We are well on our way with the Harley Street Fertility Clinic A to Z, and today is the turn of the letter G.
Not only does this post explore some of the medical terms you may come across on your fertility journey, but we have once again looked at the wellbeing elements too to ensure you have the support you need.
Gamete refers to the male or female reproductive cells, so the sperm or the egg.
As well as now being able to adopt, two men or two women can now have a family of their own and we are here to help advise and facilitate this. Lesbian women may need to look at sperm donors and consider fertility treatment, while gay men and women can both consider surrogacy as an option for having their own child and this is something we can talk about.
This is whether someone is male or female.
Some people do want to know what gender their child is, and this is usually done at the 20-week scan, but some people have a blood test earlier to find out, of course, you can have a surprise and not find out at all.
If there’s the possibility that you, or your partner, could carry a genetic condition, you may want to be tested. These tests show if you have a particular condition, how likely it is that you could pass it on to your baby, and the implications of this. If you’re concerned about your family medical history, speak to your GP about genetic testing as a first port of call.
Gestation refers to the period of time from conception to the birth of a baby, and generally this is 40 weeks for humans.
The gestational sac is a fluid filled structure that develops in the uterus during early pregnancy and in a normal pregnancy, it will contain the developing fetus. It can be seen from around weeks three to five of gestation, via an ultrasound, and will be just 2 to 3 mm in diameter – so very small.
If you want to get pregnant, you have to have sex and if you enjoy it, all the better. Knowing your cycle is vital because you’ll want to be able to pinpoint your most fertile window (ovulation) and then have sex every day or two at this time. Afterwards, bond with your partner, and while you vagina is naturally designed so that semen moves northwards, lying on your back with a pillow under your hips for 15 minutes, won’t do any harm, and don’t worry, there’s no need for headstands!
Having a baby is a big deal and it can become a goal that takes over your life – try not to let this be the case. Yes, you want to know why your body isn’t responding and why you aren’t having a baby, but sometimes if you relax and let nature take over, those goals will come in time. If it isn’t happening, speak to a professional and see what is really going on.
Gonadotrophins are a fertility drug that can help stimulate ovulation in women, and possibly improve male fertility.
Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria that is mainly found in discharge from the penis and in vaginal fluid. We mention this because when treated early, gonorrhoea is unlikely to lead to any long-term problems, but if it isn’t it can lead to fertility problems. If you are at all worried, ensure you have a full sexual health check and when entering new relationships, have protected sex and only when you are both tested and in good sexual health, go without protection.
The implications and challenges of fertility issues, and treatment, have a ripple effect through families, friendships and even workplaces. Your parents will want to be there to help and support you, so talk to them and involve them you might be surprised at just how much they want to be there for you.
A good diet is key when it comes to getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. We aren’t saying that eating your greens will make a baby, but the better your diet and the richer it is in fresh fruit and veg, wholegrains and good proteins, the better shape you and your body will be in.
Grief comes into play a lot when it comes to fertility issues. Maybe you have had a miscarriage, or number of miscarriages or even a still birth and these are extremely sad and hard to come to terms with. If this does happen, take time to recover, talk about your feelings, share your grief and don’t be in a rush to move on. We have counsellors who can help you at these times and we would advise professional guidance.
Grief can also strike those who simply aren’t getting pregnant and are sad that the child they so desperately want, isn’t in their life. Again, take your time, deal with your emotions and work through them.
Guilt is another emotion that can rear its ugly head and something you may not have anticipated feeling. Maybe you feel guilty because you cannot give your partner a child, your son or daughter a sibling or your mum a grandchild, and while it is natural, it isn’t going to help you.
Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and if you can, talk about it openly, and this can help dispel feelings of guilt and shame which can also lead to anxiety and depression which isn’t what you need. Go easy on you, and ease up on the guilt.
There is a raft of information and guidance out there when it comes to fertility issues and treatment. We know that it can be very easy to hit Google to find out more, but this can overload you at best, scare you at worst and leave you in a somewhat uncertain place.
Yes, do your research, talk to friends, get help and advice but also go to your GP or a private clinic to get the facts. The best medically guidance, will come from the professionals, something Google isn’t when it comes to your body and reproductive system.
Not a week goes by when gut health isn’t in the media spotlight, and for good reason. Our gut impacts our overall health and a healthy diet means you are best positioned to conceive and go onto have a positive pregnancy and healthy baby.
If you have a poor diet full of sugary, processed foods and caffeine, this can cause your digestive system to suffer. Improving your diet is a good idea, and it is worth noting that acupuncture and reflexology can safely stimulate your circulation and improve your gut. If you consider taking supplements, check with your GP first.
We hope that this information has helped, but if you have any questions or concerns, do get in touch and we would love to talk about things in more detail.
Harley Street Fertility Clinic