Fertility care – The art of becoming pregnant | 3 min read

Cases of infertility among South African couples are increasingly common with reports indicating that more than 20% of South Africans struggle to conceive naturally. Infertility is usually diagnosed if you don’t conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. Don’t wait. If you’ve been trying to become pregnant for about a year, make an appointment with a reproductive specialist. If a woman is 35 years or older however, it is best to initiate a fertility care evaluation after six months of unprotected intercourse.

It is important to know that infertility is not just a female problem. Approximately 40% of infertility issues can be attributed to men, 40% to women, and 20% are a combination of both and there are as many factors that impact both male and female fertility, as there are options for infertility treatment. An accurate diagnosis of any fertility issue, as well as the exact cause of infertility, are crucial to your success in achieving a pregnancy, as this will ensure that the most effective treatment plan is created based on the individual’s or couple’s unique circumstances. As advanced fertility diagnosis and treatment technologies continue to develop, possibilities become realities, allowing more people to build the family of their dreams.

Thirty years ago, people suffering from infertility had to choose between the only two treatment options available — surgery or hormonal therapy for the woman and surgery for the man (varicocele repair). Since the birth of Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby, in 1978, a whole range of fertility treatment options, including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) became available. Keep in mind that oftentimes, inexpensive medicine or simple surgery will help 85% to 90% of couples, who are struggling with infertility, to achieve pregnancy. Infertility can be treated with medicine (fertility drugs), laparoscopic surgery (to open blocked fallopian tubes), intrauterine insemination (IUI), or assisted reproductive technology (ART). IVF remains a common, gold standard treatment option for many of the conditions that cause infertility and has a high chance of success. It is a multi-step process that includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer. During IVF, the ovaries are stimulated to produce eggs. The eggs are then retrieved and inseminated before being implanted back into a woman’s uterus. 

IUI is a less invasive, specialist technique to address a variety of fertility issues affecting both men and women, such as vaginismus; ovulation problems; mucus hostility; mild endometriosis; low sperm count; and ejaculation problems, including retrograde ejaculation. Both IUI and IVF have helped millions of families across the globe to achieve a successful pregnancy.

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Embryo Cryopreservation, Assisted Hatching, Egg Donation and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), have contributed greatly to the success of fertility treatment. Any process that involves a woman’s egg or embryos (fertilized eggs) being handled are collectively known as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). These newer technologies are helping to ensure treatment success in both men and women, while reducing complications such as multiple pregnancy. 

If you dream of having a baby to start, build or complete your family, and it is not happening naturally, or for whatever reason you are unable to, Intercare Medfem Hospital, together with Medfem Fertility Clinic, can help make the possibility a reality. Getting the right diagnosis is crucial thus starting with a full-service clinic that offers a range of treatments means your course of treatment can be highly personalised based on your specific needs. The hospital works closely with the reproductive specialists at Medfem Fertility Clinic to ensure a caring, convenient and holistic experience for people undergoing fertility treatment and to help build families. With patience, a positive attitude, and the appropriate treatment, most infertile couples will eventually experience the joys of parenthood.

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