Infertility is usually defined as an inability to get pregnant after one year of trying. Older women, however, aged over 35, should probably seek advice sooner.The term is also sometimes used to describe women who do get pregnant, but repeatedly miscarry, as there may be common factors.
Yes, about 1 in 6 of couples experience some difficulty in achieving a pregnancy.
No, both men and women can have medical problems that cause difficulty in conceiving; in about a third of couples, both partners have problems
Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation (the monthly release of an egg). Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating may include irregular or absent menstrual periods.
Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility and may affect up to 60% of UAE women
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is another cause of ovulation problems. POI occurs when a woman´s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40. POI is not the same as early menopause, as regular periods may still be present.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
Many women are now waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. So age is a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems.
Ageing decreases a woman's chances of having a baby in the following ways:
Some men have reduced numbers of sperm, reduced quality, or both. In some cases, there may be complete absence of sperm. These problems are sometimes related to more general medical problems, such as diabetes, or there may be genetic factors.
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Many times these treatments are combined.
The treatment will depend on the results of a variety of tests that can be performed to determine the cause of the problem. In many cases, all that will be needed is advice - with regard to timing, for example; sometimes, lack of ovulation can be treated with simple medication. More complicated problems, such as blocked fallopian tubes, or severe male infertility, may require more sophisticated intervention.
This depends on the cause of infertility and each couple´s circumstances. The woman´s age, for example, is a very important factor.
The success of treatment needs to be seen within the context of normal fertility - under the age of 30, about 85% of women will get pregnant within a year of trying. Over the age of 40, the chance each month is about 5%.
Many treatments will simply restore the "normal" chance of pregnancy, so it is still necessary to try for a few months. More sophisticated treatments such as IVF have higher individual success rates but, again, this is very dependent on circumstances.
In some countries, clinics are required by law to report their success rates to the authorities, but this is not the case in the UAE.
As a guide, in the UK, 32% of women aged less than 35, achieved a live birth following IVF in 2009. For those aged 40-44, the figure was 8%. The figures for the USA and other European countries are broadly similar.
Our central philosophy encompasses the concepts of honesty, commitment and adaptability.
This means that we treat our patients as unique individuals who each need an individualized approach to their care. We are committed to giving an accurate and honest assessment of every case.
It can be difficult to obtain clear information on success rates, procedures and costs, so our aim is to be fully transparent in our dealings with all patients, who will be made fully aware of what treatments are recommended, what costs are involved, and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Bourn Hall Dubai is part of the group that was responsible for the first IVF live birth in 1978, and we work closely with our UK and other international colleagues to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest possible standard of care. The concepts of collaboration and teamwork are central to our approach.