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Impotence - Causes and Treatments

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is a condition that is often very difficult to talk about.  Impotence can contribute highly to infertility problems simply because it prevents intercourse from happening.  At our Manchester Fertility Services we recognise that most erectile dysfunction is caused by physiological issues and can be treated by making better lifestyle choices and sometimes counselling.

What Is Impotence?

Impotence is the inability to achieve an erection either all of the time or in specific situations. The former is also known as primary or total impotence and the latter secondary impotence.

Primary Impotence - Causes.

Primary impotence can be caused by lack of male hormones in the blood, also known as hypogonadism. Underlying systemic disease that affect the nerves and blood flow such as diabetes, tuberculosis and cancer are also causes.  On Consultation at our Manchester Fertility Services we will conduct a series of tests to determine the cause and work on a course of treatment for the impotence.

Secondary Impotence - Causes.

In 9 out of 10 cases impotence is caused by psychological factors, unhealthy lifestyle and some medications.  This is good news because it means that the sufferer can make changes that will eventually cause the symptoms to cease. Some causes of secondary impotence are simply due to a stressful lifestyle caused by work, financial difficulties or sadly a relationship that is very unhappy.  Other causes include high alcohol intake and drug abuse.  Prescription medicines for high blood pressure or anti psychotic drugs can also result in impotence.

The Impact of Erectile Dysfunction on Lives

Erectile dysfunction can cause a range of negative feelings such as; sexual frustration, relationship difficulties and infertility.  All of these emotions become part of a negative spiral causing the male partner to feel sexually inadequate and have low self esteem. At our Manchester Fertility Services we are aware that these feelings of negativity can increase the chances of erectile dysfunction and we provide advice and counselling services to help you to make the life changes necessary.

Treating Erectile Dysfunction

In our clinics at our Manchester Fertility Services we have specialists that will help the sufferer find the root cause of their erectile dysfunction.  Primary erectile dysfunction generally responds positively to treatment of the underlying disease. Secondary impotence requires a lot more investigation into the root causes, counsellors at our Manchester Fertility Services provide opportunities for the male partner to determine the psychological reasons behind his condition.  Relationship counselling is available for couples needing to deal with issues between them.  If there are no relationship issues we will help couples look into techniques that will help them to reignite the spark in their relationship.  If the cause is due to drug or alcohol abuse then you will be referred to counselling to help you find a healthier way of living.

Medication

Drugs such as Viagra are generally successful at treating both primary and secondary erectile dysfunction but should only be taken under the guidance of a doctor.  You do have to bear in mind however that if your issues are psychological you will not solve them by taking a tablet so if you do decide to take medication it should be used in conjunction with counselling sessions.

If you would like to contact us for a consultation contact us via our website http://www.manchestergynaecologist.co.uk/contact-us.html for more information.

 
Counselling and Fertility Treatment

Without a doubt undergoing fertility treatment is a very difficult time for everyone involved due to its intrusive nature and individual responses to the time consuming treatments with a high chance of failure.  Some couples are able to overcome the pressures of fertility treatment and their relationship strengthens enabling them to communicate their feelings and remain close and supportive to each other. Unfortunately for some fertility treatment has the effect of tearing couples apart causing partners to retreat into their own private pain closing the lines of communication and causing extreme isolation.   It is therefore important that couples find a way to start communicating again or the fertility treatment may destroy their relationship.

What Is Counselling?

Counselling or talk therapy allows clients to discuss the issues raised due to fertility treatment in a safe and non judgemental environment.  Counselling can be undertaken as couples, individuals or a combination of both. It aims to help couples cope with distress and deal with the feelings of frustration and failure.  At Manchester Fertility Services our counsellors always respect the clients' right to make their own decisions and that they have chosen to participate in counselling themselves.

How Counselling Helps

Counselling tends to work on the principle of a person finding the answers to their difficulties from within themselves rather than being presented with a manual containing all of the answers. Of course no such book exists! Talking to someone who is not a relative or close acquaintance can make discussing the emotions fertility treatment has ignited in you easier because you don’t feel guilty that you are burdening or worrying them with your problems.  Having to reveal intimate details about yourself to a stranger can be difficult at first but once you start to trust your counsellor you will start to benefit from the sessions. All participants will be informed about the format of the sessions including, type of counselling, duration of sessions and the terms of confidentiality. All of our Manchester Fertility counsellors are BAC registered and reputable.

