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Frequent Questions (Page 2)


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Infertility FAQS from the Malpani Infertility Clinic.

Q. My husband and I have an active sex life, we are both healthy, and my periods are regular. However, we have still not conceived ! Please help !
A. You need to remember that it's not possible to determine the reason for your infertility until you undergo tests to find out if your husband's sperm count is normal; if your fallopian tubes and uterus are normal; and if you are producing eggs. Only after undergoing these tests will your doctor be able to tell you why you are not conceiving. While testing does cause considerable anxiety, it's far better to intelligently identify the problem so that we can look for the best solution.

Q. My gynecologist has done an internal examination and said I am normal. Do I still need to get tests done to determine why I am not conceiving ?
A. A routine gynecological examination does not provide information about possible problems which can cause infertility, such as blocked fallopian tubes or ovulatory disorders. You need a systematic infertility workup.

Q. Do painful periods cause infertility ?
A. Painful periods do not affect fertility. In fact, for most patients, regular painful periods usually signal ovulatory cycles. However, progressively worsening pain during periods (especially when this is accompanied by pain during sex) may mean you have endometriosis.

Q. My periods come only once every 6 weeks. Could this be a reason for my infertility ?
A. As long as the periods are regular, this means ovulation is occurring. Some normal women have menstrual cycle lengths of as long as 40 days. Of course, since they have fewer cycles every year, the number of times they are "fertile" in a year is decreased. Also, they need to monitor their fertile period more closely, since this is delayed (as compared to women with a 30 day cycle).

Q. My husband's blood group is B positive and I am A negative. Could this blood group "incompatibility" be a reason for our infertility ?
A. There is no relation between blood groups and fertility.

Q. After having sex, most of the semen leaks out. How can we prevent this ? Should we change our sexual technique ? Could this be a reason for our infertility ?
A. Loss of seminal fluid after intercourse is perfectly normal, and most women notice some discharge immediately after sex. Many infertile couples imagine that this is the cause of their problem. If your husband ejaculates inside you, then you can be sure that no matter how much semen leaks out afterwards, enough sperm will reach the cervical mucus. This leakage of semen ( which is called effluvium seminis) is not a cause of infertility. In fact, this leakage is a good sign - it means your husband is depositing his semen normally in your vagina. Of course, you cannot see what goes in - you can only see what leaks out - but the fact that some is leaking out means enough is going in!

Q.My husband refuses to get his semen tested. He says the fact that it is thick and voluminous means it must be normal.
A. Semen consists mainly of seminal fluid, secreted by the seminal vesicles and the prostate. The volume and consistency of the semen is not related to its fertility potential, which depends upon the sperm count. This can only be assessed by microscopic examination.

Q.My sister conceived only after 6 years of marriage. Does this mean I will also have difficulty conceiving ?
A. If your mother, grandmother or sister has had difficulty becoming pregnant, this does not necessarily mean you will have the same problem! Most infertility problems are not hereditary, and you need a complete evaluation.

Q.My husband says we should be having intercourse every day to achieve pregnancy. Is this true ?
A. Sperm remain alive and active in woman's cervical mucus for 48-72 hours following sexual intercourse; therefore, it isn't necessary to plan your lovemaking on a rigid schedule.

Q. My sister in law is advising me to keep a pillow under my hips during and after intercourse . Will this increase my chances of conceiving ?
A. Sperm are already swimming in cervical mucus as sexual intercourse is completed and will continue to travel up the cervix to the fallopian tube for the next 48 to 72 hours. The position of the hips really doesn't matter.

Q. I just had a HSG ( X-ray of the uterus and tubes) done, and this shows my tubes are blocked. I've never had symptoms of a pelvic infection, so how could my tubes get blocked ?
A. Many pelvic infections have no symptoms at all, but can cause damage, sometimes irreversibly, to the tubes.

Q. My doctor has advised me to take fertility drugs . I don't want to take them because if I am scared that if I do, then I'll have a multiple births.
A. Fact: Although fertility drugs do increase the chance of having a multiple pregnancy (because they stimulate the ovaries to mature several eggs), the majority of women taking them have singleton births.

Q. My husband's sperm count varies every time we test it ! How do we determine what the "real" sperm count is ?
A. Even a normal ( fertile ) man's sperm count can vary considerably from week to week. Sperm count and motility can be affected by many factors, including time between ejaculations, illness, and medications. There are other factors which affect the sperm count as well, all of which we do not understand.

Q. I have no problems having sex. Since I am virile, my sperm count must be normal.
A. There is no correlation between male fertility and virility. Men with totally normal sex drives may have no sperms at all.

Q. My semen analysis report shows I have no sperm in the semen (azoospermia ). Is this because I used to masturbate excessively as a boy ?
A. Masturbation is a normal activity which most boys and men indulge in. It does not affect the sperm count. You cannot "run" out of sperms from masturbation, because these are constantly being produced in the testes.

Contributed By: Dr Malpani, Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba, Bombay 400 005. Tel: 91-22-2151065, 91-22-2151066

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