According to the World Health Organization – Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. A couple may be considered infertile if, after one year of regular sexual intercourse, without contraception, the woman has not become pregnant (and there is no other reason, such as breastfeeding or postpartum amenorrhoea). Primary infertility is infertility in a couple who have never had a child. Secondary infertility is failure to conceive following a previous pregnancy. Infertility may be caused by infection in the man or woman, but often there is no obvious underlying cause. Infertility can be caused by several factors including, ovulatory problems, blocked fallopian tubes, sperm problems or many other male and female factors.
Yes, about 1 in 6 of couples experience some difficulty in achieving a pregnancy.
No, both men and women can have medical problems that cause difficulty in conceiving; in about a third of couples, both partners have problems
Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation (the monthly release of an egg). Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating may include irregular or absent menstrual periods.
Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility and may affect up to 60% of UAE women
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is another cause of ovulation problems. POI occurs when a woman´s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40. POI is not the same as early menopause, as regular periods may still be present.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
- Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery
- Physical problems with the uterus
- Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus
Many women are now waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children. So age is a growing cause of fertility problems. About one-third of couples in which the woman is older than 35 years have fertility problems.
Ageing decreases a woman’s chances of having a baby in the following ways:
- Her ovaries become less able to release eggs
- She has a smaller number of eggs left
- Her eggs are not as healthy
- She is more likely to have health conditions that can cause fertility problems such as diabetes, or obesity
- She is more likely to have a miscarriage
Some men have reduced numbers of sperm, reduced quality, or both. In some cases, there may be complete absence of sperm. These problems are sometimes related to lifestyle habits, more general medical problems, such as diabetes, or there may be genetic factors.
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, artificial insemination, or assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Many times these treatments are combined.
The treatment will depend on the results of a variety of tests that can be performed to determine the cause of the problem. In many cases, all that will be needed is advice – with regard to timing, for example; sometimes, lack of ovulation can be treated with simple medication. More complicated problems, such as blocked fallopian tubes, or severe male infertility, may require more sophisticated intervention.
This depends on the cause of infertility and each couple´s circumstances. The woman´s age, for example, is a very important factor.
The success of treatment needs to be seen within the context of normal fertility – under the age of 30, about 85% of women will get pregnant within a year of trying. Over the age of 40, the chance each month is about 5%.
Many treatments will simply restore the “normal” chance of pregnancy, so it is still necessary to try for a few months. More sophisticated treatments such as IVF have higher individual success rates but, again, this is very dependent on circumstances.
In some countries, clinics are required by law to report their success rates to the authorities, but this is not the case in the UAE.
As a guide, in the UK, 32% of women aged less than 35, achieved a live birth following IVF in 2009. For those aged 40-44, the figure was 8%. The figures for the USA and other European countries are broadly similar.
Bourn Hall is synonymous with IVF and its founder, Professor Robert Edwards, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2010 for the invention of IVF.
Our central philosophy encompasses the concepts of honesty, commitment and adaptability. This means that we treat our patients as unique individuals who each need an individualised approach to their care. We are committed to giving an accurate and honest assessment of every case and to providing transparent information on success rates, procedures and costs, so our clients are fully aware of what treatments are recommended, what costs are involved, and the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Since November 2021, Bourn Hall has been part of Mediclinic Middle East, one of the UAE’s largest and most trusted private healthcare organisations, which can support those undergoing IVF with the very latest in genetic testing and provide world class maternity services if desired.
We do not provide pricing online because patient needs and pricing can vary from couple to couple. We do offer 0% instalments for Emirates NBD credit card holders or flexible payment options that can be discussed with you following a consultation.
UNDERGOING IVF TREATMENT CAN BE BOTH EMOTIONAL AND STRESSFUL, DOES BOURN HALL PROVIDE PATIENT SUPPORT DURING TREATMENT?
Yes, we have an extremely dedicated staff where the doctors and nurses that you work with will answer any relevant questions and carefully guide you through every step of the process. We also have an in-house counsellor that can support you with a complimentary session for you and your partner if needed.
WHAT IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY OR URGENT QUESTION THAT I NEED TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE ABOUT OUTSIDE OF OFFICE HOURS?
We have a patient support number that can be used to reach a member of staff 24 hours a day 7 days per week.