Infertility is perhaps one of the most stressful experiences a couple can go through.
One in six Australian couple will have difficulty achieving a pregnancy. If you have
been having unprotected intercourse for more than twelve months and have not
achieved a pregnancy,you should see a doctor. If the female partner is over the age of 35,
you should see a doctor after six months of trying.
There are many and varied reasons why a couple may have difficulty conceiving, including no apparent reason at all (idiopathic infertility). 40% of infertility is male factor, 40% female factor and 20% combined or idiopathic.
One of the most important factors in infertility is the woman’s age. Unfortunately fertility declines with age, regardless of how fit and well you are. Women are born with a set number of eggs, and both the number and the quality of the eggs decline with age. The chance of a spontaneous pregnancy declines, and unfortunately the risk of a miscarriage or other abnormalities with the baby increases.
When we start investigating for a potential cause for the inability to fall pregnant, we can test the following:
quality of the sperm (semen analysis)
whether there is ovulation
whether the tubes are open, so the egg and the sperm can meet
whether there is a good reserve of eggs
While being tested for any potential causes of the infertility it is important to look after your general health by eating a healthy diet, having regular exercise, stop smoking, avoid excess of alcohol and take folic acid. Some couples might find they need extra help through counselling to help them with all the
challenges they face when dealing with infertility and the infertility investigations and
Just as the causes of infertility are many and varied, so are the treatment options.
Minor disorders for example, mild endometriosis, ovulation disorders (including
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome), mild sperm defects and sexual (including erectile)
dysfunction can be treated by relatively simple measures.
The treatment options includes Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH), Ovulation Induction (OI), Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) or Natural Cycle tracking and timing of intercourse and more specialised treatments like IVF /ICSI.
Dr Swanepoel understands the importance of helping women and couples fulfill their dreams of achieving a pregnancy and having a healthy baby. Dr Swanepoel aims to do this in the simplest possible way and is able to provide complete fertility care for both male and female fertility problems.
Where necessary, Dr Swanepoel works closely with other Fertility Clinics to provide patients with the apprioprate fertility care and treatment.
Useful links for more information regarding these fertility issues and more, click on the following links :