PRC Presents:

Your Fertility & Environmental Toxins

Join Dr. Shala Salem for a discussion on an integrative approach to fertility.  Light bites and refreshments will be served.  We will have clean beauty giveaways and a make-up artist on site.

Attendees can receive a complimentary consultation.

Please RSVP as we will have limited seating.  Email lvaldez@prc-ivf.com or RSVP through our Facebook event here

Whether an issue involving the male is contributing to infertility or not, it is always advised that men have their semen analyzed when a woman is not getting pregnant naturally. After all, if the couple is seeking medical help for conceiving, a doctor will want to rule out any contributing issues from the male. It takes two to tango, as everybody knows.

What to expect with semen analysis

To produce a sample that can provide baseline results, the male is expected to refrain from ejaculating for two to five days prior to producing a test sample. The semen sample is then produced through masturbation and collected in a sterilized cup provided by a physician or by catching the semen in a specialized condom.

The sample must be analyzed within the hour, so the sample is often produced at the physician’s office in a private room. If done at home, the sample must be kept warm and still make it to a laboratory within the hour. It should be noted, as well, it is standard procedure to repeat the test after a month or more in order to confirm any findings.

What doctors look for with a basic semen analysis

Doctors can learn a lot from a semen analysis. Here’s what they look for from standard testing:

– Sperm count – the total sperm count and the number of sperm per millimeter (the density) of sperm are both of interest

–  Semen volume

–  Sperm vitality and motility – how well the sperm cells move

–  Sperm size and shape – to assess the number of healthy-looking sperm

–  Semen pH – normal is semen that is slightly alkaline

–  Sperm antibodies – presence of a protein that is unhealthy for sperm

–  White blood cells – which indicates an infection is present

–  Viscosity – the thickness of the semen

–  Coagulation v. liquidity – how fast the semen goes from a thick to a thin viscosity

What do the numbers mean?

Volume

The volume of semen tells doctors if there is enough sperm to promote normal conception. Small amounts of semen indicate small amounts of sperm. The normal range is between 1.5 and 5 milliliters of fluid per ejaculation.

Viscosity

Semen, when ejaculated, is a relatively thick substance. After about 20 minutes, it should become more liquid. If it does not, this might make it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg.

Sperm count and density

Normal sperm density is around 20 million sperm per milliliter. Below 15 million is considered an infertility risk. Above 39 million (total) per ejaculation is considered healthy.

Motility

This is measured by the percentage of actively moving sperm. An hour after the sample is produced, 40 percent or more of the sperm should still be active and moving in a straight line. They should also be moving at a reasonable speed.

The activity is graded 1 through 4 with 1 being inactive sperm and 4 being the most active. If the numbers are low, the lab will conduct a sperm viability test to determine the number of inactive (dead) sperm.

Sperm vitality is the percentage of live sperm. Above 58 percent is healthy.

Morphology

In a healthy sample, at least 4 percent to 14 percent are deemed of “normal form” or NF. This is an analysis that looks at sperm shape, size, and length. Sperm is visibly defined as having a head, a midsection, and a tail. Abnormalities of these in large numbers can be the reason for infertility.

Semen pH

This tests alkalinity versus acidity. Normal is between 7.2 and 7.8 – slightly alkaline. Too low indicates an infection; too high indicates urine contamination or obstruction of ejaculatory ducts.

Fructose count

Fructose is sugar. Normal is close to 150 milligrams per deciliter or higher.

White blood cells

No more than 1 million cells per milliliter are considered normal.

Sperm antibodies

This is indicated by counts of how many sperms are joined together. Clumping in a consistent pattern suggest the presence of anti-sperm antibodies. Irregular clumping indicates a potential bacterial infection.

What next?

Various substances, including tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and several recreational and prescription drugs can affect sperm counts. Some herbal medications could be contributing factors, as well. All these factors should be discussed with your physician.

Additional tests

Doctors may also order additional tests to determine the cause of infertility if the first round of tests is inconclusive.  If you are interested in setting up a consultation at PRC to discuss infertility treatment, contact us today.

