Infertility - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Wednesday, 16 September 2015 - 2:29 pm IST
Infertility – Overview
Today, getting pregnant has come out to be one of the biggest challenges for you as well as your partner, and then you would be surprised to know that you are not the only one out there dealing with it.
By a latest survey, it has been found out that nearly 10-15% of couples all over the world are suffering from this problem. Infertility is the condition in which a couple are not able to become pregnant despite of having frequent as well as unprotected sex. If a couple are unable to conceive for a period of six months to one year, then they are deemed to be having problems related to infertility.
The cause for infertility can either be due to one person or due to the partner. There are many safe as well as effective ways to overcome infertility. With these treatment options, the chances of the affected person to become pregnant can increase manifold.
Causes for Infertility
In order to become pregnant, a person has to keep in mind the complex process of ovulation as well as fertilization. When both these processes are working fine, then only the chances of fertilization can increase. In some cases, the problems with pregnancy are right from the birth (congenial). The reason for the infertility in couples can either include one partner or both of them.
Generally, the statistics show the following causes as the major ones for infertility.
- In about 1/3 rd of the cases, males are responsible for infertility
- In about 1/3 rd of the cases, females are responsible for infertility
- In the rest of the cases, the causative factors include both males as well as females, or no cause can be identified.
Causal Factors for Male Infertility:
- Abnormal Sperm count or production: Due to some of the basal factors such as genetic defects, diabetes or when the testicles have not descended properly, the sperm production is hampered greatly. Also, the enlargement of the veins in the testes can lead to the increase in the blood flow and therefore, affect the shape and the number of the sperms produced.
- Sperm Delivery Problems: Due to some sexual problems such as the premature ejaculation of the sperms, retrograde ejaculation or in case of some genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis or breaking of the epididymis. Damage to the reproductive organs as well as men who have undergone vasectomy are the ones which are suffer from this problem.
- Exposure to Chemicals: When a person gets exposed to chemicals and toxins such as radiation, pesticides, tobacco as well as alcohol to a great extent, then the chances of infertility are increased manifold.
Causative Factors towards Female Infertility:
- Disorders in Ovulation: In this there is a great problem which leads to the prevention of the ovaries to release the eggs. Due to some hormonal disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or due to the excessive amount of prolactin, the chances of infertility in women are also increased.
- Abnormalities: Abnormalities such as that with the opening of the cervix or with the cervical mucus or even the benign tumours in the wall of the cervix can be some of the major reasons for the infertility.
- Damage to the Fallopian Tube: Due to the inflammation in the fallopian tube caused due to PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease), infertility can take place.
Signs and Symptoms for Infertility
In most of the cases, couples are able to conceive within six months of tryoing. However, in case a couple is not able to conceive even after one year of trying, then it proves to be one of the major symptoms for infertility.
One of the major symptoms for an infertile couple is that the woman will be going through an irregular or almost absent menstrual cycle. Also, there can be other problems related to the hormones such as excessive hair growth, loss of sexual desire as well as problems with ejaculation. Swelling in the scrotum or the small size of the testicles can also be one of the major symptoms for infertility.
It is recommended to see a doctor if you and your partner have been trying to conceive, but have been unsuccessful for a while now.
If you are of an age bracket of 36-40 years and have been trying to conceive for some time now, without any success, then you should be consulting your doctor. If a person is suffering from endometriosis or PID and has had a miscarriage, then also they are at an increased risk of suffering from infertility.
For men, who suffer from low sperm count, swelling in the scrotal sac or small testicles, the chances for infertility are increased and it is recommended to visit a doctor immediately.
Tests and Diagnosis for Infertility
Before a couple go for the diagnosis of infertility, it is recommended to be aware that a constant commitment is required. The couple will be supposed to provide the doctor with a complete knowledge of their sexual habits. Tests and treatments for the infertility can last for a couple of months.
Tests for Men:
In order for a man to be fertile, it is recommended to have a healthy count of the sperm. Some of the general procedures to determine the cause of infertility in men is as follows:
- Analysis of the semen: The doctor asks for the semen sample of the person and therefore, the laboratory checks the sample for the determination of the sperm health as well as the semen fluid.
- Hormone Testing: This is done by taking the blood sample of the person and then checking it for the level of testosterone as well as other male hormones.
- Scrotal Ultrasounds: The ultrasounds are needed in order for the doctor to look for the evidence for conditions such as retrograde ejaculation as well as for the obstruction in the ducts.
- Genetic Testing: This is done to determine the genetic defects in the body of the male person so that the doctors can determine the real reason for the infertility.
Tests for Women:
For a woman to be fertile, the ovaries should be producing a healthy number of eggs. Also, the eggs should be allowed to pass into the fallopian tubes in order to be fertilized by the sperms. However, some of the exams that are best conducted for the determination of the infertility are as follows:
- Ovulation Testing: In this the blood tests are conducted in order to measure the hormone levels of the affected person and to check if the person is ovulating.
- Hysterosalpinggography: This test is done in order to check the condition of the uterus of the affected person as well as that of the fallopian tubes. In this, the X rays are beamed into the uterus of the person in order to check for the condition of the cavity as well as for any blockage.
- Ovarian Testing: This is done to determine the quality and quantity of the eggs that are available for ovulation. Hormone testing begins early during the menstruation cycle of the person.
Treatment options for Infertility
The treatment option for infertility depends on the time duration for which a person has been infertile. Also, once the reason for the infertility has been determined, then the treatment options become very simple. The following are the treatment options available for men and women are as follows:
Treatment for Men:
- Treatments of Infection: In this the antibiotics are used in order to cure any infection which may have occurred in the reproductive tract of the person.
- Treatment for Sexual problems: in this medicines as well as counselling can be used in order to help the person to be cured of infertility and its problems, such as erectile dysfunction as well as premature ejaculation.
- Hormonal Treatments: These may include the replacement of the medication with certain hormones in order to refurbish the body for the lost ones.
- ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology): These treatments include obtaining the sperm with the help of extraction from the donors and then inserting the same into the female body to cause in vitro fertilization.
Treatment Options for Women:
Women require only one or two therapies in order to restore the fertility. Some of the best treatment options for women are as follows:
- Stimulation of the Ovulation: In this the fertility drugs are used in order to help the women dealing with ovulation disorders. These medicines are used in order to regulate the ovulation or induce it in some cases.
- IUI (Intrauterine Insemination): In this the healthy sperm which has been collected is placed directly in the body of the female. The time for the IUI is co ordinate with the normal cycle of the female in order to achieve the maximum chance of fertilization.
- Surgery: This is done in case of women who are suffering from uterine problems such as endometrial polyps. This can be treated with the help of hysteroscopy surgery.
Complications tend to be very rare when it comes to treating infertility and with the help of the above mentioned ways, it can be easily treated.