Dr. Nadini Verma is a board certified OB/GYN. She serves the residents of Santa Monica and the greater Los Angeles, California area. As an integrative hormone specialist, she helps many of her patients overcome health problems associated with infertility and gives them the opportunity to have children on their own.
What is infertility?
An inability to get pregnant within a specified period of time can be daunting. According to the CDC, Fertility problems affect nearly 11% of the US population. A fifth of these are due to unexplained causes. About a third of the remaining cases are attributed to women, a third of men, and a third to a combination of both partners with reproductive issues.
Conception is dependent on a host of factors: the production of healthy eggs by the woman and healthy sperm by the man, open/unblocked fallopian tubes that allow sperm to reach the egg, sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg when the two meet, the ability of the embryo, or fertilized egg to implant or “stick” to the uterine wall and sufficient embryo quality. When any one of these factors is impaired, fertility problems can ensue.
How is fertility evaluated?
Initial fertility testing involves checking for a woman’s age-appropriate reproductive health, ovulation, and unblocked/open fallopian tubes. We do this through a combination of blood tests, ultrasounds, and a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram. These are done at specific times of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Initial testing for men involves a semen analysis performed in special laboratories.
What does initial fertility treatment involve?
For couples who wish to defer invasive and advanced procedures like IVF and ICSI, chances of pregnancy can be optimized by helping patients better understand their ovulation and menstrual cycles through analyses of ultrasounds and other lab tests to determine the optimal time for conceiving. For certain couples, clomid, an oral medication (used for five days in a cycle) may be administered in conjunction with a timed insemination.
What is assisted reproduction?
In vitro fertilization (IVF): This involves harvesting a woman’s egg, fertilizing it with the partner’s sperm in a test-tube and, once a fertilization of the egg is confirmed, re-introducing the embryo into the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): This is a process used when there is not a high enough number of normal functioning sperm for IVF. Fertilization is achieved by injecting a single live sperm into each egg. The resulting fertilized egg, like in IVF is reintroduced into the uterus.