Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is a women most fertile?

A: A woman's most fertile period is typically several days (usually no more than 5-6) ending on the day after ovulation.

Q: What is ovulation?

A: Ovulation is the term used to define the release of an egg (usually one, though sometimes more) from a woman’s ovary. Conception occurs when a sperm fertilizes the egg.

Q: I've found an egg donor - what should I do next?

A: One of your first steps should be to enter into a written agreement with your donor setting forth the expectations and intentions of both you and the donor before, during, and after the egg retrieval attempt. Addressing these issues up front will hopefully avoid conflict or surprise later on in the process.

Q: What is independent adoption?

A: Independent adoption, sometimes called private-placement or direct placement, is without the assistance of an adoption agency.

Q: Which states allow same-sex couples to adopt?

A: They are California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Vermont.

Q: What is normal sperm count?

A: The sperm count measures how many sperm appear in the sample. What is normal? This is the place where there is the widest variability. The “normal” count is approximately 70 to 80 million sperm/mL.

Q: Can all fertility-related problems be diagnosed?

A: While there is treatment for many fertility problems faced by both men and women, 20% of these couples will be given a diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility.’ Although this does not mean that a couple will not be able to conceive, it does make it frustrating for both the couple and the physician treating the couple.

Q: What are my chances of conceiving?

A: A healthy woman who is 30 years of age and trying to conceive will have a 20% chance each month of conceiving, while a healthy woman who is 40 years of age will have only a 5–10% chance of conceiving each month.

Q: What is infertility?

A: Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after at least 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse.

Q: How often is male factor infertility to blame?

A: In 20% of couples it’s attributable entirely to a male factor. In another 30%-40% it is a combination of both male and female. Therefore, in a majority of infertile couples a male factor is identified.

Q: What is a semen analysis?

A: A semen analysis reveals the volume of ejaculate, the concentration or density of sperm, their motility and the morphology (shape). There are minimal standards of adequacy for each parameter and anything below those standards is called “abnormal.”

Q: Does smoking harm fertility?

A: Yes! Smoking ups the likelihood of a tubal pregnancies, cervical cancer and pelvic infections. Some studies show that in vitro fertilization, the leading assisted reproductive technology, has a lower success rate among smokers than non-smokers.

Q: When does a woman's fertility start to decline?

A: Fertility potential will take its first subtle dip at around age 27 and then accelerate at a downwards pace beginning at around age 35.

Q: What is tubal factor infertility?

A: Tubal factor infertility is defined as either being complete or partial blockage and/or scarring of the fallopian tubes. Tubal factor infertility causes a disruption of egg pick up and transport, fertilization, and also embryo transport from the fallopian tube down into the uterus where the embryo implants.

Q: What causes tubal factor infertility?

A: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Scar Tissue caused by Endometriosis, and Scar Tissue caused by Surgery.

Q: Who should consider fertility preservation?

A: Fertility preservation is a relatively new form of reproductive medicine which has proven to be life altering for cancer patients as well as other individuals, both men and women, who need to postpone parenthood for a variety of reason.

Q: What is PCOS?

A: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a health disorder that often affects a woman’s ability to ovulate and conceive. PCOS is technically a hormonal imbalance, earmarked by any two of the following three characteristics: overproduction of androgens (male hormones); irregular menstrual cycles; and an ultrasound demonstrating polycystic appearing ovaries.

Q: Is PCOS common?

A: Somewhere around one in ten women of reproductive age have been diagnosed as having PCOS in the U.S.

Q: What is recurrent miscarriage?

A: Recurrent miscarriage is defined as having two or more pregnancy losses. While the cause(s) of the miscarriages will not be discovered 50% of the time, it is important to remember that most women who undergo this ordeal will ultimately go on to have a healthy baby.

Q: Is miscarriage common?

As many as twenty five percent of all pregnancies will end in miscarriage, usually during the first trimester.


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