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We talk to prof. Yona Barak, president of the International Organization of Embryologists "Alpha". At the University of Bar-Ilan (Israel), she created a new field of study - embryology and genetology. He heads the in vitro fertilization laboratory at the medical center in Hertzlia. She is the chairwoman of the scientific council of the InviMed European Maternity Center.
- When can we speak of infertility?
Prof. Yona Barak: If a couple has had sex with each other for a year without any protection and the woman does not get pregnant, there isinfertility . In the world, every fifth married couple have problems with conceiving a child. In women in their 30s, the probability of pregnancy drops to 28%, and in their 40s, it is even more difficult.
- Where did these problems with getting pregnant come from?
The cause ofproblems with getting pregnantmay be mechanical difficulties, e.g. with patency of the fallopian tubes after infection or abortion. Or genetic - when the embryo cannot implant in the uterus. In men, these are genetic causes as a result of irradiation, for example after cancer treatment. Sometimes there is a blockage in the vas deferens and it may be that the man is fed up with sperm but has trouble ejaculating.
- What would you say if a woman alone came to you and asked for help in treating infertility?
I'd say come with her husband or partner. A couple should settle this matter together. They both need to be tested. Anyway, it can be a very simple problem, sometimes couples just love each other wrongly, are in the wrong position or miscalculate a woman's cycle and therefore have no children. At the InviMed clinic, we do not start by proposingin vitrofertilization, but by finding out what the cause of infertility is. It may turn out that a conversation with a sexologist, psychologist or hormone therapy is enough to solve the problem.
- Isn't it easier for a woman to say "I have a fertility problem" than for a man?
It is very individual, although men have a harder time telling themselves: I have a fertility problem.
- What does the preparation for fertilization look like?vitro?
First, you need to do all the tests, especially the hormonal ones, including the level of estradiol during the woman's ovation cycle. It starts with a hormone treatment that stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. When there are enough of them, the woman takes the HCG hormone and then we can take several of them. A few days earlier, we collect sperm in advance. Then we connect the sperm with the egg and if everything is going well, after 24 hours we place the embryo in the uterus. After 11 days, we do a blood test to check if the woman is pregnant.
- Can a tube swap happen?
All items that come into contact with the sperm or egg are disposable. Pipette, syringe and test tubes are signed. So there is no such danger.
- Does the woman have to follow any special recommendations after IVF?
This is a normal pregnancy and under normal control. However, it happens that the patient takes special care of herself.
- And the man before the sperm collection?
He shouldn't drink or smoke. If he is taking any medications, check with an andrologist to see if sperm quality is affected.