How to Boost Fertility and your Chances of Getting Pregnant
Fertility requires healthy sperm and healthy eggs. If a couple has healthy sperm and healthy eggs, their chances of conceiving are that much higher.
It is not surprising then that among the many possible causes of infertility, certain lifestyle choices and stress feature strongly, because they negatively affect your overall health, and, therefore, your fertility as well.
The number of couples experiencing fertility problems is increasing exponentially and this is directly related to certain lifestyle choices, such as stress, poor dietary habits and poor nutrition, smoking and excessive alcohol use.
There is also a long list of possible medical causes of infertility and a wide range of specialised medications and treatments for these conditions.
If you are concerned about your fertility, you should immediately contact a fertility specialist who will be able to identify the exact cause of your fertility problem and provide expert information regarding available treatment options.
Our expert team at Medfem recommends a few simple lifestyle changes which you can start making immediately to boost fertility and your chances of getting pregnant.
* Eliminate smoking and alcohol
Smoking has major adverse effects on both sperm and egg quality. Alcohol also reduces fertility in both partners.
* Manage stress
A good starting point is to determine if you or your partner has time urgency perfectionism (TUP) stress. This can be assessed free of charge on the following website www.tups.co If you are suffering from TUP stress, you can follow the TUP stress management program online or at Medfem Fertility Clinic.
* Improve nutrition
A balanced diet could help to boost the chances of falling pregnant and having a healthy baby. A balanced diet should provide all the vitamins, minerals and amino acids your body needs for optimum health, but it is not always possible given today’s lifestyles.
Fortunately, there are also supplements available over-the-counter that are recommended by fertility experts for their role in boosting fertility, as they contain certain vitamins, minerals, herbs or other amino acids.
Medfem recommends StaminoGro and Comega Vite.
The supplements should be taken by both partners continuously until they have achieved a 12-week pregnancy.
StaminoGro – Take 4 tablets just before sleeping.
Comega Vite – Take 2 capsules just before sleeping.
Below we explain in more detail why we recommend these supplements.
StaminoGro is a combination supplement that is a human growth hormone releaser, vitamin and mineral complex in a slow release matrix. It contains amino acids, antioxidants, B-complex vitamins, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, all of which work in synergy to promote health, well-being and vitality.
StaminoGro provides additional nutrition, while the amino acid L-Arginine it contains helps the body to secrete more of its own natural growth hormone. It is also specifically formulated to act as a potent enhancer for mitochondria – the structures in each cell that produce energy for cell functions.
As the body gets older, the less natural growth hormone it secretes. StaminoGro promotes natural growth hormone release and enhances rejuvenation of mitochondria throughout the body. This can lead to a reversal of cellular ageing and could prevent the production of damaging free radicals, with cellular rejuvenation being the possible outcome.
As such, StaminoGro may be of benefit to persons suffering from immune problems, depression, insomnia and fatigue – and sub-fertility.
In clinical applications at Medfem Fertility Clinic, supplementing with StaminoGro has led to improved egg quality and sperm morphology and sperm DNA maturity.
This is because StaminoGro contains Vitamin E and selenium, which assist with the production of normal spermatozoa by protecting cells from free radical damage.
StaminoGro also contains Arginine (also known as L’arginine), an amino acid which may improve sperm development to produce better sperm and increase sperm count, as well as enhance motility.
In women, L-arginine may enhance endometrial receptivity and improve ovarian responses. There is evidence that it also increases pregnancy rates in women undergoing IVF treatments.
StaminoGro is lactose, sucrose, gluten and tartrazine free, suitable for use by vegetarians and SANHA approved. It is available at Dis-Chem, Clicks, independent pharmacies and selected retail stores.
Please visit www.georen.co.za if you would like to read up on the clinical trials.
