Guest Blog by Dr. Bradley Miller, a Reproductive Endocrinologist.
When couples begin the process of creating a family they often have very important questions regarding fertility. Below are the three most popular topics that are discussed when couples are thinking about pursuing fertility treatment:
What are the best days of the month?
For patients that have regular menstrual cycles predicting ovulation can be straightforward. An inexpensive method for testing for ovulation would be the basil body temperature method. Another option is to use ovulation predictor kits which can be purchased at a local drugstore. Another option is to have timed intercourse on cycle days 12, 14, and 16 for those patients having regular 28-30 day cycles. For those patients having irregular cycles it may be difficult to predict when ovulation occurs. We recommend that those patients be seen by their gynecologist or seek the care of a reproductive endocrinologist.
How do other medical conditions affect our ability to conceive?
Chronic medical condition such as hypertension or diabetes, can make it difficult for patients to conceive, but may also put the pregnancy itself at risk. For those patients that suffer from a chronic medical condition, we recommended that they see a high-risk pregnancy specialist prior to conception. For the best outcome for both the patient and the fetus it is critical that underlying medical conditions have optimal treatment. A specialized obstetrician, practicing maternal fetal medicine will make recommendations for patients with chronic medical conditions prior to conception and then manage those patients once they become pregnant.
What is involved in a basic fertility evaluation?
For those couples that are having difficulty trying to conceive we recommend that both the man and woman have a basic fertility evaluation. For men, a simple semen analysis can be conducted to evaluate sperm-related issues. Nearly 40% of fertility issues that couples face are derived from a male factor. For women, basic blood tests such as TSH, prolactin and FSH are helpful in determining any possible issues with female infertility. One of the most important tests for diminished ovarian reserve is the day 3 FSH. This test provides a rough estimate of oocyte quality and the chance of having a live birth. Finally, an important test to determine the status of the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes is the HSG. This test will confirm the shape of the uterine cavity and the patency of the fallopian tubes. It is usually performed between cycle day 5 and 10.
Do you have an important fertility question that you would like to ask Dr. Miller? Feel free to do so by visiting www.DrBradleyMiller.com, or responding right here on our site.
Dr. Bradley Miller is a Reproductive Endocrinologist who has been in practice for 18 years. Throughout his career over 2,000 babies have been born as a result of his care. He is the Managing Partner at Reproductive Medicine Associates of Michigan, one of the leading fertility centers in Michigan. Learn more about Dr. Miller and follow his blog to discover more answers to your infertility needs and questions.