Infertility is a very common problem worldwide, with over 48 million couples facing infertility problems. But worry not! As medical science is progressing day by day, new treatments for infertility are also being developed.
This blog will explain and help you to know about the causes, types, treatments, and other essential things about infertility.
First, you need to know, What is Infertility?
Infertility is a problem when a person is not able to conceive naturally. It can be attributed to various factors, including issues with the reproductive organs, hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, age, lifestyle factors, or certain medical conditions. Infertility has two types: Primary and Secondary.
Primary Infertility is when a person is not able to conceive at all. On the other hand, Secondary Infertility means when someone has conceived previously but is not able to conceive right now or second time.
In the United States, approximately between 15 and 49 years old, 1 in 5 women suffers from primary infertility. And about 1 in 20 women suffer from secondary infertility.
Conditions for fertility:
- An egg should mature in the ovary
- The brain must develop reproductive hormones, which help to control ovarian function.
- The ovary must release an egg.
- The fertilization of an egg from the sperm creates an embryo.
- The fallopian tube must carry the egg.
- Sperm must move up to your vagina and through the uterus, also to the fallopian tube.
- The embryo moves through the fallopian tube to the uterus.
What are the Treatments for Infertility?
The infertility treatments mainly depend on the cause. How long have you been trying to conceive, your age, and your personal preferences are some of the most important factors. Sometimes, only one person needs treatment, but other times, both males and females need treatment.
Treatments For Infertility In Men:
- Medicines: Medicines are given to improve the sperm count and the chances of successful and healthy fertilization. Also, these medicines may help the testicles to function better.
- Lifestyle Changes: There are some particular lifestyle changes that your healthcare provider may tell you to do. Exercise regularly but don’t overdo it, have sex more often when the ovulation is near, drink less alcohol, and don’t smoke.
- Sperm Retrieval Procedures: This is done when your semen has no sperm, or you can’t ejaculate. Also, this procedure is important to do when your sperm counts are irregular or low.
- Surgery: Many times, surgery can restore fertility or reverse a sperm blockage. Also, repairing a large varicocele can improve the chances of conceiving.
Treatments For Infertility In Women:
In some cases, women only need medicine to improve their fertility. On the other hand, some may need a few types of treatments to get pregnant.
- In-vitro fertilization (IVF): It involves recovering eggs from the ovary and then placing them with sperm in a lab. A healthcare provider then transfers one to three of the embryos (fertilized eggs) into the uterus.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): In this treatment, healthy sperm is collected and directly inserted into the uterus when ovulating.
- Fertility Medicines: These are the primary treatments for infertility that are because of ovulation trouble. Before consuming any medicine, consult with your doctor about the risks and benefits of each medicine.
- Surgery: Some disorders can be well treated with hysteroscopy, including scar tissue, polyps, and some fibroids. Laparoscopic surgery with tiny cuts or traditional surgery with a slightly large cut in the stomach area may be necessary. These are necessary to treat problems such as large fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic adhesions.
Symptoms Of Infertility:
The primary sign or symptom of infertility is being unable to get pregnant naturally. Some people may not experience any other symptoms, while others may experience physical signs.
Signs of Infertility in Women
In women, signs of infertility are related to the menstrual cycle and ovulation. Some of the common symptoms may include:
- Abnormal or irregular or painful or missed periods
- Acne and skin changes
- Thinning or loss of hair
- Gaining weight
- Milky white discharge from nipples
- Painful sex
Signs of Infertility in Men
Symptoms of Infertility in men may not appear until they try to have a baby. However, some may experience symptoms such as
- Thinning and loss of hair
- Transformation in sex drive
- Swelling or lumps in the testicles which may lead to pain
- Erections and ejaculation-related problems
- Testicles may become small and firm
Causes Of Infertility:
There are many causes of infertility, and sometimes, there is not a straight answer as to why someone is not able to conceive. Only a doctor can find the right reason. What are the causes of infertility? 25% of infertile couples have more than one factor affecting their infertility.
Causes of Infertility in Male:
The most ordinary cause of infertility in males involves issues with the movement (motility), shape, or amount of sperm. Some other causes of infertility in males include:
- Genetic disorders
- Enlarged veins in the scrotum
- Chromosomal disorders
- Exposure to high heat to the testicles (holding heating pads or laptops near the testes, frequent use of saunas or hot tubs, etc.)
- Injury to the testicles or scrotum
- Low testosterone
- Sexual dysfunctions
- Anabolic steroids misuse
- Undescended testicles
- Congenital or surgical absence of testes
- Previous radiation therapy or chemotherapy
Causes of Infertility in Females:
The most common cause of infertility in female is Ovulation Disorder. Ovulation is the process when the ovary releases an egg to meet sperm for the fertilization process. The factors contributing to female infertility are:
- Abnormalities related menstrual cycles (Missed or irregular cycle)
- Kidney and thyroid disorder
- Autoimmune diseases
- Structural abnormalities of the vagina, fallopian tubes, or uterus
- Pituitary gland or hypothalamic disorders
- PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
- PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Poor egg quality
- Uterine polyps or fibroids
- Sexual dysfunction
- Chromosomal or genetic disorders
- Prior surgical sterilization
- Congenital or surgical absence of the ovaries
How Is Male Infertility Diagnosed?
Infertility in males involves making sure that they are ejaculating healthy sperm. Most tests look for problems with sperm, the test includes:
- Blood Test: This helps to check the thyroid and other levels of hormones. However, genetic Blood Tests examine for chromosomal abnormalities.
- Analysis Of Semen: This is done to check poor sperm mobility and low sperm count. Additionally, some people need a needle biopsy to extract sperm from their testicles for further examination.
- Scrotal Ultrasound: This is done to identify varicoceles or other testicular issues of your scrotum.
How Is Female Infertility Diagnosed?
Fertility for women involves ovulating healthy eggs. This also means that the brain must send hormonal signals to the ovary to release an egg, which moves through the fallopian tube and to the uterine lining. There are several examinations to diagnose infertility in women, including:
- Blood Test: This helps to check the hormonal imbalance or whether you are ovulating or not.
- Pelvic Exam: It helps to check for signs of disease or structural problems.
- Hysteroscopy: In this test, a thin and lighted tube is placed into the vagina to examine the uterus.
- Transvaginal Ultrasound: An ultrasound wand is placed into the vagina to examine for problems with the reproductive system.
- HSG Test/ hysterosalpingogram: The fallopian tubes are filled with air bubbles and saline during an SIS method. This helps to check for any tubal blockages.
- Saline Sonohysterogram (SIS): The process of filling the uterus with saline and conducting a transvaginal ultrasound.
- Laparoscopy: A thin tube with a camera (laparoscope) is placed into a small abdominal incision.
- X-ray hysterosalpingogram (HSG): This test identifies the blockages by injecting a dye that travels through the fallopian tubes.
If you are trying to conceive and are struggling with infertility issues, there are a lot of treatments for infertility to increase the chance of getting pregnant. Thanks to the latest technologies that are helping in many ways for all people with infertility problems. We have mentioned each and everything related to this problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are several treatments which can help to solve the infertility issue. However, it is important to consult a doctor before starting any treatment.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is the most successful infertility treatment. In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most effective.
Medicines to stimulate the production of eggs and ovulation are helpful. You can use them alone or with IVF and IUI treatment.
The treatments for infertility in females include hormone treatment, surgery, and In-vitro fertilization (IVF).