StaminoGro Nutritional Information:
|Each Tablet Contains||Per Tablet||% RDA|
|Beta Carotene (10%)||4,5mg||7,5|
|Vitamin Bl – Thiamine||0,75mg||53,6|
|Vitamin B2 – Riboflavine||1,25mg||78,1|
|Vitamin B3 – Nicotinamide||6mg||3,33|
|Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid||6mg||100|
|Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine||6mg||300|
|Vitamin B12 – Methylcobalamin||6mg||600|
|Calcium and Vitamin D|
|Other Vitamins and Minerals|
RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance *RDA: not available
We are very proud of the fact that one of our fertility specialists – Dr Antonio Rodrigues – played a role in the development of StaminoGro.
Dr Rodrigues is a Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, qualified at the University of the Witwatersrand, as well as a founding member and director of Medfem Fertility Clinic. In 2003, Dr Rodrigues assisted Georen Pharmaceuticals in developing StaminoGro, which is known to assist with fertility by increasing the amounts of natural growth hormones that your body is producing.
Comega Vite: Omega 3 & 6 Combination Supplements
Every living cell in the body requires essential fatty acids (EFAs) for rebuilding and producing new cells. EFAs may improve the hair and skin, especially for those suffering from psoriasis and eczema, reduce blood pressure, aid in the prevention of arthritis, lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and reduce the risk of blood clot formation.
A combination of Omega 3 and 6 extra strength vegicaps has been clinically shown to have an effect on endometriosis, one of the most common causes of infertility.
Roughly 30% of women with infertility problems have endometriosis. It occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows in other parts of your body. While endometriosis is a known cause of infertility, it is possible to become pregnant when you have endometriosis. The medications and procedures available to assist you in falling pregnant are well established and effective.
Comega Vite swallow capsules contain a concentrated form of Omega 3 (Deep Marine Fish Oil) and Omega 6 (Cold Pressed Evening Primrose Oil), as well as vitamin E. Vitamin E functions as a tissue antioxidant, thereby maintaining healthy cells. It also protects unsaturated fatty acids against oxidation in the body. Lemon oil has been added to prevent reflux and it is suitable for vegetarians.
Comegavite Swallows Nutritional Information:
|Each Capsule Contains||Per Capsule||% RDA|
|Deep Marine Fish Oil providing:||500mg||*|
| Cold Pressed Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)
RDA: Recommended Daily Allowance *RDA: not available
Following these lifestyle recommendations – including avoiding smoking, alcohol and drugs; managing time urgency perfectionism (TUP) stress; eating a balanced diet; and the daily intake of both StaminoGro and Comega Vite; has been shown to increase fertility rates.
It will also improve your general health, your coping mechanisms and your relationships and reduce the chances of cancer, coronary artery disease, stroke and diabetes.
Most importantly, it will boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant, while also assisting with the effectiveness of any medical treatments that you may need.
Our team at Medfem Fertility Clinic – from accredited and extensively experienced fertility specialists; and trained, qualified theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; to specialist pharmacists and friendly administration staff – are standing ready to help you boost your fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
Medication for Fertility
Thanks to rapid scientific and medical advances over the last decades, there is a wide range of medications available today to treat almost any medical condition – including an extensive list of medications specifically created to address many of the different causes of infertility in both men and women.
Whether you are looking for specific medication for ovulation, or to boost sperm count or for sperm motility, or medications to help you fall pregnant, there are options available in the highly specialised field of fertility treatments.
Given that there is a risk in taking any kind of medication, it is vitally important that you take only the right medication for your unique fertility challenges, and that this medication is obtained from specialists with expert knowledge.
Read on to find out how to make sure you are taking the right medications and where you can obtain these medications safely, as well as great tips for ensuring your health and safety when taking medications.
The Right Medication for Infertility
While it would solve our modern-day quest for instant gratification, there is no single one-size-fits-all medication that will help every couple facing fertility challenges.
The reason is simply that there are many possible causes of infertility that could affect the female partner or the male partner; and, in some cases, both the male and female partners.
