Not many people openly discuss the difficulties falling pregnant, and there is certainly a lack of awareness about female fertility in Australia. Most people have no idea how common fertility challenges are for women or how daunting it can be to overcome these obstacles.
The latest statistics show that:
- 90% of women under 40 will have a baby if they have fertility treatment
- 80% women over 40 will have a baby if they have fertility treatment
Unlike many other fertility clinics in Sydney, Fertility First will not discriminate against age, social status or sexual orientation and have assisted female patients of up to 48 years of age achieve a successful pregnancy using their own eggs.
Why choose Fertility First to treat female infertility?
Fertility First is the only Sydney fertility clinic that explores all treatment options for patients and tries to minimise costs where possible without compromising the chance of conception or quality of care. At Fertility First, we believe that it’s important to minimise the invasiveness of the testing process and at the same time carry out only the necessary investigations, maximising your chance of a successful outcome.
Main Types of Female Infertility
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that involves the uterine tissue growing outside the uterus, thereby producing a range of symptoms. Common symptoms may include pelvic pain, painful intercourse, excessive bleeding, urinary and bowel problems, fatigue, depression and difficulties in falling pregnant.
It can be an extremely painful and debilitating disease that not only affects your chances of falling pregnant, but it can also have a significant impact on your personal life, including your mental health.
It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis and research has previously shown that anywhere between 30 to 50% of women who are suffering from the disease will be faced with a number of complications when they are looking to try and fall pregnant.
Although Endometriosis is a complex disease, it is possible to fall pregnant with endometriosis, usually with the help of specific medications, effective surgery and assisted reproductive treatments that we offer at Fertility First.
Polycystic Ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects approximately 1 in 5 women of reproductive age worldwide. The condition is characterised by increased levels of testosterone, ovarian cysts, ovulation problems and irregular or infrequent menstrual cycles. Women suffering from PCOS will usually have difficulties producing mature eggs that can be fertilised due to hormonal imbalances.
Symptoms of PCOS can range from irregular menstrual periods, excessive facial or body hair, obesity, less frequent or absent ovulation and mood changes including anxiety and depression. Depending on the symptoms, management and treatment of PCOS can consist of weight loss, medical treatment with medications and hormones, and changes in lifestyle such as increasing your physical activity and altering your diet.
Although it is still uncertain what causes PCOS, there appears to be lifestyle factors that influence the development of the disease and recently a French study has revealed that there is a genetic component. The severity of the symptoms of PCOS appear to be exacerbated by factors such as obesity and diet.
Women who suffer from PCOS are at greater risk of developing long term health problems such as insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and heart problems, development of diabetes, especially if weight is a factor, and endometrial cancer.
Secondary infertility is a term given when you are having trouble falling pregnant again or carrying a baby to term after previously giving birth. In many instances, women find secondary infertility just as difficult to process as they would when facing primary infertility.
The causes of secondary infertility remain basically the same as primary infertility, causes ranging from male factor, tubal damage, ovulation disorders, endometriosis and with some women, various complications relating to the previous pregnancy. The most common cause of secondary infertility, however, is usually age.
Numerous studies have revealed that many women of reproductive age are waiting longer to start a family due to various reasons. As they begin to contemplate trying for another baby, they are obviously older than they were when they initially began trying. Fertility in women starts to decline at the age of 35 and will continue to decline as women enter their 40s.
Fertility First recognises the importance of providing compassion and support to patients suffering from secondary infertility and we do not have an age limit on fertility treatment for patients. Providing patients with quality services including access to affordable donor eggs to maximise their success is something we feel is incredibly important.
Secondary infertility is something that is not spoken about as often as primary infertility, however it’s just as common and equally as difficult to face. Data from the CDC in 2018 revealed that approximately 11% of couples will experience secondary infertility and it’s something that many couples find both hard and frustrating to come to terms with. In fact, many couples will feel more pressure the second time around since they already know it’s possible to have a healthy pregnancy.
In addition to this, friends and family may also be adding to the pressure by saying or asking questions that they don’t realise are insensitive such as “when are you going to have another baby?” or “you’re lucky you at least have a child”. Not only will this just add to the stress and anxiety the couple are now facing, but it may bring about feelings of guilt for the couple even before they begin treatment.
Going through the stress of fertility treatments in addition to dealing with the demands of family life can be challenging, and often puts a strain on relationships, so it’s important to keep communication open and create a healthy support system.
Having access to fertility resources and services to help you cope with this new IVF journey you’re now facing is important. Fertility First recognises the importance of providing compassion and support to patients suffering from secondary infertility or female infertility.
For help and support on your fertility journey, contact our Sydney fertility clinic on (02) 9586 3311 to arrange an appointment with our counsellor.
FAQ's about Female Infertility
It is estimated that 1 in 6 couples will have difficulty falling pregnant and approximately 30% of fertility problems will originate with the female. The most common causes of female infertility involve ovulation problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, issues with the fallopian tubes, implantation problems and endometriosis.
Female infertility is defined as trying to actively fall pregnant with frequent intercourse for at least one year with no success. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose fertility problems in females and we recognise that every woman is different, that is why we offer many different fertility treatment options and a range of fertility tests available to help determine what the underlying problem is.
A woman’s egg quality and quantity will decline with age. A woman’s egg quality and quantity usually peakes in their mid twenties and starts to rapidly decline in a woman’s mid thirties. There has also been recent studies that found a chromosomal defect could also be the cause behind fertility problems in older women.
Female infertility can be due to ovulation disorders, hormone imbalances, thyroid gland problems, damage of the fallopian tubes that will impact fertilisation, physiological issues with the uterus or cervix, endometriosis, fibroids, or lowered egg reserve which can be due to premature menopause or simply age.
The short answer is “yes”, there are foods that can help improve the outcome of your fertility journey. Although there is still much research to be done in the area of nutrition and fertility, there have been studies that have shown that adequate intake of specific vitamins and minerals can have a dramatic effect on your chances of being able to achieve a healthy pregnancy.
Doctors advise that couples should seek fertility advice after 12 months of trying to conceive naturally when the woman is under 35, or after 6 months of trying to conceive if the female partner is aged 36 or older.
Use our calculator to determine the fertile time for different cycle lengths (14-19 days before next period). The fertility window will differ depending on the length of your cycle.
More information about infertility in women
Assessing and correcting fertility problems is the first step in any fertility treatment and at Fertility First, we want to make the process as easy as possible with minimal invasiveness.
Usually out of the eggs retrieved, we expect approximately 80% to be mature, and of those, between 60 to 80% will fertilise normally. This is perfectly normal.