What is Infertility?
Couples at a certain point in time have the desire to conceive. Many studies have found that almost 85% of the couples successfully conceive within one year of trying. However, if they fail to conceive even after trying every method, there are chances that they might be suffering from infertility. Infertility is the inability to conceive within one year. Even if the couples fail to conceive within one year, then it is better to consult any reproductive endocrinologist. They must know the right time to take the help of any gynecologist to determine symptoms of infertility.
What are the symptoms of infertility?
Infertility issues are common in both men and women. When it comes to women, irregular periods or even painful and heavy periods are one of the common symptoms. Normally, cycles are of 28 days, which may or may not exceed.
It is one of the common infertility symptoms in females since irregular cycles are a sign of PCOS, which is associated with infertility. When it comes to infertility in symptoms in men, include low sexual desire, swelling in testicles. Apart from that, issues with maintaining an erection as well as ejaculation problems can also lead to infertility.
Types of infertility
Infertility primarily involves two different types of infertility issues. First, the primary fertility stage refers to those couples who could not conceive after one year. They never use any birth control methods. However, the secondary infertility couples are those who conceived in the past once.
But, the female cannot conceive anymore now. Even after planning everything carefully, the female could not conceive. Secondary infertility type precisely means that the woman is spontaneously facing miscarriage or stillbirths.
What are the causes of infertility?
Infertility causes can affect both men and women. From an unhealthy lifestyle to pre-existing diseases, everything is responsible, that causes infertility. Proper diagnosis is necessary for required treatments.
Male Infertility Causes
Men having abnormal sperm production, genetic defects, or even pre-existing health conditions can cause infertility. Diseases like diabetes, mumps, and STI like HIV or gonorrhea can cause abnormal sperm production rate. Premature ejaculation, genetic ailments like cystic fibrosis, and various psychological problems can even lead to infertility issues.
Few secondary infertility causes in males include overexposure to pesticides as well as other chemicals. Overconsumption of tobacco, alcohol, or other recreational drugs can lead to infertility. Physical injuries in reproductive organs can also lead to infertility issues in men.
Female infertility Causes
Women having impaired ovulation due to excessive eating, injury, hormonal imbalance severely affects egg release. Hormonal imbalance such as PCOS, hypothyroidism, hyperprolactinemia can lead to infertility. Deformed cervix opening, fibroids, and uterine polyp are some of the serious causes of infertility.
Blocked Fallopian tube due to inflammation is yet another one of the major issues behind infertility causes in women. Unwanted growth of endometriosis cells surrounding the uterus can also cause infertility. Pelvic adhesions are quite dangerous for fertility. Band scar tissue binding organs or abdominal surgery can give rise to infertility issues. Some women believe that Meftal Spas are the reason for their fertility, but this is not true. Meftal Spas are not the cause of infertility.
Complications of infertility treatment
Although various infertility treatment is quite effective as it helps those couples suffering from pregnancy failures. It has many complications as well, which not only turn out to be acute but also may run for longer periods. Acute complications that arise are related to ovulation induction or oocyte retrieval.
These are some of the short-term complications and do not last long. Whereas, the long-term complications include high chances related to pregnancy complications, mostly imprinting disorders in the newborn, etc. Chances of complications are although high but in most cases, the treatments turn out to be successful.
Before your doctor asks you to take the infertility tests, they will ask you certain questions to get an idea of your sexual habits. They will also give you recommendations on how you can improve your fertility so that it becomes easy to conceive. In many cases, couples do not show any specific causes behind infertility, also known as unexplained infertility.
When it comes to the diagnosis of infertility, tests can be expensive. In many cases, the tests involve uncomfortable procedures. At times, the medical plans might even not cover the infertility diagnosis costs. Also, it is not guaranteed that you will get pregnant even after taking all the tests.
Treatment Options For Infertility
Infertility assessments include various examinations as well as tests to find out the underlying reasons behind infertility.
In Vitro Fertilization, or IVF is a kind of fertilization where the eggs combine with sperm for fertilization outside the body.
Azoospermia is a condition in men where the sperm count in their ejaculation is non-existent.
Follicular study or follicular monitoring is the process through which the doctor watches the growth of this follicle from the beginning of the menstrual cycle to the time it is ready to release an egg.
Ovulation induction is mainly a to-the-point treatment where hormonal pills are used for resuming ovulation.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, which is also commonly known as ICSI is one of the common and most successful treatments for male fertility.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is also known as IMSI is another procedure used during the time of IVF.
