February is Reproductive Health Month and the Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa (IFAASA) is encouraging South Africans to be informed and test their fertility.
Will your fertility stand the test of time?
IFAASA's “Fast Track Your Fertility Assessment” campaign, which aims to break the silence around infertility, allows couples to have a fertility assessments done at a 25% discount - these can be done at selected participating clinics (see the list of clinics below).
What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. The World Health Organisation reports that one in six couples are diagnosed with infertility. This inability to conceive is recognised as a disease that results in the abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive system.
Fertility and age
After the age of 35 the time of trying to conceive, before being considered for infertility, is reduced from 12 months to 6 months.
There are two types of infertility:
1. Primary infertility, where a couple has never had a baby before, and
2. Secondary infertility, where a couple is unable to conceive after they have already had a child.
What to do if you are struggling to conceive
For couples struggling with infertility, education and early diagnosis is vital. It is important to see a fertility specialist for a complete fertility assessment. To be empowered with information and informed about the medically approved procedures available. This can assist couples to make an informed decision on the journey they choose to take whether it is fertility treatment, adoption or living with involuntary childlessness.
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Everyone must be educated on infertility
Pregnancy is a privilege that not every couple is afforded. Whether you are directly or indirectly affected it is important that everyone be educated on infertility even if it is just to support a couple that is affected, because "[it can be a] huge emotional and financial challenge” says Meggan Zunckel, CEO of IFAASA.
Clinics support IFAASA in helping you test your fertility
“We are delighted to have the backing and support of South Africa’s leading fertility clinics in driving awareness of infertility”.
The educational campaign is supported by a number of SASREG accredited clinics who have pledged that, consultations booked in the month of February 2016 will be eligible for a 25% discount on the first consultation and scan.
We are encouraging couples to make an appointment with a fertility specialist during the month of February 2016 and receive a 25% discount on their initial consultation and scan.
How it works
To receive your 25% discount on your initial consultation and scan you need to register on our website www.ifaasa.co.za. You will need to choose your particular clinic, and following registration, to book an appointment directly with them.
The following is a list of participating clinics:
- Aevitas: www.aevitas.co.za
- Cape Fertility Clinic: www.capefertilityclinic.co.za
- HART: www.fertilityspecialist.co.za
- BioArt: www.bioartfertility.co.za
- MedFem: www.medfem.co.za
- Sandton Fertility: www.sandtonfertility.co.za
- Vitalab: www.vitalab.com
- Fembryo: www.fembryo.co.za
- Natal Fertility Clinic: https://www.facebook.com/Natal-Fertility-Clinic-789904847764296/?fref=ts
According to Dr Paul Le Roux, Chairperson of the South African Society of Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy, “Many couples wait too long until they access fertility treatment. The success rate of fertility treatment is linked to the woman’s age, and in some cases delaying treatment by 6 -12 months can make a significant difference in the outcome of therapy. An early evaluation of a couple with fertility problems will provide important information to guide the couple as to how urgently treatment is warranted, and which types of treatment will be relevant to them.”
Understanding the cause of the couple’s infertility will equip the couple with the knowledge to make an informed decision going forward.
“Choosing the correct Reproductive Medicine Specialist is very important to avoid wasting time and money, and having a positive experience during treatment. Do not be falsely reassured by friends or inexperienced doctors telling you to ‘just wait, relax and it will happen by itself’. There are usually physical or biological factors which cause infertility, and medical treatment will be beneficial to you”, Dr Le Roux says.
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