Author Archives: DrHeylen089

Sperm Testing at Cape Fertility

Male infertility can be caused by a range of factors, from obvious reasons such as a vasectomy or a spinal cord injury, and medical conditions or even medications that affect sexual performance and fertility, to lifestyle factors, the use of steroids or testosterone, and even environmental factors like working with chemicals and heat. Male fertility levels can also decline due to, for example, age, stress and a compromised immune system.

The top cause of infertility in men, however, is problems with sperm production, or the quality of the sperm. In fact, male fertility is defined by “sperm quality”, which refers to semen volume, sperm count, sperm motility or movement, and sperm morphology or shape.

For this reason, at Cape Fertility, we offer routine sperm tests to all couples, as well as the latest and most advanced in male fertility testing, such as DNA fragmentation and a spectrum of sperm function tests, that can assess, for example, whether the sperm can penetrate an egg.

Routine Sperm Tests

After a thorough medical review, the first male infertility test that we do at Cape Fertility is a sperm test.

A sperm test shows if the sperm sample is compatible with fertility, so a pregnancy can be expected. If the test values do not fall completely within the ‘normal’ parameters, this doesn’t mean that the patient is infertile, nor does it mean that a pregnancy cannot be achieved.

The semen analysis checks the volume of the sperm to determine … Read the rest

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Join us in July at Fertility Show Africa 2022

If you have questions about your fertility and if you would like to find out about the treatments that have helped millions of other couples to conceive, Fertility Show Africa 2022 is the place to be. Our team at Cape Fertility would like to invite you to come and join us at the live and in-person event at the Focus Rooms in Sandton, Johannesburg, or online from anywhere in Africa and the rest of the world. Entry and full access to all the event highlights are complimentary for both the online event and the live event.

This year marks the third annual Fertility Show Africa, following two highly successful previous shows.

Fertility Show Africa is proudly supported by SASREG (South African Society for Reproductive Medicine and Gynaecological Endoscopy), IFAASA (Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa) and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.

Cape Fertility is a strong supporter of Fertility Show Africa since its inception; and is also a long-standing supporter of IFAASA, which aims to drive public and industry awareness and understanding of infertility, and to lobby for fair support and change and equal access to public and private sector treatment for infertility patients. We are also a registered member of SASREG, a society of specialists in the field of reproductive medicine, who serve to protect the interests of patients undergoing fertility treatment and of doctors involved in reproductive science and medicine in South Africa.

SASREG distributes news on fertility and sterility related issues; … Read the rest

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Cape Fertility’s Infertility Awareness Month

Cape Fertility’s Infertility Awareness Month Message: Infertility can be treated!

World Infertility Awareness Month is observed every June to increase awareness regarding numerous infertility issues – related to female as well as male fertility – faced by couples across the globe.

If you are facing fertility challenges, please know that hundreds of thousands of couples around the world are facing similar issues. In fact, globally, almost 20% of couples experience some form of infertility problem at least once during their reproductive lifetime, while in developing countries up to 25% of couples are affected by infertility.

The focus of World Infertility Awareness Month is on increasing awareness regarding infertility issues, because many couples don’t know that infertility is a medical condition, and as a result are also not aware of the many medical options available.

World Infertility Awareness Month aims to bring hope to many couples by highlighting the truth that many thousands of infertile couples are successfully receiving treatment at highly specialised fertility clinics around the world, including here in Cape Town, South Africa, that offer a range of safe, advanced and effective treatments.

These treatments offer great success rates because in the vast majority of cases, infertility is due to a medical condition, which means that it can be treated successfully with an extensive range of medical treatments.

Infertility is a medical condition

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recognised infertility as a public health issue worldwide, with many couples needing to seek medical treatment to help resolve underlying … Read the rest

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Cancer Survivors and Infertility

The WHO’s efforts are focused on breast cancer, now the most common cancer; cervical cancer, one of several reproductive cancers; and childhood cancer.

Having a reproductive cancer will certainly affect your fertility negatively. Unfortunately, it is not only reproductive cancers that affect fertility: any type of cancer and the resulting treatments are likely to contribute to – if not cause – infertility.