Premature Ovarian Failure is sometimes confused with premature menopause, but there is a basic technical difference. With premature ovarian failure, periods could be irregular, occurring just occasionally for several years. With premature menopause, ovulation stops altogether. The critical implication here is that with primary ovarian insufficiency, there is still a chance for a woman to become naturally pregnant, although the odds are certainly diminished.

It is likely, however, that some form of assisted reproductive technology could be used to help a woman become pregnant even when her ovaries are not functioning properly. One commonly used procedure is in vitro fertilization. 

Symptoms of premature ovarian failure include:

  • Irregular periods, including skipped periods
  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lower sex drive 

When to See a Doctor 

If you miss your period for three months, it is advised to see a physician to find out why. Among other complications, this could be a sign of low estrogen levels, which can lead to bone loss.

 

Causes of Premature Ovarian Failure

While identifying what has caused a woman to experience premature ovarian failure is not always possible, there are some possible contributing issues you should discuss with your doctor. 

These are:

– Turner’s syndrome, which is marked by having one normal X chromosome and one altered X chromosome

– Fragile X Syndrome, marked by having X chromosomes that break

– Chemotherapy and radiation therapy

– Other toxins, including smoking, industrial chemicals

– Various viruses

– Auto-immune disorders in which the immune system attacks ovarian tissues

Risk Factors Include:

– Age, associated with ages 35-40

– Family history of premature ovarian failure

– Previous ovarian surgeries

Diagnosis

Several tests and a physical, including a pelvic exam, could be required to diagnose premature ovarian failure. It is recommended that you discuss your options with a physician.  Contact PRC today if you are in need of fertility treatment, we are here to help.   

Recent studies conducted by the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology Fertility Center, Scandinavia and University of Gothenburg, notes that “women are encouraged to receive acupuncture treatments pre and post-embryonic transfer.” According to the American Pregnancy Association, a study found that acupuncture is a very effective process for women undergoing the in vitro fertilization process to overcome infertility issues.

A key benefit of acupuncture is stress reduction. As such, acupuncture treatment a great match for women trying to get pregnant or seeking to lower their chance of a miscarriage. This is simply because high-stress levels can contribute to higher levels of both infertility and miscarriage.

In Germany, a study involved data collected from 160 participants. In the study, 42 percent of women who received acupuncture treatment became pregnant, while only 26 percent of those who did not receive acupuncture treatment got pregnant.

The reasons behind acupuncture’s success are not precisely known, but don’t let that get in your way. For decades doctors did not know the precise reasons that aspirin worked. That didn’t stop millions of people from buying the effective headache remedy. 

With acupuncture, science is still stuck with speculation. This is partly because the placement of very tiny, ultra-thin needles at specific points on the body creates only the slightest of measurable changes in physiology – often the changes are too small to measure. If you can’t measure the change, science is baffled. However, many believe that acupuncture increases blood flow and that specific needle placements can designate where that increased blood flow occurs. In the case of infertility issues, the blood flow is thought to be increased in a woman’s uterus, which helps a fertilized egg to implant itself on the uterine wall.

Acupuncture also promotes relaxation, which can have a systemic or holistic effect on someone’s well being. A woman who is relaxed will have relaxed uterine muscle tissue. This creates a healthier environment for the developing embryo.

What about male infertility?

Believe it or not, researchers have found a very beneficial use for acupuncture when it comes to male infertility. Again, this might defy your expectations of science, but, like aspirin, the results are in. The study shows, specifically, that acupuncture could be a great benefit for men whose sperm is not up for the task of impregnating an egg.

Just as it is from a woman’s perspective, infertility that is caused by the male can also be a matter of degrees. So, anything you can do to nudge the odds back in your favor can be the solution to your infertility issues.

As such, acupuncture may not sound like as worthwhile as a great surgical or pharmaceutical cure-all, but it may well be worth a shot. It is often said that fertility improvement is a numbers game, so if your odds improve just a bit, it may be well worth it in the long run.