For example, common causes of female infertility include Abnormal Thyroid, Anovulation, Blocked Fallopian Tubes, Cervical Factor, Diminished Ovarian Reserve, Endometriosis, Hyperprolactinaemia, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Uterine Factor, Stress, and Advanced Maternal Age. Similarly, male infertility may be caused by the sperm, the testes themselves, the ducts that lead out from the testes, a functional problem in relation to sexual activity, hormonal issues or genetic problems.
The only way you can be assured of taking the right medicine for your and your partner’s unique fertility issues, is to find out exactly what the cause is.
Pinpointing the exact cause of your fertility challenges can only be achieved through an initial consultation with a fertility specialist. A 30 – 60 minute initial consultation is your first step in any infertility treatment plan, including the specific medications and treatments you may require.
During your initial consultation at Medfem Fertility Clinic, a highly qualified and experienced fertility specialist will do an extensive review of your medical history; perform a comprehensive infertility physical exam and blood tests; detail a broad range of infertility treatment options, including fertility medications; and provide in-depth explanations and answers to all your questions.
This will ensure you are getting the right medication for your fertility issues, while taking into consideration the interaction of fertility medications with other medications you may be taking.
Where to get Fertility Medications
The medications used to treat many fertility challenges are highly specialised and many of these medications are not immediately available at regular retail pharmacies.
It is therefore strongly recommended that you obtain fertility medications from a dedicated fertility pharmacy, experienced in providing medications that may require special storage and specialised in knowledge of the conditions being treated.
Medfem Fertility Clinic Pharmacy is one of very few dedicated fertility pharmacies in South Africa, focussed on meeting the unique needs of individuals with fertility challenges, specialising in the accurate delivery of medication for infertility and working closely with the doctors at Medfem Fertility Clinic.
Medfem Fertility Clinic Pharmacy’s specialised focus on fertility treatments since 1992 means its pharmacy team has worked with thousands of patients undergoing fertility treatment and has been privileged to witness thousands of amazing success stories. Our expert fertility pharmacists will always fill your order in person and are available to answer any of your questions, help you understand and manage side effects of the medications and ensure you are comfortable with your medication schedule.
Our dedicated patient care team includes qualified and experienced pharmacists Alida Venter; Val Rowles; Trish Howitt; Sonelle Basson; and Mareina Basson. This expert team is available six days a week and can be contacted on +27 (11) 463 6842.
Recommended Over-the-Counter Medications for Fertility
Medfem Fertility Clinic’s fertility experts recommend the following regarding over-the-counter medications:
* StaminoGro (HGH Releaser and Mitochondrial Enhancer) – both partners to take four tablets at night.
* Comega Vite – both partners to take two at night before going to bed.
Please click here to read more about these supplements and why they boost fertility in both men and women.
Top Tips For Using Medication Safely
All medication entails some risk.
To get the maximum benefit and to reduce the risks related to using medication – including fertility medication – you and your partner should participate proactively in the decisions made with your fertility specialist, medical team and pharmacists regarding your medication.
Below are some top tips from the FDA (US), highlighting how important it is that you speak up, ask questions, follow directions and report back to your fertility team to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks of fertility medications.
Speak Up – The more information your fertility treatment team has about you, the better they can pinpoint the right medication for you. Provide full and honest details of your medical history; any allergies and sensitivities; medications you take routinely and occasionally – both prescription and over-the-counter; supplements you use, including vitamins and other therapies; and anything that may affect your ability to use the fertility medication.
Ask Questions – Make sure you understand the medication you are taking. Here are some questions you should always ask:
* How and when must the medication be taken, in what amount and for how long?
* What must be done if you miss a dose?
* What other medicines (prescription or over-the-counter), dietary supplements, drinks, foods, activities or therapies should be avoided while taking the medication?
* How long before you can notice a difference or improvement?
* Will testing be required to monitor the effects of the medication?
* Could there be adverse reactions or side effects? What must be done if you experience adverse reactions or side effects?
* How must the medication be stored and when is the expiration date?
If you don’t understand an answer, ask again.