Fortunately for cancer survivors, there are ways to protect your fertility – with treatments ranging from fertility preservation options before cancer treatment commences, to advanced assisted reproductive treatments such as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) with donor eggs or donor sperm; and ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – which allows even those men previously considered sterile to have a biological child; as well as further options such as surrogacy and adoption.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the reproductive cancers that will affect fertility; the impact of cancer treatments on fertility; as well as the treatments and options available to cancer survivors who want to start or build their family.

Reproductive cancers

Reproductive cancers start in the organs related to reproduction (sex) in the pelvis – the area in the lower belly between the hip bones.

Affecting both men and women, these reproductive cancers – as well as their treatments – can have a significant negative impact on fertility.

Among the most common reproductive cancers that occur in women include cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, vaginal cancer and vulvar cancer. Breast cancer … Read the rest

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The IVF ICSI cycle timeline

What is IVF?

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) can be described in the very simplest terms as “eggs are extracted, fertilized in a laboratory and placed in the uterus to hopefully implant and develop into a pregnancy”.

A more detailed description begins to reveal the complexity of this treatment process. During IVF treatment, eggs are surgically removed from the female partner’s ovary. In a glass dish (“in vitro”), outside the body, it is mixed with sperm to be fertilized. The fertilized eggs, called embryos, are then placed in the women’s uterus three to five days later.

What is ICSI?

ICSI stands for “Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection” and it is a revolutionary medical process that makes it possible for nearly every man to have his own biological child, even in the case of severe sperm problems. Practised safely around the world, ICSI has helped thousands of couples to have their own biological offspring.

ICSI is a medical procedure used in specific circumstances when the fertilization of the eggs takes place in the lab during IVF treatment, and it is very effective.

The IVF ICSI timeline

The brief descriptions of IVF and ICSI make the process sound quite simple.

However, a full overview of the steps and procedures involved in a typical 28-day IVF ICSI plan at Cape Fertility, as detailed below, provides a realistic picture of the full process.

Timeline: Day 1

The IVF ICSI timeline commences on the first day of your period, which is Day … Read the rest

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Clinics in Cape Town that Offer AI, IVF and ICSI

In Cape Town

Nestled at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain – one of the New7Wonders of Nature and a Unesco World Heritage Site – Cape Town is a destination to experience! It was just recently named “Leading City Destination for 2021” in the 28th annual World Travel Awards, which also named Table Mountain as “Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction”. In fact, Cape Town is regularly voted by international travellers as the greatest city in the world and for good reason.

With spectacular beaches, magnificent mountains, unique floral kingdoms, some of the world’s finest wine routes, the iconic Robben Island and the famous V&A Waterfront, the accolades Cape Town receives are not over-stated.

Clinics in Cape Town

Cape Town is home to many advanced medical facilities, ranging from private specialist clinics to the world-famous Groote Schuur Hospital – probably one of South Africa’s premier hospitals – known worldwide as the location of the world’s first successful human heart transplant. Locally, it is renowned as the training ground for some of South Africa’s best doctors, surgeons and nurses.

In the Claremont Medical Village at the back of Table Mountain, under the eaves of the picturesque Constantia Mountains, you will find Cape Fertility, one of the top fertility clinics not only in Cape Town, but also in South Africa and in the world.

Our team comprises four reproductive specialists: all with impressive qualifications and extensive experience, who are supported by a full … Read the rest

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Male Fertility Challenges… What Are The Causes?

Today we know that the female partner is not automatically responsible for infertility in a couple.

In fact, in about a third of infertile couples, the infertility is due to a male factor, most often a problem with the sperm. In a further third of couples struggling with infertility, it is due to fertility challenges in both partners. In the remaining third of infertile couples, the challenge lies with the female partner.

Given this reality, it is important for couples who have not fallen pregnant not to make any assumptions but to have all the proper fertility tests done for both partners before making any decisions.
While the statistics confirm that male infertility is really a significant issue affecting increasing numbers of couples, male fertility is not spoken about as publicly or as much as female fertility. This contributes to a widespread lack of awareness of the fact that male fertility issues are a significant contributor in many infertility cases.

