Could Freezing Your Eggs Be The Right Fertility Treatment For You?

Could Freezing Your Eggs Be The Right Fertility Treatment For You?

Egg freezing, otherwise known as Mature Oocyte Cryopreservation, is one of the more advanced modern fertility treatments we offer at our clinic. It was in its experimental phase until January 2013, but today it is a routine procedure we perform at HART Fertility Clinic in North Houston. 

Who Should Consider Freezing Their Eggs?

Doctor Ertug Kovanci, M.D., a top Houston infertility specialist, often recommends egg freezing to women who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for different cancers, since these treatments can be toxic to their eggs. He has also recommended egg freezing to women suffering from autoimmune diseases, or to our transgender patients. Freezing your eggs is a fantastic way to help preserve your fertility for kids in the future and although both egg and embryo freezing are options we offer at our fertility clinic in The Woodlands and Kingwood, some of our patients may prefer egg freezing over embryo freezing for religious or ethical reasons.

How Does Egg Freezing Work

To freeze your eggs, we have to retrieve them first. We start the process by completing the same hormone-injection process you would go through if you were undergoing IVF treatment in order to stimulate the ovaries. Once the ovaries are stimulated and the eggs have matured, they are extracted through a minor and painless procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound-guided needle aspiration.

Once the eggs are retrieved, they are immediately frozen. When in experimentation, ice crystals would typically form over the egg and destroy the cell, which was a direct result of the high water content. To avoid this, we must dehydrate the egg and use our rapid freezing technique, which protects the egg and keeps it safe for several years until you are ready to attempt a pregnancy.

When you are ready to try getting pregnant, we will thaw the eggs, carefully inject them with sperm to fertilize them, and then we’ll transfer them to the uterus as embryos.

HART Fertility Specialists in The Woodlands and Kingwood

If you are considering freezing your eggs to preserve your fertility and attempt a pregnancy in the future, then please don't hesitate to book an appointment with us. Our caring specialists will answer any questions you have and ensure we are there for you during the entire process.

IUI Procedure at Hart Fertility Clinic in North Houston

IUI Procedure at Hart Fertility Clinic in North Houston

IUI, which stands for Intrauterine Insemination, is one of the simpler procedures we offer at Hart Fertility Clinic in Kingwood and The Woodlands. It is ideal for women who are experiencing unexplained infertility and/or their partner experiences sperm abnormalities. IUI is meant as a boost and serves to increase how much sperm can travel, resulting in an improved chance of fertilization.

How Does An IUI Procedure Work?

Evaluation Prior to Infertility Treatment

First of all, if you are worried about how long it has taken you to get pregnant, you should first speak with a doctor and voice your concerns. Your doctor will ask you questions relating to yours and your partner's individual medical histories and sexual histories. After this, your doctor will administer specialized tests, such as a semen analysis and a fallopian tube evaluation to determine if infertility is something you and your partner should be concerned with and what your options are.

IUI is often the first form of treatment, especially if your infertility seems unexplained or if your partner's sperm motility is an obstacle.

Prior to Intrauterine Insemination 

Once your doctor has determined that IUI is a viable treatment option for you, you may be given ovulation-stimulating medication. Our North Houston fertility specialists will closely monitor you as you take these medications so we know when your eggs are mature. Within 24-36 hours of your eggs maturing, we will perform the procedure. 

If you suffer from endometriosis, you may also be given medications that encourage good quality eggs, in addition to the ovulation-stimulating medications. This will ensure you have a good egg for the procedure.

Performing an IUI Procedure

Your partner, or a donor if that is what you and your partner wish, will provide us with a semen sample, which will be taken to a lab and specially washed to separate the semen from its fluid. This also helps separate the lower quality sperm from the more motile sperm. We will then insert the semen directly into the uterus to ensure as many sperm cells as possible are placed in the uterus, which offers a boost and increases your possibility of conceiving. The process only takes a few minutes and is absolutely pain-free.

IUI Infertility Treatment at Our North Houston Fertility Clinic

Infertility is a challenge, but our team at Hart Fertility is here to support you the entire way and offer you the best care possible. If you and your partner are candidates for Intrauterine Insemination and would like to discuss it in more detail, please book an appointment with us.

Facts You Should Know If You're Considering IVF

Facts You Should Know If You're Considering IVF

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization and is a popular method used for couples to become pregnant. Here are some important facts to know if you are considering this fertility treatment in The Woodlands and Kingwood areas of Houston.

1. IVF Shouldn't be Your First Course of Action if You're Having a Hard Time Getting Pregnant

Getting pregnant can take some longer than others and it does not necessarily mean a woman is infertile. If you are feeling concerned because you think it's taking too long, speak to your doctor about it before anything else. When you speak with your doctor, he or she will first ask about your medical and sexual history, as well as that of your partner's. Next, tests such as semen analysis, fallopian tube evaluation, and ovarian reserve tests will be administered. Gathering this information helps your doctor determine if infertility is indeed the case and what exactly is causing it. Afterward, your doctor will walk you through all of your options and let you know if IVF treatment is recommended.