To learn about infertility treatment options, schedule a consult at PRC today.

One of the standard concerns among women facing infertility issues is how much their lifestyle can affect their chances of getting pregnant. Most physicians, in response, will tell you there are three primary lifestyle factors regarding pregnancy and infertility. These are 1) smoking, 2) alcohol consumption and 3) body weight.

Two major concerns arise with each of these environmental factors. The first concern is how smoking, alcohol or body weight affects the development of the fetus. When taking into account excessively overweight or underweight women, it can be said that all three factors – smoking, alcohol, and weight – can have very negative effects on fetus development. 

The other concern is the effect these factors have on the woman after the birth of their child. Certainly, long-term smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and unhealthy body weights are long term concerns after a child is born.

In this blog, we look at the third subject, assuming that the dangers of smoking and excessive use of alcohol are widely known. Weight issues, however, are very directly related to some infertility cases. A healthy weight is recommended for any woman who is trying to become pregnant.

Excessively thin women run the risk of malnutrition issues. Meanwhile, the woman’s body is focused first on staying alive and only second on becoming pregnant. As such, whenever the woman’s body is under intense stress brought on by malnutrition, menstruation and ovulation can both stop. Women who overdue physical activity in the extreme – professional athletes, marathon runners and the like – also risk halting their reproductive system. This is their body’s way of saying, let’s take care of first things first.

Of course, physical exercise to the point of running marathons might seem a bit extreme, but it takes only a 5 percent to 10 percent weight change to affect menstruation and ovulation. Since infertility is sometimes reversed by making only small changes, keeping yourself a healthy weight could be a larger contributor to increasing fertility than you realize.

Essential Nutrients

If malnutrition is the issue, then dietary supplements and following the recommendations of a nutritionist can usually solve the problem. While all micronutrients are critical to a degree, six are commonly listed as essential for pregnant women to ensure a healthy pregnancy. These are:

  • Folic acid
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin D
  • DHA
  • Iron

These can all be found in dietary supplements that are frequently sold as prenatal vitamins. For proper doses, consult a nutritionist or your physician. DHA, which is an Omega-3 fatty acid, stands for docosahexaenoic acid. DHA for short.

Healthy Weight

Many other women are concerned with too much weight, which affects not only the chances of becoming pregnant but also the health of the developing fetus. In addition, to overall weight, the distribution of weight has been shown to correlate with infertility issues. An apple-shaped women have a higher risk of infertility.  This is the shape associated with belly fat. This body-type is also associated with greater risks for pre-diabetes, diabetes type 2, heart attacks, and stroke. 

Body Mass

A healthy body mass index is easy to calculate. You can calculate your BMI here. A healthy weight is one that is between 18.5 kg/m-squared and 24.9kg/m-squared. Obesity, meanwhile, is defined in several classes. These classes are:

  • Overweight (not obese) includes a BMI of 25 to 29
  • Class 1, slightly overweight: BMI of 30 to 34.9
  • Class 2 (moderate risks): BMI of 35 to 39.9
  • Class 3 (high risk): BMI of more than 40.

The Good News

The good news, certainly, includes the development of fertility treatments and strategies that can help achieve pregnancy from women who are finding it difficult to do so. Furthermore, losing weight or gaining weight, if that is necessary, is possible with proper diet and exercise.

Visit Pacific Reproductive Center

Pacific Reproductive Center® is a world-class fertility center in Southern California. With more than 70 years of collective reproductive clinic experience diagnosing and treating infertility, PRC is a leading provider of IVF and fertility care.

PRC is easily accessible whether traveling from local communities including Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside or points slightly further including San Diego, Temecula, Inland Empire and La Jolla


PRC Torrance
3720 Lomita Blvd, Suite 200 Torrance, CA 90505

PRC Glendale
116 E. Broadway, Suite 300 Glendale, CA 91205

PRC Irvine
10 Post Irvine, CA 92618

PRC Corona
381 Corporate Terrace Corona, CA 92879

CALL TODAY! +1 866-423-2645

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