What forms do male infertility take?

Male infertility can take various forms, for example, a complete absence of sperm, a low sperm count or problems with the shape or movement of the sperm.

When a sperm analysis is done, there are various factors that are investigated.

The first is the volume of the sperm. A normal volume is at least 1.5ml and if there is less, it may point to an obstruction somewhere between sperm production and ejaculation.

The number of sperm in … Read the rest

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Cape Fertility Supports Endometriosis Awareness Month

The symptoms can also range from no symptoms at all to severe symptoms. The most common symptoms of endometriosis are #pelvicpain or pain in the pelvic area, including painful periods and painful intercourse. In the majority of the cases, chronic pelvic pain is due to endometriosis. The pain can also be experienced at other times, such as during sexual intercourse, or when passing urine or stool, especially when during a period. The pain can be so severe that it impacts the quality of a woman’s life.

Another very common symptom of endometriosis is infertility. Other associated symptoms of endometriosis include fatigue, depression, eating problems and gastrointestinal (GI) problems.

Endo South Africa is one of the local organisations that have done a great deal to raise #endometriosisawareness about the symptoms and other facts about this disease. Visit their Facebook page at to find out more.

Here are some of Endo South Africa’s messages for 2022, which our team at Cape Fertility gladly share widely, to help ensure as many women as possible receive the right treatment.

What every woman should know about endometriosis

* Endometriosis affects one in 10 women!
* It is a painful disease affecting women in their reproductive years
* Symptoms can begin prior to a girl’s first period, and for most women symptoms persist throughout their menstrual life but can continue after menopause
* Endometrium tissue or lesions can cause extreme pain and can also attach to other organs causing … Read the rest

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Reproductive Cancers in the Spotlight on World Cancer Day

One of the greatest challenges

According to the WHO, cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death, and its burden is growing.

In 2021, the world crossed a sobering new threshold – an estimated 20 million people were diagnosed with cancer, and 10 million people died of cancer. These numbers will continue to rise in the decades ahead.

And yet all cancers can be treated, and many can be prevented or cured.

Care for cancer, however, like so many other diseases, reflects the inequalities and inequities of our world. The clearest distinction is between high- and low-income countries, with comprehensive treatment reportedly available in more than 90% of high-income countries, but less than 15% of low-income countries.

Similarly, breast cancer survival five years after diagnosis now exceeds 80% in most high-income countries, compared with 66% in India and just 40% in South Africa. For all of these reasons, the theme for this year’s World Cancer Day is “closing the care gap”.

WHO’s efforts are focused on breast cancer, now the most common cancer; cervical cancer, that can be eliminated; and childhood cancer.

Reproductive cancers

This year, Cape Fertility adds its voice to cancer awareness efforts by highlighting reproductive cancers – including cervical cancer, and the other cancers that affect women, as well as reproductive cancers that affect men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, … Read the rest

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February is Reproductive Health Month in South Africa

What is reproductive health?

Reproductive health is a broad topic that implies that every person:

* has a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life;
* has the capability to reproduce;
* has the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to reproduce.

This means that both men and women have the right to:

* be informed of safe, effective, affordable, and acceptable methods of fertility regulation;
* have access to the method of fertility regulation of their choice;
* access to appropriate health care services to enable a woman to safely carry a pregnancy and go through childbirth, to provide couples with the best chance of having a healthy infant.

Unfortunately, for both men and women, there are many issues that can negatively impact reproductive health and the ability to have children, or infertility. The most common causes of infertility in women are ovulatory disorders, endometriosis, fibroids and fallopian tube problems, as well as advanced maternal age (35+). Few people realise that when it comes to fertility, age does matter. After age 35, a woman’s fertility declines rapidly, while the chance of abnormalities and miscarriages increases exponentially.

There are also many possible causes of male infertility such as sterilization or vasectomies, spinal cord injuries, erection or ejaculatory dysfunction, medical conditions, medications and sexually transmitted diseases.

In both men and women, poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking and being overweight, can also negatively affect reproductive health.

Fortunately, there are as many … Read the rest

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