Finding a Counsellor

You can either discuss your requirement for counselling with your family doctor or ask one of the doctors at our Manchester Fertility Clinic to refer you, this way you will make sure that your counsellor is properly trained and a member of a professional Association or professional body.

For more details contact us at our Manchester Fertility Services for more information about our counselling services.

 
How to Keep your Relationship Healthy When Trying to Conceive

When you are going through the process of infertility treatment your whole life seems to turn on its head.  Your relationship tends to be about making babies and not about each other anymore, this can be particularly damaging to a relationship because it changes it in to a project rather than a union between two people who love each other.  If you are starting to find that your relationship is suffering due the stress and pressure of your situation it is important that you start communicating with each other how to bring the spark back into your lives and enjoying intimacy with each other again.

Scheduled Intercourse

If you have been on a fertility programme for a while you might start to find that your sex life will seem to run to a biological schedule set by the rhythms of your own body.  In fact you won’t feel as if you are making love anymore because any intercourse you have may have been initiated by a temperature reading or a hormonal test result.  Instead of building up to intercourse together through talking and spending time together you could be jumping into a cold bed like an athlete responding to a starting pistol in a race.  This scientific approach to reproduction is not ideal and could eventually drive a wedge between even the most loving couple causing both to become uptight and humourless.

Redefine Intimacy

Trying for a baby usually starts out a very exciting and intense experience because you probably have enjoyable intimacy and sex regularly and are not overly anxious about not getting pregnant and so usually won’t feel you have much to lose each month.  After months of trying and not achieving pregnancy you find that everything starts to feel different: you start associating intercourse with failure and you become anxious and desperate to get pregnant.  Sadly, you may no longer make love but instead just try to make babies.  When this cold negative reality sets in you may find it difficult to consider that sex and love making are the same thing.  It is important at times like this that you continue to talk to each other about ways to make each other feel special and to have times during the month completely dedicated to intimacy and love making and not merely the pursuit of having a baby.

Start Dating Again

There will be times when it becomes difficult to keep romance thriving in your relationship; you will have to recognise this is happening and strive to recapture the romance to prevent irreparable damage to your relationship. If you have forgotten what attracted you both to each other in the first place why not arrange dates in many different locations, giving you the opportunity to talk about things other than yourselves. Try varied activities: a romantic walk in the woods can allow you to hold hands and share new experiences while splashing a bout in a boat on a river can cause a great deal of amusement.  Arranging to go to a fancy restaurant can make you both feel special and appreciate each other more.

Talk, Talk and Talk Some More!

Please talk to each other, let each other know how you are feeling and what would make you feel happier.  If you do find it difficult to talk to each other please don’t delay to visit a counsellor.  At Manchester Gynaecologist we have a counselling service available to help you find yourselves again and support each other through this difficult time.

 
What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and how is it Treated?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or (PCOS) is a common condition that affects 5 – 10 percent of women. It is the most common cause of absence of ovulation and results in difficulty in conceiving.  For many years doctors didn’t really understand the condition and considered it to be an enigma.  Now the condition is more easily recognised by its internal and external symptoms enabling ladies to receive treatment quicker than in the past.

External Symptoms

Women with PCOS tend to have increased male pattern hair growth due to an overproduction of male hormones and increase in weight which can exacerbate the condition further.  To compound the distress of this condition, skin is often oily encouraging the development of acne and lowering the self esteem of the sufferer.   However mild the external symptoms may appear their presence will no doubt have a negative impact on the sufferer’s perception of themselves as a woman.  Not only is it taking away a little of their femininity it is also reducing their chances of successful conception.

Internal Symptoms

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is recognised by the presence of large pearly white ovaries that have partially grown eggs arranged in circular formation under the surface.  This lack of egg development is thought to be triggered by a variety of circumstances including:

  • Excessive blood levels of prolactin and thyroid hormone
  • Low levels of thyroid hormone
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Extreme physical exertion
  • Weight gain or loss representing 15% of initial body weight
  • Serious illness
  • It may be inherited

 

Implications of PCOS

 

Ladies who suffer from PCOS have an increased risk of miscarriage when they eventually do get pregnant.  They are also at slightly increased risks of developing cancer of the lining of the womb and breast due to persistently raised blood levels of the female hormone oestrogen.  Therefore it is vitally important to visit your doctor if you do suffer any of the symptoms of PCOS.  If you would rather discuss your symptoms with fertility specialists then we at Manchester Gynaecologists would be happy to discuss your needs.

