on October 29th, 2013 No Comments
Infertility is a reality faced by 10 to 15 percent of U.S. couples. For some, the topic is emotionally charged. And while many may have questions related to reproductive endocrinology, research and treatment options may not be favorite table topics for a night out with friends. So for this edition of Ask Stanford Med, we’ve asked Valerie Baker, MD, the division chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and director of Stanford’s Program for Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, to respond to such questions about infertility. Her answers appear below.
@giasison asks: Can you name the 3 top causes of #infertility in your current practice?
Age-related decline in fertility (particularly decline in egg quantity and egg quality with age), sperm problems, and lack of ovulation.
Charmaine asks: Is it true that infertility could be a side effect of vaccination? Why?
No, vaccinations do not cause infertility.
Michelle asks: How have treatments for infertility evolved over the last 10 years? And what might treatments look like 10 years from now?
The biggest advance since the mid-90s has been our ability to help couples with extremely poor sperm quality to conceive. I hope that 10 years from now we will have treatments that help couples where a woman is suffering from premature loss of her egg supply to conceive with her own eggs. Right now, the main choice for women with extremely low egg supply and low egg quality is oocyte donation, where the egg comes from a donor.
Shabba92 asks: What are the most common treatments in your clinic? What percentage of patients wind up undergoing IVF?
The most common treatments are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). We also do ovulation induction for women who are not ovulating on their own and surgery if needed to correct certain problems. Many couples are able to conceive with simpler treatments and do not need IVF. Fewer than half need IVF.