Fertility Series: The GAP between trying to conceive and IVF

Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898
Email: amanda@marketstclinic.com

When a couple are trying to conceive they may be told that 84 per cent of couples will conceive naturally within a year of having regular unprotected sex every two or three days and to just keep trying for 12 months. If they are unsuccessful after 12 months the usual course of action is referral to a fertility clinic. 

The pressure and stress can affect relationships with sex ultimately becoming a chore. Unfortunately one in seven couples have difficulty conceiving and, with age a factor, that 12 months period is an ‘enormous’ window of opportunity to naturally improve fertility and an area that your GP and fertility clinics do not address. 

For many, prior to wanting a family, the focus during the reproductive years is naturally how not to conceive and there is a lot of information and contraceptive options available to support that choice. However women are not informed that taking a hormonal pill, injection, ring or IUD as contraception, changes the body’s natural hormonal cycle, and that after contraception is stopped, it takes time sometimes years for this cycle to reestablish. 

Even though the medication is out of your system in three to seven days and your periods resume, you may not be ovulating. If you are not ovulating, your eggs are not being recruited and matured by the follicles. If your eggs are not recruited and matured, they will not be released into the fallopian tubes and available for the sperm to fertilise.  

If you are considering IVF and not ovulating then it would be normal for the clinic to find zero to low numbers of viable eggs for IVF collection, however don’t worry, as this can be improved. 

Reasons behind unexplained infertility are 33 per cent female factor, 33 per cent male factor and 33 per cent combined male and female factors 

So when you are trying to get pregnant it is important to be aware that there are five important stages: 1. Egg recruitment, maturation and ovulation; 2. Sperm creation and maturation; 3. Fertilisation; 4. Embryo implantation; 5. Embryo development.

The first thing for a woman to do is make sure she is ovulating. If you are not ovulating then the cervix is closed, and no matter how often you have sex, the sperm will find it impossible to reach the egg. 

Ovulation happens after an egg is recruited and matured in its follicle. If this is not happening then you will not ovulate. A well-timed blood test can confirm ovulation and, if you are not ovulating, there are a number of natural options including lifestyle, nutrition and acupuncture that will influence and regulate your period and restart your ovulatory cycle. It takes three months for a single egg to be recruited, matured and for ovulation, however it is important to be aware that age has an influence on how long it takes to establish adequate ovulatory cycles. 

During fetal development, a female foetus will have about six million eggs. At birth, there are approximately one million eggs left. By the time you reach puberty about 300,000 remain. The number of eggs continues to decline as you age and menstruate each cycle but there are still thousands of eggs there by the time a woman reaches menopause when the follicular reserve is finally exhausted and egg recruitment stops. 

On the other hand, male sperm is formed in the testicles within a system of tiny tubules. Fresh sperm is being created all the time. The sequential stages of development take about 48 days and then they spend two weeks maturing before moving out of the body.  

This means that sperm are a reflection of your health during that nine-week period. Stress, illness or high fever can adversely affect sperm quality being ejaculated nine or more weeks later so reducing stress and improving your health will improve your sperm.  

There are a number of things that both men and women can do to improve their fertility.  Many of these often involve lifestyle changes including diet and exercise. Acupuncture is very effective in helping women to regulate their periods and to ensure that they are ovulating. It can also help men significantly change the quality of their sperm in two or three months.  

Amanda Roe is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and Acupuncturist. She uses a range of holistic therapies including guidance around food to improve fertility, emotional and mental health and support natural recover from trauma, eating disorders and other mind/body illness. For more information or to book a consultation visit www.roehealth.ie or call/text Amanda on: 087 633 1898.

WCP Staff

Next Post

West Cork youth celebrated in Garda Youth Awards

Mon Apr 3 , 2023
The 27th annual West Cork Garda Youth Awards, in association with SuperValu, has just been launched by An Garda Síochána in West Cork. The West Cork Garda Youth Awards celebrate outstanding young people between the ages of 13 and 21 years. Awards will be considered for nominated young people who, […]