The IVF & Reproductive Medicine Educational Center

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

The Link Between Thyroid Health and Fertility

When it comes to diagnosing infertility, there are many possible causes for fertility problems that should be considered. In some cases, seemingly unrelated health conditions can present difficulty in getting pregnant, so it is helpful to consider the total picture of your health when you are discussing your fertility with a reproductive medicine specialist.

How Thyroid Health Affects Reproduction

Your thyroid is a gland that produces hormones that regulate metabolism, body weight, and energy levels. When these hormones are out of balance due to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, a number of issues can arise.

For men, hypothyroidism can affect fertility leading to abnormal semen analysis for factors like morphology, motility, and low sperm count. For women, thyroid hormones play an important role in female reproduction to maintain normal ovarian functioning and egg maturation, and can be factors leading to irregular cycles, heavy periods, and sometimes absent menstruation. It is also important to note that that thyroid hormones affect the function of every cell in the human body. The thyroid gland starts to function at 10 to 12 weeks of fetal life, and prior to that, the fetus develops completely on maternal thyroid hormones.

What Can Be Done to Manage Thyroid Problems

The first step in controlling thyroid function is to have a blood test to measure levels of thyroid hormones and identify abnormalities. This is especially important for women where there may have been repeated pregnancy losses. If there is concern in this area, a plan will be put in place through medication and lifestyle changes. Your primary physician and reproductive specialist may work together to get thyroid hormones within a normal range so that you can focus on your family planning goals.

To learn more about the ways your health may influence your fertility, schedule a consultation with ReproMed in Toronto. You can reach us on our website or call (972) 494-5438. We are a leading institute for reproductive medicine, providing a wide range of infertility treatments for men and women, including donor and surrogate services.

Recognizing the Telltale Signs of Fertility Problems

There are many different causes of infertility, which means that there are also a number of signs that could indicate a fertility problem. For most people, infertility is diagnosed following a period of one year (or six months for those over the age of 35) of unsuccessfully trying to conceive. You might, however, know to speak with a physician specializing in reproductive medicine sooner if you have any of the following common signs of fertility problems. By addressing these issues sooner rather than later, you might increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy and reduce your stress in managing your reproductive health.

Irregular menstruation

Ovulation is directly linked with your menstrual cycle, so you may be alerted of potential ovulation issues by irregularities in your monthly cycle. If you have frequent spotting, heavy bleeding, painful periods, or irregular timing of your cycle, you may have a condition such as endometriosis or uterine fibroids, which may prevent a normal, healthy pregnancy.‚Äč

Previous miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies

When considering your risk for infertility, it is important to review your entire sexual and reproductive history. In the first meeting with the Fertility Specialist, an attempt will be made to secure as much information about your past as possible. A previous ectopic pregnancy, or pregnancy that develops outside the womb, is something that should be discussed by the Reproductive Specialist. As well, a condition like pelvic inflammatory disease (rising from from a sexual transmitted disease) could cause damage to the reproductive system and prevent you from getting pregnant later on as a result. A history of miscarriage should also be a concern, particularly if you have had 3 or more, which is commonly known as recurrent miscarriage.

Male Factor

Men can struggle with infertility too, so both partners should seek reproductive care when there is difficulty achieving pregnancy. For men, this is best achieved through a semen analysis which measures items like sperm count, motility, and morphology. All important components in the reproductive process.

To understand your needs in reproductive care, schedule a fertility assessment with ReproMed by calling (972) 494-5438. We provide male and female fertility services in Toronto utilizing technologies such as in-vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

Zika Virus and Transmission through Semen

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a flavivirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that primarily bites during the day. It was first identified in Uganda in 1947 and there was disease outbreak in French Polynesia in 2013. More recently, in 2015, Zika virus was recognized in Brazil and has since been spreading quickly throughout many regions of the Western Hemisphere including Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

What are the signs of Zika Virus?

When symptomatic, Zika virus infection typically causes a mild self-limiting febrile illness with symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and conjunctivitis. It is important to note that asymptomatic infection occurs in approximately 80% of Zika virus infected individuals. The incubation period of the infection is believed to be 3 to 2 days, and viremia (presence of the virus in the bloodstream) is thought to last no longer than 7 to 10 days.

Zika in Semen

However, Zika virus may persist for longer periods of time in semen. Viral RNA has been detected in semen 62 days after onset of symptoms in one individual, and in another case, Zika virus was detected possibly up to 10 weeks after onset of symptoms. Evidence of sexual transmission continues to mount. There have been several instances reported by the US Center for Disease Control of suspected sexual transmission of Zika virus.

Semen Banking is an Option

In light of the current reports about the sexual transmission of the Zika virus and the devastating consequences on the offspring, men who are planning to travel to an area with active Zika virus transmission are strongly encouraged to consider semen banking. Health Canada currently recommends that men should not initiate a pregnancy for six months after travelling to a Zika virus active region. Men who bank their semen prior to travel will be able to freely use these samples to build their family without any concerns regarding the transmission of the Zika virus.

For infertility treatment and fertility preservation services in Toronto, contact ReproMed to explore treatment options, counseling services, and holistic infertility care. You can reach us on our website or at (972) 494-5438.

Understanding IUI

IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a procedure in which washed, prepared sperm is placed directly into the uterus to increase the chances of conception. In many cases, this procedure is combined with the use of fertility drugs to prepare the body for pregnancy.

IUI is suitable both for couples facing both male and female factor infertility and women looking to conceive using donor sperm. If you fall within the first of these categories, IUI might be a favorable first step before moving forward with more advanced procedures like IVF. It has helped in cases where the male partner has low sperm count or low motility as well as cases where injuries or premature ejaculation prevent normal sexual activity. For women, IUI is helpful when mild endometriosis is a factor or infertility is unexplained by a clear physical cause.

To learn more about all of your options for assisted reproductive services in Toronto, call ReproMed at (972) 494-5438 and schedule a consultation.

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Fertility

Infertility is a problem that many women face, especially those who are attempting to get pregnant after the age of 35. To better plan for the future and understand all of the family planning options available to you, you should learn the facts about fertility, which are discussed in further detail below.

Fertility declines substantially with age.

Even if you are not planning to have a child until you are 30 or even 40, you may wish to consult with your physician at an earlier stage to get a better picture of reproductive capabilities. While treatments like IVF can extend the window of fertility, all women will vary in their fertility, so you should not hesitate to talk to a doctor about your unique circumstances. You should also recognize that age-related fertility decline is not a gradual process, but rather a significant drop-off around the ages of 35-40.

Irregular menstrual cycles could be a sign of infertility.

The length of a menstrual cycle is calculated from day one of the actual flow of a period to day one of a subsequent period. In an ovulatory cycle this averages 28 days, but can range between 21 and up to 38 days. The actual duration is 2 to 7 days.

If your cycles are irregular: occurring more than every 38 to 45 days; occurring more frequent than 21 to 24 days; are heavy; or last more than 7 days, then you should see your doctor for a full evaluation as this may have an impact on your fertility and if neglected, may have more serious consequences.

Healthy couples may not have luck conceiving in the first year.

Few couples will get pregnant right away, but about 80% will get pregnant after six months of trying, while 90% of healthy couples will get pregnant after one year. If a year has passed, you should not wait any longer to seek the care of a fertility specialist. You may consider seeing a specialist after just 6 months if age is a concern.

If you are worried about your future fertility or you are seeking immediate care for infertility in Toronto, call ReproMed at (972) 494-5438 to schedule a consultation.

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