Diagnosis

In order to ascertain if you are suffering from PCOS a detailed examination takes place taking weight to height ratio into consideration and distribution of body hair.  Any abnormalities of the vagina, womb and ovaries are also taken into consideration.  Hormone levels are measured through blood tests which may also confirm the absence of ovulation.  Problems with the ovaries, adrenal and pituitary glands are also investigated through the use of an ultrasound scan to detect swellings in them. 

Treatment

Generally treatment really depends on which symptoms are most prominent and whatever would   make the lady feel better about herself.  Sometimes losing the appropriate amount of weight is enough to relieve the symptoms and no further treatment is required.  Also if the condition is not causing menstrual disruption, cosmetic problems or preventing pregnancy there is no treatment necessary. In cases where hormone treatment is warranted, ovulation induction and/or surgery can be used to correct irregular periods and egg production if necessary.

Support

While you are under our care at Manchester Gynaecologists we will provide access to councillors to help you to discuss the impact of PCOS on your life and support you through your treatment.  If you would rather find support yourself online a good start would be to visit the Verity PCOS Charity website which has been developed by fellow sufferers and can direct you towards support groups in your area.   Whatever you do please don’t suffer PCOS alone and enlist the support of family and friends.

 
Coming to Terms with Unexplained Infertility

As human beings we are naturally curious and seek answers for everything.  We take it for granted in this hi tech world that we can find the cause for every problem we may encounter.  Sometimes not finding an answer straight away can actually be more disheartening than knowing what has caused us to have difficulty conceiving.

What is unexplained Infertility?

Unexplained infertility is simply when no cause can be found in either partner.  This occurs in 1 in 4 couples and can be quite challenging for couples to deal with.  It is natural to feel frustrated and experience a multitude of negative feelings at this time because the tests results are indicating you are both in good health and everything is functioning normally but you are still childless.

Treatment Options

Just because you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility doesn’t mean that there aren’t any treatment options available to you.  Your consultant will take each individual case and suggest treatment options that he thinks will most suit your needs.  Treatments that will be explored include: i) ovulation induction and IUI which focus on stimulating the ovaries to increase egg production;  ii) IVF or assisted conception involves the fertilization of the egg outside the body.  Unfortunately undertaking treatment does not always guarantee a positive outcome and it can be a very difficult time for both of you.

The Stress of Infertility

There is no denying it - dealing with infertility is stressful; you have to deal with the intrusive treatments that seem to symbolise constant failure, the treatments can cause you to feel unwell and having to be extremely patient can take its toll.  These pressures combined with dealing with family expectations and seeing friends and relatives getting pregnant can make a difficult journey much harder.  It is important not to suppress any negative feelings you may have because it is perfectly natural to feel as if you are on an emotional roller coaster.

Counselling

It is highly recommended that you and your partner attend counselling sessions in order to talk through your feelings relating to your treatment.  Dealing with infertility tends to dominate your life and however hard you try to put it to the back of your mind trying to get pregnant always takes centre stage.  Normally deciding to have children is a private decision but when you have infertility issues you have to involve many more people in your choice. Dealing with the prospect of the treatment being unsuccessful and you not having a child at the end of it can be a very painful concept to come to terms with.  Manchester Gynaecologist always offers counselling as part of our infertility management package.

Online Support

With a little bit of research online you will be able to find blogs people have written about their fertility treatment journey.  Whether the couples have been successful in having a baby or not, the blogs show that it is possible to come to terms with whatever outcome occurs and find a positive outlook in life.  If you would like to meet up with other people who have faced similar circumstances as you there are many support groups that you can join.  However you choose to find ways to help you get through this difficult time please make sure that you don’t become isolated but strive to share your feelings with each other and people who genuinely understand how you are feeling.

We at Manchester Gynaecologist believe in supporting the whole person during and after treatment and can be contacted to provide advice and guide you in the direction of counsellors that can help you during this difficult time.