What Affects Success Rates?
A woman’s age can be a success rates factor:
Many women are aware that around the age of 35, their natural fertility starts waning. The exact time varies considerably but occurs when the ovaries start to produce less eggs. At the age of 25 it is likely that a woman has many functioning follicles in the ovaries. Every month, one of these follicles will produce an egg. As the follicles function declines, so it can be that an egg is produced not every month, but every couple of months. When this happens, from the early forties, the women has entered into early menopause. Therefore if a woman was trying to become pregnant, it could be that it takes longer to become pregnant because not every month an egg is being produced.
Women’s fertility decreases with age from about the age of 35 onwards and their fertility reduction starts to become significant after the age of 40. This reduction is related to the decline in the number of “eggs” that remain in the ovaries as these are used up over the years from the finite number that are available from the onset of periods. It is possible that Mr Pickles may advise a blood test prior to you going ahead with a reversal procedure. He will discuss this with you at your consultation.
Also, other internal ageing takes place. The lining of the womb, the endometrium, can decline in thickness so if the woman is still producing healthy eggs, the depleted lining may prevent a pregnancy from occurring.
The fluid in the vagina also changes as a woman gets older and it becomes thinner which results in the sperm being unable to live for the length of time required to get to the egg and fertilise it.
Condition of the fallopian tubes:
As women become older, the amount of oestrogen they produce reduces so all the female reproductive tract thins including the fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes, one from each ovary leads to the womb or uterus can sometimes also become damaged and blocked. There are a few potential causes for this:-
* Pelvic infections (such as pelvic inflammatory disease)
* Use of an intrauterine device if it causes a pelvic infection (which is rare)
* A ruptured appendix, surgery in the pelvis or lower abdomen
* A mislocated (ectopic) pregnancy in the fallopian tubes
* Birth defects of the uterus and fallopian tubes
* Fibroids in the uterus
The menstrual cycle:
As women become older, their ovaries naturally fail to produce oestrogen and progesterone. This is linked to the number egg cells that a woman has. Every woman is born with a pre-determined number of egg cells. From birth onwards, the number of egg cells declines very gradually at first but from puberty onwards this increases, partly as eggs are released but around the age of 40 there is a more rapid degeneration. With less egg cells, the ovaries are then less able to react to hormones from the pituitary gland in the brain, these are called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) and so there is a decrease in the production of oestrogen. With this reduction, there is a rise in the levels of FSH and LH and a change in the menstrual cycle. Monthly periods become more erratic and eventually stop as the hormone levels continue to change.
There are many factors that can affect male fertility
* obstructive problems (blockages in sperm-carrying tubes)
* testicular injury and disease
* sperm disorders
* genetic disorders
* problems with erection and ejaculation
* hormonal problems
* general medical disorders that reduce fertility
* drugs that reduce fertility
* environmental toxins and radiation.
Other unknown factors usually connected to the reproductive system.
There are, very occasionally, other factors that cause infertility or problems with fertility and it is only through working through the problems that the solution or cause is found.