Many individuals dream of starting their own families. Nevertheless, many couples suffer from emotional and physical disturbances in their lives due to infertility or the inability to conceive a baby. About 80% of the women get pregnant without any medical help, 10% of them achieve fertility by the end of the second year, and 10% remain infertile.
To treat Infertility, many advanced technologies have been used in medical science such as artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization, and many more.
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What is Infertility?
The male is directly responsible for conception in nearly 30-40 % of cases and females in about 40-55 % of cases.
The following are important for a healthy conception:
- ● Healthy sperm
- ● A healthy female genital organ (the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries should be devoid of any pathological or anatomical disorders)
- ● A motile sperm that ascends through the uterine cavity without any problem
- ● A healthy ovum (female egg)
- ● A potent sperm to fertilise the ovum (female egg cell)
What are the Causes of Infertility in Males?
- ● Defective sperm, i.e. either the number of sperm is low, motility (movement) of sperm is low, or a deformed shape of sperm.
- ● Obstruction in the ejaculation of sperm because of anatomical deformity, infection, or trauma
- ● Hormonal disorders
- ● Endocrinal disorders such as obesity, thyroid dysfunction
- ● Congenital defects such as undescended testes
- ● Infectious conditions such as Varicocele and Mumps orchitis
- ● Cancerous tumours and their treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy
- ● Genetic defects in chromosomes
- ● Other factors such as chronic disease, excessive smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption
What are the Causes of Infertility in Females?
- ● Ovulatory dysfunction like no formation of egg cells, or irregular formation of egg cells.
- ● Premature ovarian failure
- ● The tubal blockage is like a blockage in the fallopian tube.
- ● Pelvic infections like endometriosis or adhesions
- ● Some uterine factors like an anatomical defect in the uterus, uterine fibroid, or tuberculosis of the uterus.
- ● Cervical infections also contribute to infertility in females.
- ● Vaginal infections
- ● Untreated sexually transmitted diseases
- ● Hormonal imbalance delays ovulation which hampers the formation of an ovum (female egg cells) that causes infertility.
- ● Genetic defects in chromosomes can also cause infertility.
- ● Some other diseases like obesity, thyroid dysfunction, PCOD, and diabetes mellitus are also responsible for infertility in females.
What are the Few Common Reasons Behind Infertility?
- ● Reduction in the testosterone, the male sex hormone, which leads to premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and loss of libido
- ● Reduction in fertile periods among women who are in their mid-30s
- ● Obesity
- ● Smoking
- ● Alcohol consumption
- ● Stress
- ● Exposure to radiation (through radiotherapy or chemotherapy)
- ● Consumption of illegal drugs
What are the Investigations Required Before Treating Infertility?
Here are some of the major investigations that are conducted in this regard:
- ● Routine investigations such as blood tests and urine tests
- ● Semen analysis to rule out the problem with sperm in males
- ● Transrectal ultrasound in males
- ● Hysterosalpingography (Tubal factor) in females to rule out tubal blockage
- ● Serum progesterone (evidence of ovulation) to find out the dysfunction in ovulation.
- ● Basal body temperature charting in females
- ● Transvaginal ultrasound in females
- ● Laparoscopy in females
What are the Treatment Associated with Infertility?
Here are some tips to follow:
- ● Improve your general health by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly and adopting a healthy lifestyle
- ● Reduce your weight
- ● Avoid smoking and consuming alcohol
What are the Fertility Treatment for Men?
The treatment of male infertility has improved significantly with the advent of various advanced technologies like ART (assisted reproductive technology).
Intrauterine insemination, in-vitro fertilization, PESA, MESA, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are some of the treatment options available for infertile males.
- ● PESA
This extraction technology is used to extract the sperm from the epididymis suffering from a low number of sperm (Azoospermia). It is a simple surgical procedure done under local anaesthesia to extract the sperm from the fine needle. This procedure doesn’t require one to incise the skin. The fluid is gently extracted from the fine needle out of the body, which is sent to the laboratory afterwards for processing.
What are the Fertility Treatment for Females?
If the Infertility is caused due to some infection such as chronic cervicitis or a vaginal infection, it is treated according to it. Tumours and other abnormal growths are treated surgically.
Assisted treatment technology is also used in treating infertility. It involves the manipulation of fertilisation of sperm and ovum outside the body for treating infertility.
Infertility is a stressed disease and involves many investigations. The treatment is exhausting too.
Infertile couples, particularly women, experience a lot of stress in terms of their relationships and their status in society. But, today, technology has given a ray of hope to many couples.