Infertility has become one of the soaring issues that people are facing globally, with one in seven couples suffering from impaired ability to get pregnant. According to the infertility experts, this can double over next decade.
Nowadays, young couples, for some or the other reasons, maybe because they are career oriented, wish to settle down perfectly before planning a family or do not want to take the responsibility earlier, take preventive measures to avoid pregnancy during the first few years of their marriage.
Preventive measures like contraceptive or birth control pills, use of condoms, etc may not prove to be good in long term. This if continued for a prolonged time, might lead to further delaying the chances of being able to conceive. The end results are immense stress, depression on not being able to conceive, besides the finances involved in the treatment are pretty expensive.
Treatment of infertility depends on certain aspects such as, the cause, how long you have been working towards conception, age of the couple, and many personal preferences. Some causes of infertility cannot be treated. But there are chances of pregnancy with the help of assisted reproductive technology. When a couple decides to go for male and female infertility medication, they must make sure they are committed financially, physically and psychologically as it may take time.
Male Infertility Treatment
Causes of male infertility are many. For men in general, infertility treatment includes correction of general sexual problems or lack of healthy sperms and few male infertility test.
Medication or Behavioral Approaches
These approaches, either individually or together can be effective in rectifying impotence or premature ejaculation.
Surgery, Hormones or Assisted Reproductive Technology
Surgery, hormones or assisted reproductive technology can be used in case, when lack of healthy sperms is assumed to be the cause of infertility.
These techniques obtain sperm when ejaculation is a problem: surgical sperm aspiration, this occurs when the ejaculatory duct is blocked. Hence in this case, an electric or vibratory stimulus is given to achieve ejaculation and thereby retrieve the sperm.
Female Infertility Treatment
The reasons for female infertility are many. Although a woman may need just one or two therapies to reverse infertility, it is still possible that several different types of female infertility test and treatment may be needed before she’s able to conceive.
- Stimulating Ovulation with Fertility Drugs
Fertility drugs that regulate or stimulate ovulation, include the major treatment targeted to reverse infertility in women. It’s always advised to discuss your drug options-risks and benefits with your gynecologist clearly.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Treatment
One of the most common infertility treatment is IUI. During IUI, the healthy male sperms that have been collected and concentrated are placed directly in the female uterus around the time of ovulation (when the woman’s ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized). Depending on the reasons for infertility, the timing of IUI can be coordinated with your normal menstrual cycle or with fertility medications.
Surgery to Restore Fertility
Some women face uterine problems such as endometrial polyps, a uterine septum or intrauterine scar tissue. These can be treated with the help of hysteroscopic surgery to reverse infertility.
Assisted Reproductive Technology
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), which leads to the highest chances of pregnancy for most couples, is any infertility treatment in which the egg and sperm are handled. An ART health team includes physicians, psychologists, embryologists, lab technicians, nurses and allied health professionals who work together to help infertile couples achieve pregnancy.
Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most common ART technique. IVF involves stimulating and retrieving multiple mature eggs from a woman, fertilizing them with a man’s sperm in a dish in a lab, and implanting the embryos in the uterus three to five days after fertilization.
The success rate of ART is lower after the age of 35.
Other techniques that are sometimes used in an IVF cycle are:
a) Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Treatment
ICSI is an IVF treatment in which a single healthy sperm is injected directly into a mature egg. It a common treatment for male infertility or also when the female egg cannot be easily penetrated by the sperm.
b) Assisted Hatching
As the name suggests, assisted hatching attempts to assist the implantation of the embryo into the lining of the uterus by opening the outer covering of the embryo (hatching).
c) Donor Eggs or Sperms
Mostly, ART is carried out using the woman’s own eggs and her partner’s sperm. But in case, there are any issues with either the eggs or sperms, regarding their health and quality, it may be advised to opt for eggs or sperms or embryos from a known or anonymous donor.
d) Gestational Carrier
In this technique, the couple’s embryo is implanted in the uterus of a carrier for pregnancy. Women who don’t bear a functional uterus or for whom pregnancy poses a serious health risk might opt IVF using a gestational carrier.
Every treatment comes with its own positive effects and negative results. So, a person going for a given treatment should be aware of the possible complications associated with it and discuss them with their gynec prior to initialization of the treatment. So lets have a look at some of the possible complications.
Complications In Treatment
This is the most common complication of infertility treatment- twins, triplets or more. Number of foetuses increases the risk of premature labor and delivery. Moreover, babies so born are at greater risk of health and developmental disorders. Infertility treatments should aim for a single pregnancy with a healthy baby birth. In certain cases, fetal reduction can be employed to help a woman give birth to fewer babies with lower health risks. But, pursuing fetal reduction may involves ethical, emotional and ethical, emotional and psychological consequences.
Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
This complication is observed when fertility drugs are injected to stimulate ovulation.
OHSS is characterized by swollen and painful ovaries and the symptoms include mild abdominal pain, bloating and nausea that lasts about a week, or longer if you become pregnant. Rarely, a more severe form causes rapid weight gain and shortness of breath which may require emergency treatment.
Bleeding or Infection
Generally, any invasive procedure is associated with a rare risk of bleeding or infection and it may so happen with assisted reproductive technology.
Premature Delivery or Low Birth Weight
Multiple fetus pregnancy is associated with low birth weight. In single live births, there may be a greater chance of pre-term delivery or low birth weight associated with IVF.
Some research suggests that babies that are conceived using IVF might be at higher risk of certain birth defects, such as heart and digestive problems and cleft lip or cleft palate. Later, other studies conclude that it depends on why couples need infertility treatment and not the IVF procedures themselves.
Following natural means for anything is always the best way to live a healthy happy life. In the same way getting pregnant naturally is the best way to avoid going through physical, mental and financial hazards. Hence plan your pregnancy within the first few years of your marriage to avoid further complications.
If you still face infertility issues, make sure you consult the right gynecologist whom you and your partner can trust well. Before opting for any treatment, make sure you and your partner are thoroughly prepared and satisfied to go with it.
Note: Some supplements like coenzyme q10, fish oil and evening primrose oil can boost your fertility. Adequate intake of all the essential nutrients for conception and during pregnancy is very important for a safe and healthy delivery.
All the best!
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