Follow Directions – When using any medication, follow the directions printed on the label to the letter. Every time you fill your prescription, read the label before you leave the pharmacy to ensure you have the right medication and understand how to use it. Also read the label every time you take the medication, making sure it’s the right medicine and that you are taking it in the right amount, in the right way and at the right time. Also be sure to take the recommended dose exactly as prescribed – don’t be tempted to use more or less, or to stop taking the medication before the course is finished.
Report Back to your Fertility Team
– Pay attention to how the medication affects you and notify your fertility team of any problems. Don’t stop taking the medication without checking with your fertility team, as some medications take longer to show a benefit, and others may need to be reduced gradually to decrease undesirable effects. If you experience any side effect, let your fertility team know immediately. An adjustment in the dosage or a change in medication may be needed.
Our team at Medfem Fertility Clinic – from accredited and extensively experienced fertility specialists; and trained, qualified theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; to specialist pharmacists and friendly administration staff – are standing ready to help you pinpoint what fertility medication or treatments you require to ensure the best chance of becoming pregnant.
Simply click here to book an initial consultation or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
We look forward to meeting you!
Sperm Tests and Treatments
Infertility affects men and women equally – around one-third of infertility cases are due to female fertility problems; one-third are due to male fertility problems; and the remaining one-third are due to a combination of male and female factor issues.
Male infertility may be caused by the sperm, the testes themselves, the ducts that lead out from the testes, a functional problem in relation to sexual activity, hormonal issues or genetic problems. However, most causes of male infertility are usually related to sperm disorders – in fact, damage to sperm production affects two thirds of men who are experiencing fertility challenges.
Male fertility is adversely affected if sperm are not being produced in adequate numbers, are of inadequate quality or are not swimming well, or are obstructed from reaching the penis, or if they are being attacked by antibodies from either the male himself or his female partner. In addition, there may be an imbalance of the hormones that allow sperm development and support.
One of the most common causes of infertility in men is damage to the production of sperm resulting in a low sperm count (oligospermia). This can also be associated with reduced sperm movement and abnormally shaped sperm. A severe case of this results in azoospermia, which means the total absence of sperm in the ejaculate. Common causes of damage to sperm production are testicular injury, undescended testes, a twisted testes, cancer treatments, varicocele and genetic problems.
The exact cause of a sperm disorder can usually only be determined medically – erections, intercourse and ejaculation will usually happen normally and the quantity and appearance of the ejaculated semen generally seem normal to the naked eye.
Fortunately, there are many advanced tests are available to determine the exact cause of a sperm disorder from the diverse range of possible causes. There are also many innovative treatments, proven procedures and alternative options that have allowed hundreds of thousands of men to address their fertility challenges.
Male infertility tests determine the quantity and quality of male sperm. These tests include semen analysis, ultrasound examinations and testicular biopsies.
A semen analysis is often one of the first tests done to help determine whether a man has infertility problems.
A semen analysis measures the amount of semen produced and determines the quantity and quality of sperm in the semen sample. There are a number of tests that may be done during a semen analysis, as detailed below.
A Volume test measures of how much semen is present in one ejaculation.
Liquefaction time measures how much time it takes for semen to liquefy from the thick gel at the time of ejaculation. Normally liquefaction occurs within 20 minutes after ejaculation.
A sperm count determines the number of sperm present per milliliter of semen in one ejaculation.
Sperm morphology analyses the shape of the sperm and the percentage of sperm that have a normal shape.
Sperm motility indicates the number of sperm that show normal forward movement.
A pH test determines the acidity (low pH) or alkalinity (high pH) of the semen.
A white blood cell count will reveal the presence of white blood cells, which are not normally present in semen.
A fructose level test measurement determines the amount of a sugar called fructose in the semen, which provides energy for the sperm.
Another useful diagnostic test is an ultrasound examination of the testes and prostate. It is done by placing an ultrasound probe on the testicles, providing an image of the testes and epididymis. It is also used for diagnosing testicular cancer and varicocele.
