In a marriage, when infertility strikes, it can make the relationship crumble especially if the foundation and love are not that strong. A lot of couples, married or not want to have their own children. Most were blessed but 1 out of 10 couples have infertility problems. It’s a huge disappointment and I know the feeling coz I’ve been in the same boat more than a decade ago. But, science and technology had tremendously progressed through the years and treatment options are now available.
Last October 21st, Merck Philippines held a symposium at EDSA Shangri-la entitled “Bridging Baby Steps”. It aimed to deliver hope, facts, information and positive treatment options to those who sought answers to their infertility problems. The event was well attended as many were greatly interested in the topic.
Debunking the Fertility Myths
Here are just a few of the Fertility Myths discussed and I’m pretty sure you’ve heard your elders mention them at one point or another. Though note that these are what you call “old wives’ tales” and unfortunately had been debunked by professional doctors. Don’t worry if you tried several of them, you are not alone, coz I did too! *wink*
1. Eat spicy food to make you fertile – I probably heard this from my aunt hahaha but hubby and I are not fond of anything spicy, so this was scratched from our list. You’ll just get hot, sweaty and thirsty and pretty much nothing to do with making you fertile.
2. Early morning is the best time to copulate – You know, both of you are well-rested, lots of energy, sperm cells have been replenished overnight. The well-rested portion might be true, as well as having a ton of energy to perform, but totally nothing to do with the latter. Well, if you think you got preggo just by having sex purely in the mornings, you’re lucky!
3. If you work at it and want it that much, then you will get pregnant – All it gave me was a huge disappointment and an immense amount of stress, which affected the process. A friend said they did it every single day for a week or two, then she got pregnant. You should be relaxed, have a healthy mind and body, be in a stress-free environment.
4. Do a headstand right after sex to help sperms find their way – Would you believe I did this?! Hahaha! My aunt (again) said it will point the sperms to the right direction as well as not let them “fall to waste”, LOL. The doc said sperms are chemically programmed to travel where they are supposed to, so no need to do acrobats!
5. Drinking a lot of cough syrup will help sperm travel easier to the cervix – I dunno what’s the connection but this is actually dangerous especially if you don’t have a cough or you just bought one over-the-counter for this purpose alone. Imagine, combining Myth no. 3 with this, you’d be a cough syrup addict before you know it, and will totally blow your chances of conceiving.
If you have been trying to get pregnant for a long time now, did it occur to you that there might be a medical problem with you or your husband? I had PCOS which made it relatively hard to get preggy. I had to undergo a work-up with my OB-Gyne, hubby went for a sperm count test. Turned out, I was the problem. If you’d been examined already and treated yet still having a really trying time to conceive, this following topic might be of great interest, so please read on.
Treatment Options for Infertility
A few decades back, these infertility treatments were unheard of and when finally introduced to the Philippines, the church and some pro-life groups were quick to judge the irreligious solution. But through the years, some have finally accepted, though not all those who have infertility problems seek advice and not all those who seek actually went through the procedures.
Ovulation Induction + Follicle Monitoring + Timed Intercourse
There are pre-requisites before this treatment can be administered and timing must be followed:
– egg quality must be good for higher chances
– fallopian tubes have to be open
– sperm quality is also taken into consideration and they must be “good-looking”, have adequate numbers and “fast swimmers”
If you are 20-30 years old, there’s a 25% of getting pregnant and 10% for those above 35 years old.
Ovulation Induction + Follicle Monitoring + Intrauterine Insemination
For this treatment, the sperms will be directly introduced to facilitate fertilization and commonly known as “artificial insemination”. It bypasses the cervix and placed in the uterus to help achieve much higher chances of conceiving. In short, it gives sperms a headstart due to low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility.
Pre Requisites :
– There should be a good quality egg
– At least ONE of the fallopian tubes have to be open
– Total motile sperms inseminated: 5 Million
Chances of getting pregnant: 15 – 20 percent per cycle
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
This treatment may be more expensive but it gives the highest percentage of fertilization. Babies conceived via this treatment is also commonly called “test tube babies”. I see nothing wrong with it because the embryo will be eventually transferred to the uterus and a woman will still experience pregnancy and delivery.
Pre Requisites :
– There should be a minimum number of developing follicles
– The fallopian tubes are NOT required
– There should be a minimum number of “good-looking” sperms
Chances of getting pregnant : 41 percent (below 35 y/o); 12 percent (41-42 y/o)
The doctor will have to know the factors causing infertility before suggesting a treatment. I believe, a patient can do the first treatment above initially which is less invasive and when it doesn’t work, can move on to the next and the last is IVF.
If your biological clock is ticking fast and you have the means to choose IVF, then consult with your doctor. If you are getting old and still don’t have plans to get married, get pregnant, or pregnancy is in the least of your priorities in life, but don’t want to waste your healthy eggs, then you might want to look into freezing your eggs. Who knows, when you’re all ready to get preggo and all but having a hard time conceiving, then at least you already made plan B a long time ago.
Want to know more about infertility and explore your options? Visit https://www.facebook.com/fertilityawarenessphilippines/