The IVF & Reproductive Medicine Educational Center

The physicians and professional staff at ReproMed in Toronto are committed to providing cutting edge reproductive technology.

Signs of a Successful IVF Cycle

When you are undergoing in-vitro fertilization to achieve pregnancy, you may be anxious to learn whether your IVF cycle has led to success. Unfortunately, you will need to wait to take a pregnancy test in the lab to see an accurate result and learn if you are pregnant.

Putting the science aside for the moment, many patients often ask us about natural signs that they may be pregnant. This video will walk you through 10 early signs of pregnancy that can occur. These signs include spotting, back pain, and abnormal food cravings. While it may be exciting to experience these very early symptoms of pregnancy, remember that a clinical blood test will be the most accurate measure for determining pregnancy and you should always visit your doctor to confirm.

If you are experiencing infertility issues in Toronto, ReproMed is here to help. Offering treatments including IVF, IUI, and assisted hatching, our institute is a leader in reproductive health and infertility care. To schedule your first consultation in our office, give us a call at (972) 494-5438.

The Basics of Acupuncture for Infertility

In reproductive medicine, every individual will have a unique treatment experience which may include many different therapies. For both male and female patients, alternative medicine may play a role, specifically through the use of acupuncture. During acupuncture treatment, a registered practitioner will insert very thin needles along various pressure points in the body to restore circulation, improve certain bodily functions, and relieve pain. In conjunction with assisted reproduction technologies, acupuncture can boost the chances of a successful pregnancy and lower the risk of miscarriage, so it may be a therapy that you are considering if you are having trouble conceiving.

Acupuncture is not a standalone infertility cure.

Like other types of alternative medicine, acupuncture is intended to be used alongside modern treatment modalities as a means of reducing complications and improving comfort rather than serving as a standalone cure. For many causes of infertility, such as tubal adhesions and pelvic inflammatory disease, acupuncture does not mitigate the root of the problem. What acupuncture can do is help to relieve associated health disorders.

Women who have had recurring miscarriages can benefit from acupuncture.

Recently there has been more and more studies around the use of acupuncture helping in the prevention of miscarriages. Recurring miscarriages are often difficult to diagnose and it is important to always work with your caring physician about this matter. Still, acupuncture in conjunction with other reproductive medicine treatments can reduce the chances of a miscarriage, especially when acupuncture sessions take place regularly throughout infertility care and within the first three months of pregnancy.

Acupuncture should only be included in treatment upon a doctor’s recommendation.

As you are working with a fertility specialist, you will want to inform the doctor of all medical care that you are receiving and considering. By keeping open communication with your physician, you can ensure that you are getting the safest and most beneficial care for your needs.

At ReproMed, we not only provide the most advanced assisted reproduction technologies in our Toronto institute, but we also partner with local acupuncturists to offer complementary care for your unique needs. To learn more about our practice or schedule a fertility assessment, call us at (972) 494-5438.

Common Questions About Sperm Motility

Though there is a common misconception that fertility problems exclusively affect women, male factor infertility is seen throughout many couples who have difficulty conceiving. Male fertility is measured through three factors: Sperm count, motility, and morphology. Even with a healthy sperm count, men may have fertility issues due to low motility, or the inability of sperm to move through the vaginal canal, as well as poor morphology, or a high rate of abnormally formed sperm. Low motility can be a challenging problem to address because the causes are not entirely clear, but there are factors known to affect sperm motility in addition to treatments that can achieve successful pregnancies through artificial insemination.

What is the cause of low motility?

Like many fertility problems, low motility has a number of possible causes, so it is important to take stock of a patient’s total health and lifestyle when addressing this condition. Excessive exposure to heat, stress, and heavy metals can all affect sperm motility. Diet, stress, alcohol and tobacco use are also known to have negative effects on sperm health. In addition, there may be genetic factors and underlying health conditions that impact motility, so a broad approach may be necessary for treatment.

How is sperm motility assessed?

When male infertility is suspected, a sperm sample is taken to be inspected under a special microscope that will allow technicians to take an accurate total sperm count and percentage of sperm with rapid linear progression, and this figure will indicate sperm motility.

How is low sperm motility treated?

The appropriate treatment for each patient will depend on the exact percentage of motility. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, or ICSI, is a procedure that has revolutionized the treatment of male infertility. It allows couples to achieve fertilization, even when only a few sperm are available. The procedure was developed to overcome male infertility problems such as: low sperm counts, poor motility or movement of the sperm, poor sperm quality, or sperm that lack the ability to penetrate an egg. Later, the indication for ICSI has broadened and is performed to optimize fertilization in almost all IVF cases. ICSI has revolutionized infertility management, to the extent that most treatments previously used have been abandoned in its favor.

ICSI is performed by physically inserting one sperm into each egg using a microscopic approach. Because only one sperm is needed per egg, even very small numbers of sperm will do. Once the egg is injected with a single sperm, it is observed approximately 18 hours later to see if fertilization has taken place.

At ReproMed in Toronto, we provide a complete spectrum of male infertility treatments, including assisted reproduction procedures. To learn how we can help you achieve your family planning goals, call us at (972) 494-5438 or visit our website.

Understanding False Readings After an IVF Cycle

IVF cycles can be stressful on hopeful parents, as each cycle will require a course of fertility medication followed by an egg retrieval and placement of embryos in the uterus. After a completed cycle, patients are often eager to learn if IVF was a success or if a future cycle will be necessary to achieve pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is not a reliable way to test for pregnancy in the 10-12 days following the embryo transfer. Still, many patients will utilize at-home pregnancy tests that may yield false readings following IVF treatment.

When patients undergo IVF treatment, they will use hormonal medication to boost ovulation and encourage healthy egg maturation. hCG is a hormone found in fertility injections that may affect the results of a pregnancy test if it is taken too soon, because the hormone is still circulating in the body, and it will indicate a positive result on a pregnancy test. Alternatively, taking a pregnancy test too early can yield a false negative if the embryo has implanted but hCG levels in the urine are not yet high enough to show on an at-home test. Waiting for a blood test at the doctor’s office is the most reliable way to avoid false readings after your IVF cycle.

To discuss whether IVF is the right fertility treatment for your needs or find other fertility services in Toronto, call ReproMed at (972) 494-5438. We are leaders in reproductive medicine and research, and we offer a wealth of resources to our patients through local donors, partnered care providers, and in-house staff.

What Is Blastocyst Transfer?

A cornerstone of modern reproductive medicine is the ability to fertilize and grow embryos in a laboratory setting prior to their hatching and implantation in the womb. In conventional IVF and ICSI treatments, embryos are cultured (developing) for 3 days after fertilization and then placed into the uterus in the hopes of successful implantation. With blastocyst transfer procedures, embryos are cultured for 5 to 6 days to the blastocyst stage, which occurs just before the embryo hatches.

There are a number of advantages that come with blastocyst transfer. With longer development and observation in the laboratory, viable embryos may be chosen more selectively, and each will have a higher individual chance of pregnancy than embryos transferred to the uterus on day 3. Because fewer blastocysts are needed to transfer during the final stages of an IVF or ICSI cycle, there is a reduced risk of multiple pregnancies.

Blastocyst transfer is one of many advanced assisted reproduction technologies offered at ReproMed, the Toronto Institute for Reproductive Medicine. In our practice, patients can expect a full range of assisted reproduction services, including highly selective donor services. To learn more about us, visit our website. For an appointment with our team, call (972) 494-5438 today.

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