Infertility

Infertility

What is "normal" fertility?

How common is sub-fertility?

What are the causes?

Where does laparoscopy fit in to investigation and treatment?

 






Dr Orford is the Medical Director of 2 IVF clinics
- Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast / Bundaberg
- Affordable IVF Sunshine Coast / Bundaberg

What is "normal" fertility?

"Fecundability" refers to the chance that a couple, having regular intercourse, has of falling pregnant each month. This is generally accepted to be about 20% (per month). By 6 months of trying about 75% of couples will have conceived, and by 12 months the figure is about 90%.

Couples not pregnant by 12 months of trying have about a 5% chance each month thereafter. This group we consider to be "subfertile" and in need of investigation as to the cause (if possible), and may or may not benefit from treatment.

These chances are also affected by age, and in women over 35 years of age we would suggest investigation and possible treatment after 6 months of trying. This is partly because success rates of treatment are also heavily dependent on the woman's age (due to egg quality).

For more information re fertility treatment, Dr Orford is also the Medical Director of Fertility Solutions Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg (link to fssc.com.au).

How common is sub-fertility?

Sub-fertility is age related. It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples will take more than 12 months to conceive when the woman's age is up to 30 years. This figure is about 1 in 3 when the woman reaches age 35, and 1 in 2 by age 40.    

Infertility (completely unable to conceive) is rarer. Conditions such as complete azoospermia (zero sperm count), or premature menopause (no eggs left in the ovaries), or an absent uterus (either surgically or rarely congenitally) are not treatable without donors being involved.

What are the causes ?

Infertility can be roughly divided into male factors, female factors, and "unexplained" infertility.
These can be divided further into categories - see fssc.com.au

Where does laparoscopy fit in to investigation and treatment?

Laparoscopy allows inspection / examination of the female pelvis, and can diagnose factors that affect fertility such as:

Some of these conditions can be treated / addressed at the time of initial diagnostic laparoscopy, and improve the chance of fertility without the need to use other reproductive assistance (eg IVF).

Risks of laparoscopy: