Did you know that it takes around three months for sperm to mature in the testes before they’re ready to successfully fertilise an egg. That’s why pre-game day conditioning can make all the difference to your sperm’s quality, for the best shot at egg fertilisation. During this time, your health can affect your sperm’s quality, for better or for worse.
Becoming a mother has always been the most important thing I have wanted to experience in my life. Due to endometriosis and other complications, I had tried unsuccessfully to have my dream realised for 12 long years, and it has been an incredibly difficult and heart-breaking journey for me. It’s unbelievable what I went through, to see where I am today.
I had always had a feeling something wasn’t quite right, it was just this strange feeling that I would have problems, a sixth sense I guess. There was no real reason for it.
We had been trying to conceive for over 6 months without success and decided to get some tests done. We were getting older, I was 36 at the time, and rather than waste another 6 months I rang my Doctor and made an appointment. The tests weren’t good. It basically looked like I had no eggs left and I was going into early menopause. What a bombshell.
Fertility and conception are private and often vulnerable topics, but those that are keen to start a family will have a lot of questions. How long should you try to conceive before consulting a fertility specialist? What options are available? How does your age or your partner’s age (if applicable) fit into the picture?
Knowing the facts can help to shed light on where you stand on your fertility journey and give a clearer path forward as you make decisions. Read on as Repromed founder and Medical Director, Dr. Guy Gudex answers the most common questions around fertility and conception.
Christmas can be difficult to navigate for those trying to get pregnant. Being around friends and family with children and having to answer questions from those less perceptive, can cause a whole range of feelings. Repromed counsellor Lani Eagle has some tips for dealing with the festive season.
My partner and I met while living in different cities in New Zealand. We actually met on an online dating app, while living 400km apart! When we met up for the first time at a city in-between us, we instantly hit it off. We hung out every weekend for 9 months before he made the move up to Auckland.
We hadn’t really talked about starting a family, we were early 30’s and just enjoying each other and working really hard in our careers, but having kids was in the background of our minds. We weren’t using any contraception but after three years together I hadn’t fallen pregnant. When my GP got wind of it during a checkup, she immediately said that something wasn’t right with that situation and referred me to Repromed. I guess underneath it all, I had thought that something was a bit off.
5 learnings about going through IVF
It’s hard to believe looking back at how much I’ve learnt. Five years ago I was wide eyed, and I guess a little surprised, to learn about the process we would need to go through to have children. Like most people, I had always thought that when we wanted to start our family, we would just, start our family. Naturally.
As things turned out, my husband and I went through four rounds of IVF over five years. It was exhausting and emotional and expensive. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Our two kids give us more joy than we could ever have imagined.
If I could have given myself a little heads up about what to expect back when it all began, this is what I would have said.
I come from a big family and I have always wanted to be a mother and have children of my own. At 36 I found myself still single, and desperate for a family. Over the years, I have tried everything to meet someone, but haven’t had much luck. I was kind of okay with being single, but I knew I would be heartbroken if I went through life and couldn’t be a mother.
I decided to talk to a fertility expert to find out what my options were. The notebook I took with me to that appointment for writing down notes, is still today, completely covered in tears. I just wanted to be a mother so badly.
Considering using an egg donor to complete our family was a really big deal for us. It was a bit scary, as this option was unchartered territory. We didn’t know anyone who had been an egg donor and didn’t know the process involved with finding one. We had attempted several rounds of IVF in order to give our daughter a sibling, but had no luck. Attempting another round of IVF using an egg donor was the next step in achieving our dream of completing our family.
We got married when I was 30, and my husband was 37. We had always talked about how much we wanted a family. We were aware that fertility can go downhill quite rapidly after age 30, so we tried to get pregnant straight after our wedding, but after 6 months, hadn’t had any luck.
Mana magazine have kindly allowed us to publish their 2017 article that featured Repromed clients – a same-sex couple who generously shared their fertility story.
If you missed the article last year, you can read the full article, written by Qiane Matata-Sipu for Mana Magazine, published by Kowhai Media Ltd here.
I was torn between a career in medicine or in football, but had always been keen to follow my older brother who left home to study medicine nine years earlier than me. It was a good thing that I chose medicine as I wasn’t quite good enough at football (although I did end up captaining the Newcastle Medicals Football Club!).
When seeking specialist fertility care, you are choosing to trust a doctor with your hopes for the future. It’s important that you have full confidence in your specialist’s expertise, but demystifying the letters following a doctor’s name can prove to be a challenge! In New Zealand, the highest possible qualification in fertility is to become a Certified Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (CREI) specialist. Around a dozen doctors in the country have achieved this certification, and here at Repromed we have four of them on our team. These doctors are true fertility experts, offering an unparalleled level of care to each of our clients.
Dr. Karen Buckingham, a gynaecologist and fertility specialist at Repromed, is an expert in reproductive medicine. As with all the doctors on our team, Dr. Buckingham provides personalised care to clients through their fertility journey. We asked her advice on some of the most common questions we receive about healthy fertility so you can optimise your health this season.
The end of each year always invites reflection, and as I look back at the past 12 months at Repromed, I couldn’t be prouder of our team. 2017 marked Repromed’s 10th birthday, and as our first-ever IVF baby cut the cake at our celebration, I was reminded of the honour that it is to support New Zealand families on their fertility journey. Our team is extremely focused on setting the highest standards in fertility care and this year saw significant developments in treatment options.
2017 is winding down, and we’re ushering in the Christmas season, a time focused on children, families and birth, followed by the New Year, when people review the year gone by and set goals for the future. This season certainly comes with challenges if you are trying to get pregnant and navigate your way through fertility waiting lists and treatment options. It’s important to stay grounded at this time of year, so here are a few thoughts and ideas from Repromed Counsellor Helen Nicholson to consider over the next few months.