Single women and fertility treatment: a specialist answers all our questions

We sat down with Cape Town-based reproductive health specialist Dr Klaus Wiswedel to ask questions about freezing eggs, single parenthood by choice and the rise of fertility treatment in South Africa.


Q&A: Increasing fertility

I am 23 years old and my fiance is 27 years old. For about a year we have been trying to have a baby and even though we are both healthy, I ams till not falling pregnant. Is there anything we can both take to increase our chances of falling pregnant?


Q&A: My husband's sperm count is low, what can we do?

My husbands' sperm count is low, what can we do about it?


Q&A: Struggling to have a child for the past 7 years

I am a 35 year old woman who has been struggling to have a child for the past 7 years. I had 7 miscarriages and no explanantions why, only with my last pregnancy at 18 weeks I was diagnosed with incompetent cervix. The other pregnancies ended between 4-6 weeks. I had another miscarriage, the ultrasound showed a flat sac. I feel drained and tired of all this. I'm also scared of pregnancy. My gynae suggested I go and see a fertility specialist but I can't go due to financial constraints. 


Q&A: Was I pregnant and then miscarried?

My period was due on 22 August, but it didn't come. Then two weeks later, my period did come. What could this mean? Was I pregnant and then miscarried? Or was it a case of my cycle being irregular? The thing is that I have never had an irregular period before so this worries me. 


Q&A: What are the chances of me losing my baby again?

I lost my daughter at 38 weeks in January this year to something they call toxoplasmosis, even though the doctor was not 100% sure that it was the reason. She was perfect in every way. Now I have just found out that I am 5 weeks pregnant and I am so excited yet so nervous. What are the chances of me losing my baby again? I do not know how to feel or what to do. Could you please help me?


Q&A: Did I have a miscarriage?

Last year I went to see my doctor and he confirmed that I was pregnant, he assumed that I was 3 weeks pregnant. A few days later I had burning pain on my right ovary and I went to a private hospital were they did a sonar and could not see anything, they then took my blood and the results came back positive. Two days later I started bleeding and clotting and I went back to the hospital for an ultrasound that said I was not pregnant - I think I miscarried. I'm concerned that he did not clean me and said if he did my womb will stick like glue. The only thing that could prove that I was expecting was my sensitive breasts and the bloodtest.


Q&A: Dealing with losing a baby

I am 39 years old and I don't have children. In March 2006 I had a miscarriage at 4 weeks. In August last year the doctor confirmed that I was 6 months pregnant, but when I went for a check-up a month later he said the baby had stopped growing and no heartbeat was detected. How can I cope? I do have support from my family and friends but when I'm alone it's so hard.


Q&A: How do I help my partner cope with the loss of our baby?

I am 31 years old and ten weeks into my pregnancy I lost my baby. I feel so lost and blame myself for not taking care of the baby. My partner and I were looking forward to having this child. We didn’t have a name yet as we didn’t know the sex. I feel as if a part of me has been taken away and I can never get it back. My boyfriend was so excited about the pregnancy as it would have been his first child. He is so hurt and I don’t know how to comfort him. He says it is too early and he has nothing to say – but I know he is hurting as much as I am. What can I do for him?


Q&A: How does endometriosis impact my fertility?

I have endometriosis. How does it impact on my fertility and how can I treat it?


Q&A: No heartbeat...

I'm a 29-year-old mother to a two-year-old and when I was pregnant with my second baby, I could not hear the heartbeat. When I went for my second check-up at 20 weeks, the doctor told me that my baby had stopped growing at 17 weeks. But I had gone for a check-up at 17 weeks and she had never detected that. What caused it and how is it possible that she missed it? I am now concerned about how long I can wait to try for another baby.


Q&A: Is breastfeeding a natural contraceptive?

I am 26 years old and 18 weeks pregnant with my first child. I am one of 7 children, because my mother conceived so easily, does that mean I should be careful after my baby is born and is breastfeeding a natural contraceptive?


Q&A: Stopped taking the pill

I stopped taking my pill after 5 years and have't gotten a period since. I did many pregnancy tests and went for a scan due to bladder problems and there was nothing. My husband and I are anxious to have a baby and would like to know what could help because no period means no eggs to be fertilised.


Q&A: Conception

What is the best time to have sex after my wife has had her menstruation to make her fall pregnant? What I have heard was that my wife and I should try on the 14th day after the 1st day of her menstruation.
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