Egg Freezing Awareness


Fertility Assessments can give you the insights and knowledge about your body to make the choices which work for you.

When should you start testing your fertility?

You may not yet know if you want to have children at all, or if you do, you may not know when that might be. Whether you’re busy with your career, waiting to find the right partner or simply enjoying life as it is, waiting to have children is very common.

But if you have any concerns about waiting and what that might mean for your chances of conceiving, getting a fertility check is a great way to help you prepare for your future.

The ideal age to start testing fertility can vary depending on several factors, including individual circumstances and any existing concerns. However generally speaking, as a woman, the best age to start testing your fertility is between 28 and 35 years old.

Why should you get a fertility check in your late twenties/early thirties?

From your late twenties, fertility starts to decline. Taking a fertility test sooner rather than later can help you to understand your fertility status, know your options and make informed decisions about when to start a family.

If you aren’t ready to have children yet, positive results can give you peace of mind. Knowing that you’re in good reproductive health will put your mind at ease until the time is right for you.

On the other hand, if your doctor has any concerns about your test results, you have time to make certain lifestyle changes. Factors including smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet and stress can all impact your fertility, and by taking a test early on, you have time to resolve those issues before you start trying to conceive.

If your results show signs of any underlying fertility issues, your doctor may recommend medical intervention or treatment. This may include freezing your eggs while you’re at a younger age. Egg freezing is becoming an increasingly popular option for women who want to preserve their fertility and improve their chances of conceiving later on.

What does a fertility test involve?

Our fertility profiling features a series of simple tests to give you a full understanding of your reproductive health.

The tests include:

Ultrasound scans
Ovarian reserve tests
Endometrial health assessments
Reproductive hormone profiling

The ultrasound scan is an internal scan of the womb and the ovaries. It checks for any polyps, fibroids, cysts or other problems likely to affect fertility, and it also evaluates your Antral Follicle Count to assess your ovarian reserve.

The ovarian reserve test is a simple blood test that measures a hormone known as Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH). The level of AMH in your blood helps us to assess how many eggs you may still have. It also helps to measure how many eggs may be collected during an egg-freezing treatment cycle if you were to choose to go down this route.

Endometrial health assessments check the health and condition of your uterus lining, while reproductive hormone profiling checks the levels of various other hormones responsible for reproduction.

What happens next?

Once all of your tests have been carried out, you will attend a consultation with a fertility specialist. They will discuss your test results and advise you on any lifestyle changes that may be required to improve your health and your fertility.

Should you wish to, the specialist will also be able to discuss your options regarding freezing your eggs, and any future assistance that may be needed to help you conceive.

At LCRH, our friendly team will support you throughout the entire process, ensuring that you feel informed and supported every step of the way.

Get in touch to learn more about fertility profiling at LCRH

If you would like to learn more about fertility testing and egg freezing, please do not hesitate to contact the team at LCRH today to make an appointment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about fertility, whether you’re almost ready to start a family or you’re putting off your decision for a few more years.

Let’s talk about male fertility

Let’s talk about male fertility

If you are concerned about your fertility or having trouble conceiving, you are not alone. Infertility affects around 1 in 6 couples in the UK, and contrary to popular belief, infertility is not just a female issue. In fact, male infertility accounts for around half of all cases of infertility and affects 7% of the male population.

It may be prominent, but stigma around male infertility means that many men are suffering in silence. Channel 4’s recent programme – Celebrity Save My Sperm – shed some light on the prevalence of male fertility problems and brought it to the attention of men across the country. The programme aimed to debunk the social and cultural taboos surrounding male infertility and to encourage men to talk about fertility more openly. 

So with that in mind, let’s take a look at some statistics, some common causes of male infertility, and what you can do if you are worried about being able to conceive.

How common is male infertility?

An estimated 7% of all men are affected by infertility, and the rate of male infertility is on the rise.  Over the past 50 years, sperm counts worldwide have more than halved, and sperm quality has declined rapidly. Back in 1973, every millilitre of ejaculate contained an average 104 million sperm, compared to just 49 million now. 

Low sperm count and poor sperm quality are the main causes of male infertility, and but these in turn can be caused by a wide range of factors.

Causes of male infertility

Infertility can be caused by many different things, including medical, lifestyle and age-related factors. Here are some of the most common causes of male infertility:

  • Poor quality sperm
  • Infections in the genital or urinary tract
  • Testicular damage
  • Varicocele (enlarged veins in the scrotum)
  • Testicular overheating
  • Ejaculation problems
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Medical conditions
  • Medication
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • High BMI
  • Lack of exercise or excessive exercise
  • Alcohol and illegal drugs (especially illegal steroids)
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Toxic pollutants

In many cases, there are steps you can take to overcome low sperm count and improve your sperm quality. For example, varicocele can often be fixed with surgery, and healthy changes can be made to your lifestyle to improve your chances of conceiving. 

Symptoms of male infertility

While the primary symptom of male infertility is the inability to conceive, there are some associated signs and symptoms to look out for too. These include:

  • Difficulty ejaculating
  • Reduced libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Testicular pain or swelling
  • Gynecomastia (the overdevelopment of breast tissue)
  • Decreased body or facial hair
  • Low sperm count (less than 39 million per ejaculation)

If you are concerned about your fertility, then a good starting point is to get a fertility check. 

