Understanding Infertility, Galway Fertility ClinicYou are not alone…

One in six couples experience difficulties conceiving a child. However with the advances in assisted reproductive medicine many couples have an increased chance of conception.

Galway Fertility’s approach is to provide the least invasive, most effective treatment option for patients to maximise their chance of conception.

Our doctor will review your medical history, schedule investigative tests and then recommend an individualised treatment plan to help you realise your dream of becoming a parent.

Understanding natural conception and ovulation

From the start of the menstrual cycle (i.e. your period) the ovaries develop a leading “follicle” (a fluid filled sac) which contains an egg. After approximately 14 days this follicle matures and the egg is “released” – or ovulated. The egg then survives for around 24 hours during which time it moves into the fallopian tube and awaits fertilisation by sperm – this is your fertile time.

To optimise your chance of conception unprotected intercourse is recommended every 2-3 days between days 8-14 of your menstrual cycle, before ovulation occurs. Common signs of ovulation are increased vaginal mucus, breast tenderness, or a ‘twinge’ in the abdomen as the egg is released. However the menstrual cycle for each woman can vary often due to illness or stress.

During intercourse sperm is ejaculated into the upper vagina. The sperm swim upwards through the uterus (womb) into the fallopian tubes to meet the egg. Sperm can survive for 72-96 hours, so intercourse prior to the time of ovulation maximises the chance of the sperm and egg meeting at which point an embryo is created. A naturally conceived pregnancy requires:

  • Ovulation
  • Normal healthy sperm
  • Normal tubes and uterus

Not surprisingly then the main reasons a couple have difficulty conceiving are concerned with these 3 factors.


Why are we having trouble conceiving?

Research has identified many causes for infertility that involve male, female or a combination of factors. They include problems with:

  • The production of sperm or eggs
  • The structure or function of male and female reproductive systems, and/or
  • Hormonal and immune conditions in both men and women.

Both Female age and sperm quality are identified as key issues affecting success rates. In 10-20% of couples no cause will be found, this is called Unexplained Infertility, which can be particularly frustrating for those concerned. Galway Fertility clinic offers a range of treatment to address the above issues. The fertility specialist will review your medical history, including any tests you may have recorded with your GP.