The Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa advises that couples see a fertility specialist if they are under 35 and have been trying to fall pregnant for over a year, or are over 35 and been trying for six months.
The WHO has classified infertility as a “disease of the reproductive system, defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular, unprotected intercourse”.
Dr Frances Paterson, urogynaecologist at The Urology Hospital Pretoria, explains that not all couples who experience fertility problems are infertile, adding that treatment may help.
She says in about 80% of couples, the cause of infertility is either an ovulation problem, blockage of the fallopian tubes, or a sperm problem.
“Couples struggling to fall pregnant should consult an obstetrician, gynaecologist, urologist, urogynaecologist or they should contact The Urology Hospital.”
“A consultation may involve discussing your general health, medication, sexual history and a physical exam. For men, we may conduct a sperm analysis and for women, testing may include a physical examination, blood tests, an ultrasound and x-rays,” she added.
Possible treatment for men includes surgery to help sperm motility, antibiotics to treat infections in the reproductive organs, medication and counselling to treat erection or ejaculation problems or hormone treatment. In women, fertility drugs or surgery to remove blockages or to open fallopian tubes may be considered.
Additionally, infertility may be treated with assisted reproductive technology (ART) which may include intrauterine insemination of sperm (IUI), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) or other laboratory procedures.
Contact the Urology Hospital on 021 423-4300.
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About the Urology Hospital, Pretoria
The Urology Hospital is the only urology centre of excellence in Africa. With more than 20 urologists under one roof, using the latest in highly specialised technology as well as specialised urology trained nursing staff, it offers unparalleled expertise in its field. In addition, the hospital maintains its association with the academic world to ensure ongoing research, medical education and training and development in the field of urology.
The hospital prides itself on being at the forefront of technology. It was the first hospital in South Africa to perform robotic surgery, implement a robotic pharmacy picking system and now has one of only a handful of 3D laparoscopic surgical units in South Africa.
The hospital has undergone major renovations and now offers 125 beds and seven theatres.
The Urology Hospital not only cares about patients and staff, but also for the community, undertaking numerous Corporate Social Investment initiatives throughout the year. The hospital and staff work together to assist selected charities, including donations to The Clothing Bank, uniforms for Sunnyside Primary School and stationery for Balebogeng Primary School.