This is the second post in the ‘Harley Street Fertility Clinic’s A to Z of Fertility Guide’ and today we are looking at the words and terms that start with B.
A baby is what people are looking to have when they come to us. We know that this is often the first thing they think of in the morning, it’s a constant thought during the day and something that keeps them from sleeping at night. We understand this and work with patients as hard as we can to make this a reality, but we do suggest that people have other things to focus their time and mind on, to keep a healthy balance in their lives.
Basal body temperature (BBT)
Basal body temperature is your temperature when you first wake up in the morning and are fully rested. This is important because by tracking your basal body temperature through your cycle, you might be able to predict when you will ovulate and therefore know when you will be at your most fertile. Your basal body temperature will rise by half to one degree after ovulation.
A baseline scan is an ultrasound scan that is performed at the start of assisted conception treatment and looks at the lining of the womb and the ovaries. Your medical team uses this to confirm that there are no cysts on the ovaries and that the uterine lining is thin, and if all is well, you should be able to start taking follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) medication.
Beta HCG pregnancy test
A beta pregnancy test is a blood test that checks for the hormone ‘human chorionic gonadotropin’ (HCG) which increases during the early stages of pregnancy. These levels can also show whether a pregnancy is progressing healthily, so it is something we keep a close eye on.
A bicornuate uterus is the medical term used to describe a heart-shaped womb which can lead to a higher risk of either a miscarriage or premature birth. This can also influence the way a baby lies in later pregnancy, so a caesarean birth might be recommended. Medical teams will work with you if you do have a heart shaped womb, and monitor your progress.
Birth control pill or oral contraceptive pill
If you are trying to get pregnant, you need to stop taking your birth control pill – obvious but it is worth pointing this out and adding it to your checklist. Incidentally, the birth control pill is used in fertility treatment to modulate your menstrual cycle.
The longer it takes to get pregnant, the more emotions are raised and people often look for someone to blame. While this is normal and understandable, it isn’t something that will help the situation or change anything. Yes, it will be one partner or another who has issues that are affecting the ability to get pregnant, but you are stronger together. Work on your relationship, spend time together, try not to point the finger of blame, and if you need help with this, ask, because there are people who can support you. Our clinic offers a patient support group, which is open to anyone struggling with fertility issues and is free of charge. All fertility clinics will help you access specialist counselling services as well.
A blastocyst is an embryo that has reached the “blastocyst” stage in embryo development. It will take an embryo five or six days after fertilisation to reach this stage.
Blastocyst culture is the process of allowing an embryo to develop (i.e. culturing) to the blastocyst stage in an embryology (IVF) laboratory.
A blastocyst transfer is the transfer of an embryo that has reached the blastocyst stage into the uterus.
A blighted ovum is when a fertilised egg implants in the womb but unfortunately doesn’t develop into a baby. This is also known as anembryonic pregnancy or a very early miscarriage.
You will need to have blood tests to measure various factors associated with your fertility. They allow your medical team to investigate your fertility and optimise treatment for you.
Your body is a temple and this is so true when you are trying to get pregnant. You need to eat a well balance diet, drink lots of water, take some exercise and try to sleep well. We would suggest cutting out alcohol, quitting smoking and keeping your alcohol intake to a minimum. We expect a lot from our bodies, so we have to love and look after them if we want them to work well for us.
Body clock or biological clock
Your biological or body clock refers to the phases of your age when your fertility peaks and declines. Your fertility will peak in your mid-twenties and will then start to decline as you age. It is always good to know your fertility status so that you can plan for the future.
Body mass index (BMI)
Your body mass index is a healthy weight indicator that takes your height into account. It is important to maintain a healthy weight when trying. Being overweight or underweight will negatively impact your chances of conceiving, both naturally and with assisted conception treatment.
There are a lot of books out there about fertility and pregnancy. We would suggest that you do read up and are as well informed as possible, but if you have questions, or are concerned about something you read, check in with your doctor. The last thing you want to do is worry about something that actually isn’t an issue, or ignore something which is a potential problem.
Boyfriends, husbands and partners are very much a part of the fertility journey and they need support too. Enjoy doing fun things together, rather than just concentrating on having a baby and having sex on the ‘right’ days of the month. To get through this, you need to be a team and work together, rather than getting lost in a sea of scans and tests.
This is a drug that can be prescribed if a woman has ovulation problems and who have high levels of prolactin, a hormone that can interfere with ovulation.
Buserelin is a synthetic hormone drug that pretty much switches off your ovaries when you start IVF. It comes as an injection or nasal spray and tricks the brain’s pituitary gland to stop the production of the natural hormones that control the release of eggs from the ovaries. The idea is that when this is used, it allows your doctor to control growth of your ovarian follicles and releasing your eggs from those follicles.
If you have any questions about these terms, or anything else when it comes to fertility, do get in touch and we would be very happy to help.
Harley Street Fertility Clinic