15th March 2016
We’d all like to know what the future holds, particularly when it comes to planning a family. But with so many factors potentially influencing a person’s fertility, this can prove especially difficult.
At CRGH we believe it’s never too early to start preparing for a family. This is why we’ve recently launched our new Fertility Assessment Clinic to allow our patients to become fit for their fertility future. Our dedicated preconception team can offer men and women a chance take control and make plans for the future through informed choices. Our assessments include a holistic examination of the physical, mental, emotional and social factors that could impact a person’s fertility.
The assessment starts with a detailed consultation with a member of our experienced preconception team who reviews the patient’s entire medical, social and familial history. This extensive assessment is specific and tailored to the individual considering current lifestyle factors such as body mass (BMI), smoking, alcohol and caffeine intake. The female patient will then have an ultrasound scan and blood tests. For male patients, they will have a semen analysis performed by an Andrologist to assess sperm count, motility and morphology.
One week later, one of our specialist fertility doctors will review the results with the patient in a detailed consultation which analyses the key findings from the assessment and tests. Crucially, this consultation identifies any risk factors for the patient and provides practical advice to mitigate these risks in the future.
Our new service was launched in January and is already proving popular with men and women alike who are keen to understand more about their individual reproductive potential. One patient who has used the service is Rachel, a 26-year-old who is currently in a stable relationship. As a busy professional living and working in London, she doesn’t think the time is right for her start raising a family now, but wanted to use the preconception service to plan her future, tailored around her results.
Prior to the assessment Rachel had been experiencing very painful periods which was giving her cause for concern regarding her future fertility. The assessment revealed that she also has ovarian cysts and Endometriosis, which is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (the endometrium) is found outside the womb. The condition is estimated to affect around 2 million women in the UK, most of them diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40. Rachel was prescribed a contraceptive pill which works in repressing hormones to prevent the endometriosis from developing further; which could potentially damage the ovaries and block the fallopian tubes, causing problems conceiving in the future.
Now, armed with this information and specialist practical advice on how she can preserve her fertility naturally, Rachel is delighted: “I feel liberated. My questions have been answered and my mind put at rest. I now know exactly what my body is doing and I am using this knowledge to plan for the future. It feels like I’ve regained ownership of my body, and I’d encourage others to do the same.”