This page provides a list of frequently asked questions and answers.
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On average, one in six couples of reproductive age are infertile.
No, men can also be infertile. 40% of infertile couple cases are attributed to male factor infertility and 40% are attributed to female infertility.
Lifestyle factors, such as weight, female age, smoking, drug and alcohol intake, can affect fertility..
Women younger than 35 years of age, who have had unprotected intercourse without conception occurring over 12 months, would need to see a specialist at Vitalab. Similarly, women between the ages of 35 and 39 with no conception after 6 months of unprotected intercourse, and women older than 40 with no conception after 3 months, would need to see one of our specialists.
Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women will experience a miscarriage in their lifetime, but recurring miscarriages are much less common. Medical literature suggests that those experiencing recurring miscarriages, which is three or more consecutive pregnancy losses, need to consult a fertility specialist. However, those who have had two miscarriages and want to find out whether there is an underlining fertility problem, are welcome to consult a fertility specialist.
South African medical aids don’t cover fertility treatments. However, First Health Finance provides affordable payment plans to patients who are unable to afford the cost of fertility treatments. For more information on how First Health Finance can help you finance your fertility treatment, visit its website: www.fhf.co.za.
IVF is a widely used acronym for in vitro fertilisation, which is the process of fertilising an egg with sperm outside of the human body. This is made possible by facilitating embryo development in a laboratory, instead of in the fallopian tube.
Removing one or more cells from an early embryo with PGD or PGS, doesn’t affect the embryo’s growth into a complete pregnancy.
Vitalab doesn’t treat individuals or couples where the female is older than 51.
From the point of your initial consultation with Vitalab, you may potentially start an IVF cycle within weeks – depending on what your doctor believes is best.
The medications and procedures required for in vitro fertilization (IVF) are rarely associated with complications. Less than 1% of women who have egg retrieval with IVF may experience ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which may occur after using ovarian stimulation medications. When conceiving with the help of IVF treatment, there is a risk of multiple gestation (conceiving twins, triplets etc.).
Vitalab has a dedicated egg bank, called Vitalab Egg Donation Agency (VEDA), which recruits donors. These donors are usually young women, who have passed minimum screening criteria and have excellent reproductive potential. Recruited donors are paid for their time and efforts. You also have the option of choosing known donors, who are often other family members or friends. Whether the donors are paid or unpaid for their time and effort, they would still have to pass minimum screening criteria.
No, in South Africa the law dictates that donors have to remain anonymous. Patients do, however, receive a profile of the donor and are allowed to see pictures of the donor.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single live sperm directly into the centre of a human egg. This method of fertilisation takes place outside of the human body. This is made possible by facilitating embryo development in a laboratory, instead of in the fallopian tube.
If you are experiencing male fertility problems, a low sperm count, unsuccessful fertilisation with IVF and unexplained infertility, you should consider ICSI treatment.