Infertility is defined as an inability to become pregnant after a man and woman attempt to conceive for one year, through intercourse without the use of birth control. Infertility affects up to 15% of couples who try for one year in the late 20s and early 30s but the rate is higher in late 30s and 40s.
Infertility is typically diagnosed by your OB-GYN, who will usually refer you to a fertility specialist after a year of unsuccessful attempts to conceive. For mothers of advanced maternal age (over 35) it’s advisable to seek the opinion of a fertility specialist before you proceed, or if you’ve been unsuccessful after 6 months. Even if your OB-GYN is fairly positive about your chances of conceiving naturally, it’s not a bad idea to seek the second opinion of a fertility specialist.
Complex Infertility Cases Require a Customized Approach
There are no simple cases of infertility. While age is often a factor, other reasons, or combinations of reasons, exist that can make natural conception nearly impossible. Not being able to conceive on your own is extremely frustrating and stressful, leading to guesswork, anxiety, and often blame. While those feelings are quite normal, being evaluated by someone who is an expert in determining cause and finding a solution is crucial.
Dr. Aykut Bayrak is a leader in the field of infertility, and is a firm believer in taking an individualized approach to the reproductive care of his patients. With state-of-the-art testing and advanced reproductive technology, Dr. Bayrak can identify the issue, or issues, and make an in-depth evaluation before customizing a specific treatment protocol to resolve your inability to conceive.
Dr. Bayrak approaches each case with the utmost attention to detail. Complex infertility cases, especially, warrant treatment be carried out in this manner. With a dedicated treatment team you will feel more at ease with each appointment, and know your treatment matters to us in a very holistic way. We get to know you and understand the deep significance involved in your quest to add to your family.
Common Causes for Complex Cases
Although each patient is unique and each treatment involves a customized protocol, there are often common causes which compromise your fertility. The most common, of course, is age. A woman’s eggs diminish with each cycle, and as she nears menopause, the quality of the eggs may suffer. Age can affect the viability of the embryos as well, as chromosomal abnormalities are more common in older mothers. Some other reasons your fertility may be disrupted include:
As many as 25% of women experiencing infertility can look to the eggs they produce. Either the quality of the eggs is a factor, the amount of eggs in reserve has diminished greatly, or a woman has ceased to have periods due to a medical condition, or emotional factor, as in an eating disorder.
Dr. Bayrak will ascertain the reason behind your compromised ovulation and treat accordingly, often incorporating a multi-disciplinary approach. Lifestyle changes, as well as using medication, or a combination of medications, to stimulate the ovaries, it’s often possible to remedy the ovulation issue, and harvest eggs suitable for IVF.
Tubal disease, blocked tubes, or an ectopic pregnancy are all considered impediments to conception. In particular, an ectopic pregnancy poses an extreme threat to the life of the mother, and immediate medical help is necessary.
Fallopian tubes which are blocked due to scar tissue from an infection, surgical procedure, or endometriosis, are a fairly common reason for infertility. Dr. Bayrak will evaluate the condition of your fallopian tubes, and may recommend a procedure to open the tubes. However, in most cases treatment via IVF doesn’t require surgery on the fallopian tubes.
Uterine abnormalities can make it impossible to carry a baby to term. Surgery is almost always necessary in the case of uterine scar tissue, fibroids, polyps, and an abnormally shaped uterus.
While many cervical conditions affect your ability to become pregnant, they are often not the sole cause of infertility. The most common cervical problems are remedied with antibiotics or other medications, or by employing the use of intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Male factor infertility is not uncommon and is the sole lack of success in conception via natural intercourse as often as female infertility. Age can be a factor in the viability of sperm, although not as severely as age affects a woman’s eggs. In 10% of infertile couples, male factor infertility is part of a combination of causes contributing to the inability to conceive naturally.
Male factor infertility is diagnosed via a sperm analysis. Abnormal sperm can be caused by an obstruction, such as a varicocele (varicose veins in the scrotum) or a duct obstruction. The cause may also be a hormone imbalance, or an infection. While a duct obstruction or varicocele often involves a surgical procedure, other causes respond well to medication, such as antibiotics or hormones.
In roughly 10% of couples who fail to conceive naturally there is no obvious cause based on basic testing and therefore these cases are labeled as “unexplained infertility”. This can add to the grief and frustration you feel, and Dr. Bayrak and his team understand your feelings. Based on advanced testing through the LA IVF clinics and laboratories, Dr. Bayrak and his team can actually find the underlying cause in almost all of such cases. Once the underlying cause is determined, a customized approach based on the actual issue can solve the puzzle resulting in a successful pregnancy and outcome.