Symptoms of Infertility in Females

 

There are some signs you can watch out for in your monthly menstrual cycle that can signal infertility issues. If you are experiencing any of the following regularly, be sure to talk with a medical professional.

 

  • Irregular Cycles: An irregular menstrual cycle can be a sign of ovulation problems. If your cycle lasts 24 hours or less, or you menstruate for more than 30 days in a row, you should see your doctor to rule out possible causes and problems.
  • Bleeding Patterns: Your bleeding patterns can also tell you a lot about your levels of fertility. Although bleeding for 3-7 days is normal, having irregular patterns from one month to the next can signal something. For example, if you often have a very light menstruation followed by a very heavy one the next month, you should seek some medical advice. If you consistently bleed very heavily or very lightly every month, this can be a symptom of infertility as well.
  • Extreme Cramp Pain: Having light stomach cramping during your cycle is normal, but if it affects you so much that you cannot go to work nor do any of your non-active normal daily activities, then they may be a symptom of a deeper problem.

 

There are also some lifestyle habits that may contribute to infertility. If you have trouble with any of these health

 symptoms of infertility in females

symptoms of infertility in females

issues, then solving them may help you conceive in the future.

 

  • Your Weight: If you are overweight or underweight, your body is working in overdrive and usually cannot conceive properly. Being over or under weight can also leads to miscarriage and health problems during pregnancy, so it is a good idea to keep your weight within a healthy range if you plan to get pregnant.
  • Substances: Smoking cigarettes, drinking excessively or abusing any sort of substance can put a serious damper on your chances of conceiving, and lead to multiple problems with your baby during pregnancy. If you have trouble with any of these, seek help to stop them before trying to conceive again.
  • Stress: Stress can play a big role in your ability to conceive. If you feel excess stress, find ways to help you relax more like hobbies, exercise or herbs and teas.

 

Medical History can also play a role in possible infertility in females. Consider any of the following illnesses that you may have been, or may be experiencing:

 

  • Chronic Illnesses: Chronic Illnesses like diabetes, thyroid problems or even high blood pressure can contribute to fertility troubles. Taking medications associated with these such as thyroid hormones or insulin may be factors as well.
  • Depression: Depression has been known to cause infertility itself, but the main problem here is usually the antidepressants prescribed to treat the illness. If you suffer from depression and take antidepressants, speak with your doctor about possibly switching medications, or changing dosages.
  • STDs: Some sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea can actually cause a blockage in the fallopian tubes, making it impossible to conceive, or have ectopic pregnancies. If you are having trouble conceiving, be sure to be screened for these.
  • Cancer Treatment: Radiation treatments from cancer care may lead to infertility for many women. If you have
    symptoms of infertility in females

    symptoms of infertility in females

    had these treatments, it is important to speak with your doctor about this side effect.

 

Infertility can be caused by many things, but if you experience any of the above symptoms or have had any of these problems, it may be a big reason why you can’t get pregnant.