(Phoenix, AZ) Dr. Couvaras is an infertility specialist in assisted reproduction and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) who doesn’t always believe these measures by themselves are the best option. Imagine this scenario: A couple is having trouble conceiving. They have gone step by step through the raft of customary tests and the “mechanics”, as Dr. Couvaras calls them, are all in working order; the ovaries are plentiful, the sperm is strong. In cases like these, the next phase would be IVF. If the ovarian reserve testing is abnormal, then there are recommendations to consider IVF with donor eggs. It is a long, emotionally and financially fraught process that, despite upwards of three and four tries, will not be successful. Says Dr. Couvaras; ‘The ovary behaves as if it is dead or dying, but it may only be deaf. The trick learning to talk differently to it.”
Dr. Couvaras is a big fan of exploring the often-obscure alternatives for such cases. “The research clearly states that IVF is not the final recommendation for unexplained fertility, but the paucity of available options leaves us the little to offer” he says. “There are many different routes for people whose bodies aren’t ‘broken’ but still can’t manage to conceive,” he says. “Using our approaches, the cumulative ongoing pregnancy rates are 61 percent without using IVF but over 80 percent when we combine packaged IVF’s with inflammation blancing.” Research is supporting the concept of cumulative pregnancy rates, and not focusing on the rate per attempt when considering IVF and trying to conceive. This process is showing itself to be more efficient, both economically and timewise.
One simple – and somewhat obvious – measure is a group of blood tests. In a young, otherwise healthy woman whose hormone levels are off-kilter, blood tests could reveal a clotting imbalance issue – since hormones travel through the blood, if normal flow is obstructed, the hormones aren’t reaching their final destination – what he calls hormone transmission deficit. “If you work to resolve the clotting imbalance, it appears one normalizes hormone delivery.” Dr. Couvaras says, Innocuous irritable bowel syndrome – conditions that are more common in women than men and may, in fact, affect fertility. “On their own, none of these conditions are big enough to take notice, says Dr. Couvaras. “The most increases of infertility cases are not due to mechanical damage or poor sperm, but something underlying or unexplained – we have to look at the bigger picture and make the connection.”