It is an accepted fact that all living beings on the earth are able to reproduce. In fact the urge and desire to reproduce and keep the line going is central to all beings. Infertility not only disturbs the lives of the couple, but also affects their near and dear ones, who love them and want to see them happy. Here we are going to discuss a few questions, frequently asked by people.
What is Infertility?
Due to certain disease or inadequacies, natural conception does not take place, it is called infertility. This infertility could be in the male, or in female, or in rare cases in both. Infertility is established only when pregnancy does not take place despite repeated efforts over a period of time, perhaps a year or so. Also, in cases of those women who end up having miscarriages are also termed infertile.
Frequency of infertility in the USA
Nearly 1 in 10 couples in the US are unable to reproduce. Infertility is due to the male in 33% of the cases and the same percentage is due to the female. Nearly 15% are caused by problems with both, the male and the female, and the remaining balance percentage is made of various other causes.
How to check infertility in men?
The physical and mental state of the patient is checked, a record of past diseases and accidents and other significant occurrences is noted. This is followed by pathological tests of blood and so on to trace any past or existing disease, and hormone imbalance. If nothing abnormal is discovered, semen samples are then taken for tests. The quantity of semen, the sperm count, and its mobility are checked. A physical check up of the genitals is done to ensure that there is no tenderness, or cyst in and around the testis.
How to check infertility in women?
In the case of women, again past medical record and complete physical health check up is done. This is followed by a more detailed examinations and tests. Tests are done to find hormonal imbalance, the state of the lining of the uterus, and the functioning of the thyroid. A laparoscopic examination of the organs is done and a detailed check carried out of progesterone is made to establish that there is proper ovulation, which will lead to pregnancy, is taking place or not.
What causes male infertility the most?
Male infertility may occur due to two main reasons; (i) when zero sperm cells are produced, which is also known as Azoospermia, and (ii) when only a minimum number of sperm cells are produced, which is known as Oligospermia. Other than the above discussed two problems, sometimes its due to improper production of sperm cells, they die even before fertilization. In rare cases, there are some genetic concerns like, cystic fibrosis or some abnormality in chromosomes may lead to the problem.
What are the most common causes for female infertility?
There may be various causes for female infertility. The female reproduction system is complicated, even a small imbalance can affect the normal reproduction process. Generally, blocked fallopian tubes or improper ovulation are the reasons for the concern. Frequent miscarriages also may lead to the problem. Apart from these, age is also an important factor. A woman’s ability to conceive is affected after the age of 35, due to less production of eggs after that age.
What is ART?
ART (assisted reproductive technologies) is a term given to explain the various methods which may help infertile couples to have a child. The process of ART is not a simple one. It includes surgically taking out of eggs from a female’s ovaries, fertilize them with sperm in a laboratory, and once this step is done, implanting the fertilized egg back into the female’s uterus.
When can in vitro fertilization be taken?
IVF (in vitro fertilization) can be undertaken, when the fallopian tubes of a woman are blocked or one of them is missing. This method can also be tried out in case of low sperm count in a male. IVF method has been proved to be very effective and has given positive results to millions of couples. In this method, a woman’s egg is taken out and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. Then it is put back into her uterus again.
Are there some medicines to treat infertility in females?
There are a few medicines like, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), metformin and bromocriptin, clomiphen citrate, etc., prescribed to cure infertility in females.
Where can we find information about infertility?
Following are where more information regarding infertility problems can be obtained;
National Women’s Health Information Center (NWHIC)
The American College of Obstetrician and Gynecology (ACOG) Resource Center
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The National Infertility Association
The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc.