How Fertile?
Bay IVF - Advanced Reproductive Care                                Palo Alto  650-322-0500


How Fertile Am I?

The fertility potential of a couple is a delicate interaction between the male and the female fertility factors.

It is assumed that approximately one-third of all causes of infertility can be attributed to a female factor infertility, one-third are male factor infertility and the remaining third represents a combination of both male and female infertility factors.

Your physical well-being could make the difference between achieving a successful pregnancy and going through years of frustration and unfulfilled dreams. Optimizing your reproductive health can have a considerable impact on the outcome of your treatment.

The most common causes of infertility are:

  • Male factor infertility

    The diagnosis of male factor infertility must be made with consideration of the female factors of infertility. For most men, there is not a reliable test to assess their fertility potential. The diagnosis of male infertility is often arrived at by excluding all possible female infertility factors. Fortunately, we can now overcome all but the most severe forms of male infertility with In Vitro Fertilization and the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) procedure.

    For the most part, whether you succeed in getting pregnant does not depend on the presence or absence of male factor infertility.

  • Egg quality factors

    The vast majority of women, whose menstrual cycles are between 21 and 35 days, ovulate. Women with shorter or longer cycles typically do not ovulate.

    Since there is a variety of medications to stimulate ovaries to produce eggs, whether you succeed in getting pregnant does not depend on the presence or absence of egg production in an untreated cycle.

    The term "egg quality" refers to the presence of high-quality eggs that are genetically and biologically capable of producing a healthy baby. This egg quality factor depends primarily on the female partner’s age.

    There is no known medical treatment to improve the quality of the eggs. Optimizing your health, on the other hand, could have a significant effect on your egg quality.

    A woman must have biologically perfect eggs to achieve pregnancy that will develop into a baby. If the ratio of biologically perfect eggs to suboptimal eggs is markedly diminished, her chance of having her own genetic child is markedly decreased as well.

    Egg quality is the decisive factor in successful treatment.

  • Can they meet? (the passage factor)

    In a spontaneous conception, eggs and sperm meet inside the Fallopian tubes. It is quite rare for the sperm not to be able to rapidly arrive in the Fallopian tubes after ejaculation or insemination even if their motility is "sluggish."

    The eggs need at least one healthy Fallopian tube to be captured by and brought inside the tube to meet the waiting sperm. There are several conditions (i.e., tubal blockages, pelvic adhesions, endometriosis) which can make it difficult or impossible for eggs and sperm to meet.

    Fortunately, there are treatments, for instance In Vitro Fertilization, that can bypass the role of the Fallopian tubes altogether.

The genetic and biological quality of your eggs will play the most important role in your attempts at achieving pregnancy. Egg quality, in turn, is very closely tied to the female partner’s age.

Where does the receptivity of the mother’s body and that of her uterus belong in this scheme? It quite probably does not belong or only has minimal impact. From what has been learned in advanced reproductive treatments over the years and from the fact that there are tubal, ovarian, abdominal, and cervical ectopic pregnancies, human embryos seem to be able to implant in very different environments, some of which would be judged quite hostile to the embryonic development.

Contemporary data suggest that embryo quality rather than uterine receptivity is the key factor in a successful pregnancy, whether conceived spontaneously or with the help of advanced reproductive treatments..


Please use the following links for information about reproductive treatments at Bay IVF and to request a consultation.



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