If conceiving has been a challenge for you and your partner, you're not alone. From 10% to 15% of couples in Lithuania are completely infertile. Infertility is defined as inability to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for couples in which the female partner is younger than 35 years old, or for at least six months if the female partner is older than that.
Infertility can be caused by a single or a combination of factors that can prevent pregnancy from occurring. Fortunately, many safe and effective therapies for overcoming infertility exist. With the correct treatment the patient can significantly improve the chances of conception.
First Examination and Meeting The Infertility Specialist
During the first meeting, the doctor will want to discuss every single aspect of your past that are related to current health, so it is preferred for tha patient to know their health history. While there are various topics that could be covered, most important ones include menstrual history, surgical history, past pregnancies or the lack of them, birth control usage, sexually transmitted infection (STI) and pelvic infection history, patient's family health history and details about the patient's sex life.
The doctor will also have some questions about the patient's health and any significant health issues in the past, and the medications the patient is currently taking or have taken. Inquiries into the patient's occupational conditions and lifestyle are to be expected – exercise, diet, tobacco, alcohol and drug consumption, all of these factors can affect the patient's fertility and could be discussed during the meeting. For this reason, for the first-time visitors, it is highly recommended to bring their medical records and history to the appointment.
Next up, a physical exam is to be expected, during which the doctor will check the patient's thyroid for any abnormalities, look for unusual or excessive body hair growth, as well as perform a breast examination. This will be followed with a pelvic exam which is performed to see if there is any evidence of infection or abnormality. Afterwards, several samples may be taken, including patient's cervical mucus and blood testing, to measure the patient's hormonal levels.
Female Hormone Assessment
The first step in investigating patient’s fertility is to establish whether or not the patient is capable of ovulating (producing an egg) every month. This can usually be confirmed by performing blood and urine tests in order to measure the hormone level at specific stages of the patient's menstrual cycle.
For conception to occur naturally, it is essential for the patient to have healthy, potent (open) and undamaged Fallopian tubes. A laparoscopy test is performed to test the potency of the tubes. This procedure involves inserting a small telescope through the patient's abdominal wall. A laparoscopy is performed in the operation theatre, usually as a day-case operation under general anaesthesia.
HyFoSy Tubal Patency test
HyFoSy test is a modern, safe, painless and effective infertility test. It involves using ExEm® foam in tandem with ultrasound testing, hence named HyFoSy (Hysterosalpingo Foam Sonography). HyFoSy method is used as a primary screening test for tubal patency. In up to 80% cases, after performing HyFoSy, several follow-up tests, such as hysterosalpingography were not required. The key advantage of HyFoSy test lies in its availability - it is possible to perform the test in outpatient conditions, without the need for the female patient's hospitalization. Besides that, this test does not require X-ray, which means that the female patient is not exposed to radiaton, and is therefore a safer alternative to other tubal patency tests. During HyFoSy test, echogenic foam, made from pure water and contrast material, is injected via an extremely thin catheter directly into uterus. This foam is then visible with the help of medical ultrasound. If, during the test, the foam is unable to permeate into the patient's abdominal cavity, that means that tubal patency is impaired in one or both Fallopian tubes.
During this procedure, a small telescope connected to a camera is inserted through the cervical canal into the uterine cavity. Once inserted, it is possible for the doctor to see and examine the uterine cavity for potential health problems. This is performed as a day-case procedure either under general anaesthesia or sedation in our Fertility Center.
Ultrasound scan is a major tool to monitor ovarian stimulation during both IVF and pregnancy. Ultrasound procedure allows examination of the patient's internal organs without the need of injection, insertion and other similar invasive examination techniques.
A spermogram is a male fertility test that shows the quantity and quality of the male partner’s sperm. The male partner will be asked to visit the clinic to provide his semen in a clean and sterile environment, and a clinical analysis will be performed. Alternatively, we can offer a possibility to take a sample at home, if the male partner so requires.
A spermogram enables the doctor to assess multiple sperm quality factors. Several factors are measured, with the key ones being concentration of the sperm, motility of the sperm, shape of the sperm and the ability to stick together, also known as agglutination. If the male partner posseses a low sperm count or motility, the possibility of getting pregnant may be significantly reduced. In order to mitigate that, the correct timing and frequency of intercourse are the key to conceiving successfully. The state of the art technology used in our Fertility Center can identify the most fertile days of patient's menstrual cycle to have intercourse on, in order to ensure the highest possibility of conception.