Five Fertility Facts (or Fiction?) Part 2

by Expat Life
Fertility

Dr. Patsama Vichinsartvichai M.D., MClinEmbryol.Fertility Specialist, Medical Director, INSPIRE IVF

In the first part of this article in the last edition of Expat Life Magazine, we explored some facts (or fiction) regarding fertility treatments and all of them were just myths. This part will explore more regarding the urban legend and see if there is any fact.

Absolute bed rest after embryo transfer – FICTION

Many well-designed studies have found that the pregnancy outcomes among the women who have bed rest after embryo transfer and the women who just get up and go are similar. However, I have seen many patients who were chained to their bed in front of the restroom in their house for a week or more after embryo transfer. Imagine yourself as an active woman or career lady who has to lay still like that. Not only can mental stress occur, but also other unpleasant medical conditions such as cystitis, or even venous thromboembolism can follow. Live your normal life. Get out and walk the dog. You can do most of your daily life activities. YOU’RE JUST FERTILITY CHALLENGED, NOT SICK.

Infertility is the woman’s fault – FICTION

Lab

‘Female Trouble’ sounds more complicated than ‘Deadlier Than the Male’. However, 25-35% of the primary infertility roots from sperm issues such as low sperm count or high abnormal sperm, and male infertility is on the rise worldwide. Even in couples with female-related infertility, mild sperm defects contribute to make it difficult to conceive without help. It’s crucial for men be involved in the infertility evaluations from the outset, starting with a semen analysis. If a serious abnormality is identified, consultation with a urologist will be necessary.

Male age makes no difference – FICTION

The advancing paternal age may impair semen parameters, increase sperm DNA damage, and epigenetic alterations that affect fertilization, embryo development, and implantation. Studies have found that if the female was younger than 40, the success rate declined as the man grew older. On the other hand, the age of the male partner had no impact when the female partner was older than 40 years.

Freezing embryos is risky, fresh is the best – FICTION

Over 95% of embryos survive the frozen-thaw process, hence freezing embryos is no longer considered risky. Most studies reported higher pregnancy rates from frozen embryos than fresh embryos. The other benefits of frozen embryos are that they do not age, and it allows the time to run genetic tests.

Being on birth control for too long leads to infertility – FICTION

Spermatozoons

Some women believe that oral contraceptive pills lead to long-term infertility. Most birth control methods involve hormone regulation, and consequently change the reproductive system. In fact, most women are able to ovulate within weeks of going off birth control (only one day missed might lead to pregnancy as well) and over 80% of women get pregnant within a year of stopping birth control. Further benefits of birth control are its protective effect against ovarian and endometrial cancer.

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