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Ask Dr. Domar: Your Questions About Infertility

During our Infertility Awareness Week Twitter chat with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, we gathered your questions for Dr. Alice Domar of Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF. No appointment necessary – her answers are below!

What are the risk factors and causes of infertility?
There are a number of risk factors. For both men and women, age can have an impact on infertility. Risk factors for women include a history of a pelvic infection, endometriosis, an eating disorder, and/or smoking. For men, risk factors can include  a history of undescended testicles, mumps as an adult, steroid use, and/or pelvic trauma. Stress can also affect infertility in a number of ways: decreased libido, lifestyle behaviors, potentially less effective treatment, and early treatment termination.

Plus: Why Can’t We Have Another Baby?

Taking male and female infertility factors into account, when is it time to consider in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
There are a number of indications for IVF, including blocked or absent Fallopian tubes, severe male factor infertility, pelvic adhesions, and failed less-intensive treatments. Note that the success rates per cycle for IVF are far higher than those for most other forms of infertility treatment.

If you are having trouble conceiving, don’t be afraid to start a conversation with your doctor or a fertility specialist.

What affects the success of a donor egg cycle?
In most donor egg programs, the pregnancy rates per cycle are in the 50-70 percent range. The success can be affected by the age of the donor, her previous donor outcomes, her pre-donation testing, the uterine lining of the recipient, and the lifestyle habits of both the donor and recipient, including their BMIs.

Dr. Domar is the Executive Director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health, and the Director of Mind/Body Services at Boston IVF.  She is also an associate professor of OB/GYN and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and a senior staff psychologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.