During a testicular biopsy a small sample of the tissue from a testicle is removed to allow for direct inspection of the sperm-making tissue.
Male infertility tests such as semen analysis, ultrasound examinations and testicular biopsies will assist your fertility specialist in determining the exact nature and cause of a sperm disorder, enabling the precise treatments required to be identified from the range of procedures and options available today, which are detailed below.
Sperm Treatments, Procedures and Options
Hormonal Therapy is used successfully to treat a deficiency in the hormones that control testicular function and causes male hormonal disorder. The therapy involves injections of hormone preparations called gonadotrophins that increase the testes in size to produce testosterone in normal amounts. Sperm should appear in the semen after several months of treatment.
Varicocele Repair involves the repair of a dilation of the veins of the scrotum, which may interfere with the testicle’s production of sperm. The veins are tied or clipped through a small incision in the groin, and within a few months of the procedure, most men achieve a significant improvement in sperm production.
Vasectomy Reversal – also called a vasovasostomy – repairs a surgically removed section of the sperm duct. A semen analysis is done around eight weeks after surgery to track improvements in sperm count and motility. The results depend on how long ago the vasectomy was done – if 10 years or more have passed, the chance of sperm reappearing in the semen is much lower.
Surgical sperm retrieval is used in rare cases where normal sperm production or sperm ejaculation is prevented by an obstruction in the tubal system of the testes. Provided that motile sperm are being produced, sperm can be retrieved surgically directly from the epididymis or the testes with a very fine needle. Even if only one or two sperm cells can be surgically retrieved, fertilisation of an egg is possible, thanks to the microinjection technique of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). These techniques have proven a revolution in the treatment of men with very severe infertility, making fatherhood possible even in the most challenging of cases.
Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) is a procedure used to extract sperm tissue by a fine needle that is passed through the skin of the scrotum.
Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA) is a simple technique to obtain sperm in men who have an obstruction of the sperm duct. PESA involves inserting a needle attached to a syringe into the epididymis and gently extracting sperm-containing fluid.
Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA) is usually only done when PESA has been unsuccessful. It involves opening up the ducts of the epididymis and extracting fluid or a piece of testicular tissue to extract live sperm through a fine needle, rather than just fluid as is done with PESA.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) is performed if there is no epididymis or when there is an absence of sperm in the epididymis. Through a small incision, a piece of testicular tissue is removed to obtain sperm.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a microinjection technique through which sperm are directly injected into an egg. It is used in the case of poor semen characteristics and is usually offered to couples who have had or is likely to have poor or no fertilisation during standard IVF. Because only a few normal sperm are needed for ICSI, and because of its rate of fertilisation of around 70%, it is one of the major breakthroughs in male infertility treatment and even men who were previously regarded as completely sterile now have an excellent chance to father a child.
Artificial Insemination (AI) / Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is sometimes used in cases of a mild sperm abnormality or the presence of anti-sperm antibodies. In this procedure, sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor is placed directly into the female partner’s uterus.
Sperm Freezing and Storage allows your semen samples to be frozen and stored for fertilising eggs in the future. It is recommended in cases where future fertility may be compromised, for example, undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, pelvic or testicular surgery and vasectomy, or suffering from certain illnesses, diseases or injuries.
Sperm Donation is another option, and Medfem Fertility Clinic founded its own sperm bank in 1990. Medfem’s sperm donors are decent, committed men who give up their time, without compensation, to help others to conceive.
The first step in treating any sperm disorder
A 30 – 60 minute initial consultation with a fertility specialist is your first step in any sperm disorder treatment plan, regardless of which specific treatments you may require.
During your initial consultation at Medfem Fertility Clinic, a highly qualified and experienced fertility specialist will discuss with you your medical history, conduct a physical exam, advise you of your options, and start to plan your tests and treatments.
Simply click here or contact us on +27 (11) 463 2244 to book your initial consultation and take the first step to parenthood.