What's Up Doc - Fertility

‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.

Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.

This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper. If you have a question you'd like featured please email it to whatsupdoc@spirehealthcare.com

Read the response by Mr Ehab Kelada, fertility consultant:

Mr Kelada's consultant profile

Me and my husband have been trying for a baby for a few years with no success. We have been looking at trying IUI as I have polycystic ovaries and this is a treatment that has been recommended to us. What would this entail and do we have any other available options? Thanks, Karen

Reply to response:

Dear Karen, Thank you for your query. Polycystic ovaries (PCO) are commonly diagnosed among women who have been trying to achieve pregnancy unsuccessfully. In fact, it is the commonest reason for infrequent or no ovulation, which as such could be the underlying reason for subfertility. The options of treatment available to you depend on a number of factors. The most important one is your age because ovarian reserve (number & quality of eggs) is continuously declining as you become more mature. The other factors are sperm quality & whether your Fallopian tubes are opened or not. If your ovarian reserve, sperm quality & Fallopian tubes are normal and the only problem is lack of ovulation secondary to PCO, you can take simple tablets called Clomid to make you ovulate & to have timed sexual intercourse. If you are approaching or above 40 &/or ovarian reserve is low, sperm quality is low or Fallopian tubes are not opened, then IVF would be the best way forward. IUI can be an option in certain circumstances. However, it has limited chance of success & hence, it would be ideal for single women, lesbian couples or when erection & ejaculation are the main underlying problem. IUI can be done during a natural menstrual cycle if you are ovulating or after taking Clomid if ovulation is not regular. You will have one or more ultrasound scan done for follicular tracking (to monitor the number & size of follicle/s catching up) & to time insemination. When the leading follicle/s is/are big enough you may be given one injection to trigger ovulation. Usually, insemination is done 24-36 hours after that injection. On the day of insemination, your partner will be asked to produce semen sample 2 hours before IUI. The embryologists will do sperm wash & swim up whereby the most motile & normal looking are separated & used for IUI. A small catheter will be passed through the neck of your womb to insert the prepared sperm at the top of the womb. It is done while you are awake as it is not different from smear test. I hope you find the above useful. Good luck.

Do you need an appointment?

Mr Ehab Kelada consultant fertility specialist offers appointments at Spire Gatwick Park on Thursdays. To book an appointment call 01293 778 906 or email  info@spiregatwick.com.

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