Stem Cell In IVF
In the whole world, around 8% to 12% of couples tend to get affected by the curse of infertility.
IUI, medically known as Intrauterine Insemination, is a simple form of fertility treatment.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening is a test that carefully examines the chromosomal material of an IVF or in-vitro fertilized egg before the process of implantation can begin.
Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis or refers to a system where a complex electronic imaging system is used to visualize the sperm, while advanced software programs help measure the numerous individual parameters of said sperm.
Infertility tests for men
Male infertility tests are done to check whether the testicles are in the right condition to produce healthy sperm. Apart from that, the ejaculation is done effectively inside the vagina. Semen analysis is an effective test that helps in analyzing sperm quality. Hormone testing is also useful to determine whether the male is fertile enough. A blood test is best to check the testosterone levels. Genetic testing is also useful in detecting infertility when it comes to infertility tests for males. In this process, detection in any genetic defect causing infertility is detected.
Infertility tests for women
Whether a woman is fertile depends on the ovaries and if it releases healthy eggs. Therefore, infertility tests for a female are necessary. The reproductive tracks should not have any blockages and the eggs must move smoothly so that the sperm can fertilize. Ovulation testing is one such effective infertility test, which measures hormone levels to find out if the woman is ovulating.
Ovarian reserve testing is also quite useful since it helps in determining the egg quantity necessary for ovulation. Apart from this, another hormonal testing is also there like pituitary hormone checking, which helps in maintaining the reproductive processes.
Treatment & Care for infertility
Infertility treatment and care involve various processes. The primary processes include maintaining a healthy lifestyle like healthy eating and exercise. For maintaining fertility levels, it is important to maintain a healthy workout regimen along with good food habits excluding junkies. The secondary options include infertility treatments ranging from medicinal treatments to surgeries that help in increasing fertility levels, both in men and women.
Treatment Options for men
Changing lifestyle is one of the primary infertility treatments in males. Excluding particular medications, reducing the intake of harmful substances, increasing the timing of intercourse is quite useful. Next comes the medications since few medications are there that enhances the sperm count.
Medications are quite useful in increasing testicular functions like sperm production as well as quality. Surgery is also a good idea since it helps in reversing sperm blockage issues. Also, surgery helps in repairing varicocele that increases the chances for pregnancy.
Treatment Options for Women
The treatment options vary, while some women need one or two therapies for increasing fertility, others require multiple treatments to get pregnant. Primary infertility treatment in female includes ovulation medications that help in stimulating the ovulation procedure. These medicines either helps in regulating or inducing ovulation.
Most gynecologists discuss the fertility drug options with the patient and focus on how each medication will help in increasing fertility. IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is yet another useful treatment procedure where healthy sperms are placed inside the uterus during ovulation time. Surgeries are also useful as it helps in removing problems like endometrial polyps or any intrauterine scar tissue. Above everything, it is important to remember that infertility treatment cost varies.
Risk factors for infertility
Some of the common factors behind infertility in both men and women are age, weight, sexual history, smoking, etc. With age, both men and women lose the capability of conceiving. The reason behind this is the egg quality and quantity in women degrades, which affects fertility. The sperm count in men reduces too.
Similarly, smoking is also a risk factor as it damages the cervix as well as fallopian tubes. The chances of miscarriages also increase due to smoking. Overweight or obesity is yet another common problem that acts as a risk factor behind infertility in both men and women.
How to prevent infertility?
Preventing infertility requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle. From maintaining a healthy weight to avoiding alcohol and smoking, everything is important. Also, it is necessary to avoid stress since it is responsible for the infertility issue. Limiting caffeine is also necessary to avoid infertility issues. Both men and women must focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle for a successful pregnancy.
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Infertility means that you are unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse, while sterility refers to your inability to give birth to a child
Don’t hesitate to seek help if you are having trouble conceiving – early diagnosis and treatment for male infertility is the best way to achieve success
Every time IVF is performed, the doctors re-examine all parameters. Even if no problems are identified after all these tests, the 2nd IVF success rate will be 35-40%
Adenomyosis is a condition that affects the female reproductive system. As a result, it makes uterus swells and becomes thicker.
Dr. Jay Mehta
Fertility and IVF Specialist
Dr. Jay Mehta is the Scientific Director of Shree IVF Clinic. He is a well-known Fertility and IVF Specialist and also among few doctors in the country who specializes in Embryology and Andrology.