2. The Younger You Are, The Better Your Chances of Becoming Pregnant

Even healthy young women can have a hard time conceiving and may be candidates for In Vitro Fertilization. At a mere 30 years of age, it's normal to have some eggs that are out of the ordinary that cannot become properly fertilized. Women younger than 35 typically have better chances of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby, but that doesn't mean its impossible for women above that age. There have, in fact, been some success cases for women above 35 at our North Houston fertility clinic.

3. Your Lifestyle Can Affect The Outcome of IVF Treatment

It's no secret that a healthy lifestyle equals a healthy, medically-sound body. BMI and how often both partners in the relationship exercise can have an effect on whether they achieve a successful birth. At our Houston fertility clinic in The Woodlands and Kingwood, we recommend a diet rich in protein and vegetables to help improve and encourage embryo quality. Having an unhealthy lifestyle and habits can harm your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy, so we also recommend getting enough sleep (7-9 hours a night) and avoiding the consumption of alcoholic drinks, as these practices can lead to a lower rate of pregnancy.

Schedule Your First Visit With HART Fertility Clinic in North Houston

If IVF treatment has been recommended to you, please request an appointment so we can take the first step toward developing a relationship with you. Don't hesitate to ask any questions prior to your first visit so that we can ensure you have a pleasant experience.

Our Houston Fertility Specialists Encourage A Fertility Boosting Diet

Our Houston Fertility Specialists Encourage A Fertility Boosting Diet

Infertility is far more common than you may think. It's a deeply personal challenge and can weigh you down, but there are ways to improve your chances of delivering a healthy baby. When in conjunction with infertility treatment, a fertility-boosting diet may also help you achieve a healthy birth. Here are some of the practices our Houston fertility specialists recommend.

Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants attack free radicals that enter your body. In essence, free radicals are unbalanced atoms that can severely damage your cells which cause harm and aging. This means they can easily damage both sperm cells and egg cells. Antioxidant-rich foods include Vitamin C and E, folate, and beta carotene. You can find these in many fruits, nuts, and veggies. 

Avoid Trans Fats

There are some healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids that are found in salmon and avocado, that can boost fertility. But there are also bad fats known as trans fats, which may hinder fertility. They are easily found in fried foods, processed snacks, and margarine. Trans fats have been associated with infertility because they have bad effects on insulin sensitivity.

Try A Low-Carb Diet

If you are one of many who experience infertility as a result of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a low carb diet is recommended because it helps maintain healthy weight, reduce insulin, and helps regulate your menstrual cycle. It has also been shown that eating a low-carb diet helped reduce testosterone and insulin levels, which, if too high, can lead to infertility.

Decrease How Many Refined Carbs You Eat

It's clear that the amount of carbs you eat is important when trying to achieve a healthy birth, but the kind of carbs you eat matter too, especially if you suffer from PCOS. Refined carbs, in particular, should be avoided. These can be consumed in sugary foods and drinks and processed grains, such as pasta and bread. The reason we recommend avoiding refined carbs when struggling with PCOS and fertility is because they can very quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

Replacing Animal Protein

Animal proteins, such as red meat, fish, and eggs can be replaced by vegetable proteins. Vegetable proteins are those that come from beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. These have been shown to help offer a fertility boost, but they are also good for your overall health because they are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Our Houston Fertility Clinic Recommends You Take Good Care of Your Wellbeing

When going through infertility treatment, it is especially important to be at your best health to increase your chances. Contact our Houston fertility clinic today so we can help you establish a healthy lifestyle through the course of your treatment.

Potential Risks of IVF

IVF was first pioneered in 1978 and has been advancing in medical knowledge and technology ever since.  One of the safest and most successful forms of assisted reproductive technologies, IVF has helped millions of families.  However, it is important to keep in mind that every medical procedure does have potential risks, including IVF. At Hart Fertility Clinic, we believe that it is important to fully inform our patients before they make the decision to pursue IVF.  

Throughout the entirety of the procedure, your doctor will make every effort to induce as little pain and discomfort as possible.  However, there are potential risks during egg retrieval of infection and possible damage to the bladder or bowels. There are also a handful of possible side effects to be aware of.

Some mild side effects may include:

  • Discharge that is clear or slightly blood tinged
  • Mood swings
  • Cramping
  • Breast tenderness
  • Bloating
  • Constipation

If you experience any sharp pains, fever, or prolonged bleeding, you should reach out to your doctor right away.  Following the IVF procedure, there have been extremely rare cases of infection, ovarian torsion or the twisting of the ovary, and severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).  If you do find that you are pregnant, there may be a slightly higher rate of increased blood pressure, preeclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, and birth defects.

Some of our patients have come to our clinic with a known medical history of complex fertility-related conditions; it’s always best to discuss these and other factors with your doctor entirely before proceeding with IVF.  Our doctors have extensive experience and are highly qualified to make the necessary adjustments to our patients’ treatment processes to identify and account for their conditions.

 

Whatever your situation, the Hart Fertility Clinic team is here to help - call us today to schedule a consultation with our fertility doctors.