The Patient's Guide to Embryology

1 in 6 couples experience infertility worldwide.

Around 40% of cases are linked to the female partner, 35% are due to male infertility, 10% have both male and female causes and 15% have no known cause.

Subfertility vs Infertility

Infertility is often referred to as ‘subfertility’ and vice versa but there is a big difference between the two.

Infertility means that there is 0% chance a person can have a baby naturally and IVF is the only way forward. For women this can range from reasons such as the menopause, to structural problems like blocked/missing fallopian tubes. Infertility in men most often means that they do not produce any sperm, or that the sperm that is being produced is unable to fertilise an egg.

Subfertility is much more common and can mean that a couple finds it more difficult to get pregnant naturally but IVF is not always necessary. For example, this might be because a woman has irregular periods or because a man’s sperm count is lower than average.

IVF for the fertile

Many people who have IVF treatment are fertile but still need a helping hand from science. Same sex female couples have a range of treatments available to them using donor sperm where either partner can provide the eggs and either partner can carry the baby. Same sex male couples face additional challenges because they need both donor eggs and a surrogate to carry the pregnancy.

IVF is also a useful tool for couples who carry a genetic abnormality but are otherwise fertile. It allows them to test the embryos for a inherited condition before the embryo implants to ensure the baby isn’t affected.

Take a closer look

The basics of IVF are always the same: collect eggs and sperm, make embryos, transfer embryos. However, there are a lot of options to consider when planning your IVF treatment and there is certainly no one-size-fits-all solution. To make things even trickier, IVF is a fast-paced industry where new developments emerge rapidly and techniques are constantly changing. An IVF cycle that is optimally planned can maximise your chance of success and small changes can be the difference between success and failure. So what kind of treatments are right for you?

How old is too old for IVF?

Female age is the biggest factor determining the success of IVF because it has such a big impact on the quality of the eggs and hence the quality of the embryos… Read more.

The harsh reality of IVF for PCOS sufferers

Women with PCOS are more sensitive to IVF drugs. PCOS can also affect egg quality, egg maturity, and the environment inside the uterus… Read more.

How to get pregnant naturally

Let’s start with the basics – a pregnancy happens when a sperm meets an egg, the egg gets fertilised to make an embryo and the embryo implants… Read more.

Male Infertility

Coming soon…

Coming soon…

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