How do male fertility tests work? 

Our male fertility testing includes a series of simple tests to give you a full understanding of your reproductive health. 

The tests include:

  • Semen Analysis 
  • Semen Culture test
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Reproductive hormone profiling

As part of the semen analysis, you will be asked to provide a semen sample, which is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The analysis examines sperm count (number of sperm per ml), morphology (size and shape) and motility (ability to swim in a straight line).

The semen culture test checks for the presence of infection your testes and / or urinary tract.  This can be done from the same sample produced for the semen analysis.

The DNA fragmentation test checks the DNA held inside the sperm for damage, while the reproductive hormone profiling checks the levels of various other hormones responsible for reproduction, such as testosterone, FSH, LH and prolactin.

What happens next?

Once all of your tests have been carried out, you will attend a consultation with a fertility specialist. They will discuss your test results and advise you on any lifestyle changes that may be required to improve your health and your fertility.

Should you wish to, the specialist will also discuss your options regarding sperm freezing, IVF, and any future assistance that may be needed to help you conceive. 

At LCRH, our friendly team will support you throughout the entire process, ensuring that you feel informed and supported every step of the way.

What can men do to increase their fertility?

As Celebrity Save Our Sperm showed, there are often steps you can take to improve your fertility, depending on what’s causing your low sperm count or poor sperm quality. 

Here are a few lifestyle changes you can make:

  • Eat a healthier, more balanced diet, avoiding highly processed or sugary foods
  • Limit the amount of caffeine and alcohol you drink each day
  • Quit smoking 
  • Exercise more frequently
  • Avoid hot baths, saunas, and hot tubs, as these can cause testicular overheating
  • Assess any medication, supplements or hair loss treatments you are on and speak to your healthcare provider about its impact on fertility

As part of your fertility profiling at LCRH, we will take a look at your current lifestyle and recommend adjustments that could help to improve your fertility.

Get in touch to learn more about fertility profiling at LCRH

If you would like to learn more about male fertility testing, please do not hesitate to contact the team at LCRH to make an appointment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about fertility and guide you on your journey to give you the best possible chance of conceiving.

The importance of counselling in fertility

The importance of counselling in fertility

The journey to parenthood is an intimate and profoundly personal experience, characterised by hope, anticipation, and occasionally challenges. For those experiencing difficulties on their fertility journey, the emotional, psychological, and even physical toll can be overwhelming. It is during these times that the importance of counselling becomes particularly clear.

Counselling offers a safe space for you to process your emotions, manage uncertainties, and find empowerment in the face of adversity. Counselling can help you throughout your fertility journey, offering guidance, compassion and support, providing you with the tools and coping strategies needed to weather the storm, and helping you to discover the strength and resilience you have within.

Why is it important to have counselling during your fertility journey?

“Counselling is very important in fertility treatment as it offers patients time to reflect on what they have been through,” says Zoe Townsend, our fertility counsellor at LCRH. “Patients will often have experienced traumatic events, or been given devastating news and asked to make sudden decisions. Often partners will be at different points of acceptance or have very different views of their singular/collective future.”

“Being able to speak to someone impartial allows the individual to really explore what they are thinking and feeling. The role of the counsellor is to support but also to challenge deep held fears or beliefs that might be impeding their ability to move forward.”

“Ultimately, fertility counselling helps the individual to feel less alone, to be heard and to feel met and supported in their confusion, anger and sadness.”

What are the two types of fertility counselling?

There are two counselling pathways typically offered and recommended to those going through fertility treatment: supportive counselling and implications counselling.

Supportive counselling

Supportive counselling aims to support patients that are starting to feel overwhelmed or out of control. They may be struggling to manage their feelings and emotions (often sadness or anger), unable to see a positive outcome, or, when treatment ends, they may be struggling to process the results in order to be able to move on with the next part of their life.

“While fertility counselling is different to standard therapy as it has an immediate link to what is going on for the patient, often issues will come up that then would benefit from further attention,” explains Zoe. “This often includes the impact of treatment on the relationship, the psychosexual relationship, and how the person is functioning within their family or friendship group. These would require the patient to consider deeper therapeutic work.”

Implications counselling

Implications counselling is designed to help guide patients through the complex issues associated with the use of donors and surrogacy, highlighting the legal, ethical, social and emotional implications of pursuing this pathway of treatment.

“Those points could be connected to decisions around how much information you might give your child or family, the laws around anonymity vs protected identity for the recipient and the donor, and how you make your peace with the idea of using a donor or surrogate,” says Zoe.

Implications counselling is often a fact finding session that leads on to emotional exploration as the patient starts to process their experience.

Why should you see a fertility counsellor specifically?

“A fertility counsellor is someone that has been trained to work in the field of fertility, which is often on top of their original area of therapeutic training,” explains Zoe. “This means that the counsellor or therapist you meet is aware of the laws around fertility and is up to date with any changes to guidance/guidelines and regulations. They are also able to help you process and hold the tumult of emotions that you are experiencing when you are going through treatment.”

Get in touch to learn more about fertility counselling at LCRH

If you would like to learn more about fertility counselling, please do not hesitate to contact the team at LCRH today to make an appointment. We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about counselling in fertility, whether you’re already on your fertility journey or just about to take your first steps.

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