- 26. 5. 2017
- Reproductive health
Doctor Marcel Štelcl, ReproGenesis‘ chief physician, answering questions about fertility problems.
Doctor Štelcl is a dedicated IVF specialist with an excellent results and a admirable personal dedication to his profession, devoted to the reproductive medicine field for more than 14 years. Thanks to his hard work and big heart over 3,000 babies were born to couples dealing with infertility.
The infertility issue has become quite a topic of so called modern society. How do you see it from an IVF specialist perspective?
Yes, infertility issues are more and more common mainly in modern „western“ countries. Increasing trend has even been called as infertility epidemic. Unlike in the past, when major cause of infertility was tubal blockage caused by infections of female reproductive organs, nowadays we assign the greatest negative effect on infertility to women‘s age.
Today, women are first time mothers often over their thirties. It is not unusual anymore women in their forties are starting families, as it is phenomenon of modern society, but percentage of infertility is quite significant in this age group. Fertility ageing relates naturally to men as well, but not as much as to women. It is a fact, problems with conceiving a child are experiencing around 15% to 20% couples. Of course, not each couple from this group has to go through an IVF process in the end. Luckily, we often manage to achieve a pregnancy, although with the help of a doctor, but in a natural way.
What are the current treatment options for couples who are dealing with fertility problems?
Since 1978 when Louise Brown – first baby born from IVF treatment – was born, assisted reproduction has made such a huge progress. There are very sophisticated infertility treatment methods available and embryos‘cultivation techniques are so advanced and precise allowing us to be able emulate natural conditions in the human body approximately.
Today the number one „hit“ in assisted reproduction is the possibility of embryo’s genetic testing. We can investigate not only whole chromosome set, but thanks to the caryomapping we can investigate a large spectrum of genetic diseases transmitted from generation to generation.
Of course, as in every field of medicine we deal with debatable issues such as an ethical one. The infertility issue is under careful attention by more and more psychologists. They are not only exploring impact on society and individuals, but also help couples to go through such a demanding process in vitro ffertilisation is and manage any other social aspects that come with infertility issue.
What advice would you give to couples for whom are the fertility problems current?
First of all – do not panic. Infertility is hugely influenced by the psychical state and with longer period of unsuccessful efforts it worsens. It is important to keep in mind, even we live in the modern fast society, we are still a part of nature and pregnancy is a matter of probability. And it something does not happen exactly as we plan.
If you’ve been trying for a year and aren’t yet pregnant, see a fertility specialist. You will undergo basic tests involving the hormonal profile of women and spermiogram. It is important to realize infertility male factor is increasing even between younger couples. After careful necessary examinations we would be able to decide whether the couple has a real chance to become pregnant spontaneously – even with our help, or whether it would be better to proceed with IVF at once. Of course, it is always needed to consider the role of other factors – eg. time of unsuccessful efforts to get pregnant, the couple’s age and other associated disorders.
The fact you have already helped to give a birth to over 3,000 babies is simply amazing!
Well yes, I was really surprised by this number and happy at the same time. I am in reproductive medicine filed active for more than 11 years and I am pleased with such an achievement.
But what I treasure the most as my greatest achievement is, that my patients trust me! There is nothing more you could wish for as a doctor. To be trusted and be able to help.