Although fertility issues are common, it can be a stressful and difficult time, and many couples feel anxious about the potential of having invasive and expensive treatment.
Fertility SA specialist Dr Michelle Wellman says up to 50% of patients will benefit from low intervention treatments or lifestyle changes.
In this Fertility SA podcast series she explains how issues with fertility do not always mean IVF treatment, explaining some of the other fertility treatments available and lifestyle changes that can have an impact on the chances of conceiving.
“We never start treatment straight away. We start by listening and talking, learning about how long you’ve been trying to conceive, any issues around menstruation and intercourse, finding out about underlying medical issues and talking about lifestyle too,” she says.
The first stages of treatment generally involve some simple test or ultrasounds to check on the health of both the eggs and sperm of the couple.
Dr Wellman points out that awareness regarding ovulation cycles and planning intercourse accordingly will often improve a couple’s chances of conception.
Sometimes, the woman might not be releasing the egg, and in those cases, Dr Wellman adds, doctors, can trigger the release of the egg with a range of medications.
Dr Wellman also adds it is important to critically evaluate the lifestyle of both men and women dealing with fertility issues.
“Often the changes people are required to make are much smaller than they think.
Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight and the right amount of exercise can make a huge impact on the chances of a couple conceiving naturally.”
Listen to the full podcast.