Infertility Guide

For most couples, infertility is more than just a physical condition. A diagnosis of infertility often carries intense emotional and social burdens. Infertile couples commonly experience frustration, a sense of a loss of control, isolation from friends and family, and depression which could lead to the inevitable outcome of stress.  Since most insurance companies put strict financial limits on infertility treatments, the ability to receive and afford infertility treatment often depends mainly upon the couple's ability to pay.  As a local community pharmacy that had served many fertility patients, we have much experience with fertility medication and here to assist our patients during their stressful journey.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility is defined by doctors as the inability to become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse.  While in Canada, the recording of infertility statistics is not mandatory; according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, there are about 10% of couples in the United States who are affected by infertility each year.  It affects about 6.1 million American men and women, which represents about 1 in 7 couples in their childbearing years. Both men and women can be infertile: approximately 1/3 of the time, the diagnosis is due to female infertility; 1/3 of the time it is linked to male infertility and the remaining 1/3 is due to a combination of factors from both partners.  For approximately 20% of this last group of couples, the cause of infertility cannot be determined.

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Lifestyle and Dietary Recommendations for Infertile Patients

  • Avoid excessive heat such as Saunas or Hot Tubs

  • Limit Coffee to 1 or 2 cups per day

  • Do not smoke or use recreational drugs such as marijuana

  • Exercise regularly and moderately

  • Limit consumption of Alcohol.  

  • Maintain good nutritional habits, especially a diet rich in fresh fruits and leafy vegetables

  • Consider Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements.

  • Consider using a "Fertility Friendly" Intimate Moisturizer - Pre~Seed

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Taking a Pregnancy Test

Taking a pregnancy test can be filled with excitement for some people, whereas for others it may be a little intimidating. Before you take a pregnancy test, you might check to see if you are experiencing any pregnancy symptoms. A missed menstrual cycle is the most common symptom leading a woman to take a pregnancy test.

How does a test tell if you are pregnant or not?

A pregnancy test detects the presence of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your blood or in your urine. hCG is produced in the placenta shortly after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and builds up rapidly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy.

How long do I have to wait before I take a test?

Most doctors recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period before taking a home pregnancy test. A missed period is usually one of the first signs of pregnancy. This is usually around two weeks after conception. However, some tests are more sensitive (and more expensive) than others and can be taken earlier. Concentrations of hCG are reported in milliInternational Units (mIU) or amounts equal to 1/1000th of an IU per millilitre. A pregnancy test with a sensitivity of 20 IU/L is more sensitive than one with 50 IU/L.

A blood test administered by your doctor is more sensitive than the early home tests and can be taken between seven and twelve days after you conceive. ( It is possible that these tests can be done  too early and show a false negative result.) If you receive a negative result and still do not start your period, another test should be done.

How accurate are home tests?

Home tests are very accurate (around 97%) when used correctly. Some kits come with two tests because mistakes do happen.

If you take a test too early, you may get a false negative (when the test says you are not pregnant but you are). Your body needs time for the hormone to rise to a high enough level to be detected in a test. If the test comes back negative but you still think you could be pregnant, wait a few days and try again.

False positives (when the test says you're pregnant but you're not) are possible, but rare. A positive pregnancy test is a pretty good indication that you are pregnant.

What home test products can I use?

Two home pregnancy test products you could commonly purchase at a Canadian pharmacy are "First Response" and "Clear Blue"

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