Infertility Vancouver

Information & Treatment of Infertility in Vancouver Canada



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Female Fertility Tests

Hormone Assessment
Tubal and Uterine Assessment
Immunological Screening


Hormone Assessment

Blood tests on days 1-3 of your cycle check on your egg potential, estradiol, prolactin, and thyroid levels.
Day 21 +/- blood tests check on progesterone levels and determine if you have ovulated.

FSH
This hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles. Checking these levels on day 1-3 establishes ovarian reserve and quality of eggs. Perimenopausal and menopausal women have elevated FSH.

Estradiol (E2)
The main estrogen secreted by the ovarian follicles. This hormone causes the endometrium to thicken and keeps FSH levels from getting too high. These levels drop in perimenopausal women, this is why the FSH rises. Both FSH and E2 should be low, high levels may indicate an ovarian cyst.

LH
A surge of Luteinizing hormone mid cycle is released to stimulate ovulation, form the corpus luteum, and synthesize progesterone in the ovaries. High levels on day 1-3 may indicate Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Prolactin
This controls milk production after childbirth, and the production of progesterone. This is tested if PCOS is a possibility. High prolactin can interfere with ovulation, or result in reduced progesterone which makes it hard to maintain a pregnancy.

Thyroid hormones
Thyroid stimulating hormone controls the thyroid and therefore regulates metabolic functions of all the body's systems. Low levels of T4 with high levels of TSH make the thyroid gland underactive which can cause infertility. When TSH is at good levels and T4 is below what is should be, the pituitary could be the problem.

Androgens
High levels of male hormones might mean PCOS. The pituitary may be secreting excess LH which prevents ovulation and causes the ovaries to secrete higher amounts of male hormones.

Progesterone
The corpus luteum secretes progesterone. Checking levels around day 21 determine if you have ovulated. It is also used to detect a Luteal Phase Defect. If there is not enought progesterone in the luteal phase, the endometrium will not be ready for implantation.

Tubal and Uterine Assessment

Blocked tubes account for 20% of female infertility. It can be caused by an infection from an STD, Pelvic Inflamatory disease (caused by STD's, IUD's) or adhesions caused by surgery.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
A small tube is inserted into the cervix and dye is released into the uterus. Via X-ray, this dye allows the doctor to see any structural abnormalities.

Laparoscopy
This requires general anesthetic and a short hospital stay. A small incision is made near the belly button and carbon dioxide is pumped into the abdomen. The laparoscope (small camera) is inserted into the abdomen so the doctor can see with more detail where a blockage may be, if it is a fibroid, endometriosis, lesions, or anything else unusual.

Hysteroscopy
Very similar to a laparoscope except that the device is inserted vaginally into the uterus and only local anesthetic is used. This is only used to look into the uterus with great presicion.

Immunological Screening

this should be done if there have been repeat miscarriages, or the cause of infertility is still a mystery. These tests determine if your immune system is attacking your partners sperm, or the fertilized egg. Repeat testing through early pregnancy is necessary to pinpoint some of these immunological reactions that may be compromising full gestation.

If you have had 2 or more miscarriages, have unexplained infertility, or have good embryos that fail to implant via IVF, immunological screening is the next option for you.

Thickened blood as a result of antibodies present increases the risk of miscarriage. Antiphospholipid, anticardiolipin are the most common antibodies that will cause this.

Antinuclear antibodies cause inflamation in the uterus.

Maternal blocking antibodies or natural killer cells cause embryo rejection.


Treatment of Infertility & IVF Support with Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine in Vancouver
Vancouver Fertility Acupuncturist
Dr. Spence Pentland, Dr. TCM, R.Ac, FABORM
Dr. Spence Pentland is a provincially licenced Doctor with the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC,
& a Fellow of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine (click on letter credentials for more info).

His clinical practice in Vancouver has focused on the treatment of men's and women's reproductive health issues since 2004,
helping hundreds realize their dream of having happy healthy families.

Click below to learn more about
1. Dr. Spence Pentland's Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Treatment of Infertility in Vancouver
2. The IVF Acupuncture Group - a team of doctors specializing in providing quality, evidence-based acupuncture services for patients undergoing IVF in Greater Vancouver





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