Optimizing your chance to conceive
There are several important things under a couple’s control that can be done to optimize their chances of conceiving before turning to an infertility specialist.
• Stop smoking and control your weight. (Both factors markedly lower the chances of having a baby.)
• Severely limit caffeine intake.
When is it time to seek medical help for infertility?
• Couples are advised to seek medical help if they have been unable to conceive after one year.
Who can you turn to for medical help?
• If there are no obvious reasons for infertility, a woman may feel most comfortable with an evaluation by her OB/GYN or primary-care provider who can conduct a basic evaluation to determine if the woman’s ovulation is normal and the uterus appears to be normal (and whether the tubes are open), and also order a semen analysis.
• If up to six months of treatment attempts with a primary-care provider have not been successful or there is a clear need for advanced infertility care, a couple should see a reproductive endocrinologist.
• At University Health Care, The Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine has reproductive endocrinologists who offer every known effective fertility therapy that is allowed from the simplest fertility pills and artificial inseminations up to advanced reproductive surgeries, the use of donated eggs and sperm and even gestational surrogacy. The use of advanced reproductive technologies, including in vitro fertilization, are considered only when there are no other reasonable treatment options left to try.
• The Center’s goal is to help couples have children by using the least risky, quickest and least expensive treatments possible given their individual circumstances. Therefore, a personalized plan for each couple is essential.
• This year the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine is celebrating its 25th anniversary. When it opened, the Center was the first full-service fertility treatment center in the Intermountain West. Since then it has performed more than 4,000 IVF procedures. The Center is also home to a highly successful program that has a very low order multiple pregnancy rate. The majority of patients do not need to undergo IVF.
• The Center currently has two studies underway. The ENDO Study is looking at the role of environmental chemicals in endometriosis diagnosis. The EAGER study is looking at the use of low-dose aspirin in improving pregnancy outcomes for women who’ve had a miscarriage. For more information, contact the ENDO study at (801) 585-2585 or the EAGER study at 1-866-912-1967.
Dr. Hataska will be answering questions on infertility at a Women’s Health Fair on May 15 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at University Health Care’s Madsen Health Center, 555 S. Foothill Blvd. The event is free and open to women of all ages. Call (801) 585-9971 for more information.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine at (801) 581-3834 or visit www.healthcare.utah.edu.