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The Fertility Rule of 3

The Fertility Show speaks to Andrew Drakeley, Clinical Director, Subspecialist in Reproductive Medicine and Consultant Gynaecologist, The Hewitt Fertility Centre, ahead of his seminar at the Manchester Show on Sunday 25th March:

“Fertility is a fascinating but complex area of medicine. So, when it comes to communicating with patients about their experiences, my approach has always been to try to simplify the process. That’s where my first rule of three comes into play. Couples who come in for a consultation are often naturally extremely concerned about their struggle to conceive and worried that there might be a real and “unfixable” problem. However, by taking a rational and pragmatic approach, we can use a process of elimination to swiftly identify any issues – and more importantly move on to possible treatments to aid conception. For most couples, fertility problems fall into three categories; the man doesn’t have good quality or enough sperm, the woman doesn’t have healthy eggs, or the fallopian tubes are damaged or non-existent. Once we have sensitively discussed these areas, couples are offered a range of simple tests to help eliminate them”.

“Again, in terms of treatment, I also stick by the Rule of 3.  Depending on the results of tests and the issue identified, the treatment options can be divided as such:

Medication to aid ovulation (e.g. clomifene) or improve male fertility

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

In vitro fertilisation (IVF).

“The medical terms around fertility can be daunting for couples and the sheer amount of information on all the possible issues and treatment options, overwhelming. So, helping sub-fertile couples to break down and compartmentalise their own experiences, health issues and fertility treatment options is important. While starting a family is a very personal experience - unique to each person – there are by and large common causes which can be investigated and subsequent treatment options can then be individually tailored.”

The Hewitt Fertility Centre is the largest facility of its kind in Europe, research, innovation and dedication to their patients enables them to perform an average of 3,500 embryo transfers a year, with great attention to detail and the highest quality of care.