Infertility is a disease that is globally impacting couples’ ability to reproduce. According to World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 48 million couples suffer from infertility across the world. Infertility is more common than you might assume and is nothing to feel sorry for. The word cure refers condition or ailment that can be completely relieved. However, that is not the case with infertility. Several infertility treatments are available these days that can correct some of the factors affecting male and female infertility.
Infertility is when a couple fails to conceive after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. The infertility issue usually gets obvious as it comes with several symptoms. The taboo around infertility oftentimes prevents people from seeking much-needed help.
Couples battling infertility often get anxious and worried about the uncertain future. Parenthood is significant in every part of society and infertility negatively impacts their social, mental, and emotional well-being. One of the most common concerns among couples is if their infertility can be cured or not. Read on to understand the meaning of infertility, its causes, and available treatments.
Can Infertility Affect Males Too?
Infertility affects both men and women, although it is an assumption that infertility in women is prominent. It takes two to conceive and either both or any one partner can be suffering from infertility. In one-third of the total infertility cases, males have been affected alone. Usually, the causes of infertility are not the same for men and women. The underlying issue is easily discovered after visiting a fertility doctor and getting a diagnosis done.
Causes of infertility in women
Several ovulation disorders are responsible for causing infertility in women as it affects the release of eggs from the ovary. Polycystic ovary syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism are some of the conditions that disrupt ovulation, menstrual cycle, hormone balance, and more.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities
It includes abnormality with the cervix, polyps in the uterus, or the shape of the uterus. The underlying tumors can block the fallopian tubes, thus causing infertility as it prevents the egg from fertilizing.
Fallopian blockage or damage
Usually inflammation damages the fallopian tube due to diseases like endometriosis. Even sexually transmitted infections are responsible.
Menopause is when the ovaries stop working and the menstruation ends. It typically happens when women are in their 50s but early menopause can happen and lead to infertility. The cause of early menopause is unknown. Certain factors such as autoimmune diseases, radiation, chemotherapy, and other health conditions can be probable reasons.
Cancer is not only bad for general health but fertility too. Especially, reproductive cancers can make women lose their fertility.
Defects in reproductive system organs, birth defects, harmful life habits, etc. are some other reasons for infertility.
Causes of Infertility in Men
Unusual sperm production
Because of health problems like diabetes, infections such as HIV, gonorrhea, etc. the quality of the sperm suffers.
Abnormal sperm function
Premature ejaculation, cystic fibrosis, blockage or damage in the testicles, etc. affects sperm functionality.
Other probable causes of infertility in men are hormonal disorders, chromosome defects, birth defects, previous surgeries, Varicoceles, etc.
Luckily, the advancement in technology has put forth many treatment options for both men and women suffering from infertility. Sometimes a little use of medications and therapy can help people overcome infertility. In other cases assisted reproductive technology (ART) is inevitable.
Treatment Options for Female
The infertility treatment for females depends on several factors such as age, duration of infertility, the cause, and more. Here are the infertility treatment options available for females.
To improve ovulation and stimulate higher egg quality, the doctor may recommend certain medications. These medications are helpful but also come with risks that a fertility doctor should make you aware of beforehand.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an assisted reproductive technology treatment that is by far the most popular infertility treatment. The IVF specialist performs the process in several stages and cycles. The sperm from males and eggs from females are fertilized in a lab. Thereupon the fertilized egg is implanted into the woman’s uterus and this results in pregnancy.
IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
It is a minimal fertility treatment as compared to others and is quite simple. To fertilize an egg, the sperm has to travel to the fallopian tubes from the cervix to the uterus to reach there which is a long way. Women facing mild infertility issues usually seek IUI. In this process, the sperm is collected and goes through ‘sperm washing’ where the healthy intake of sperm is collected. These sperm are then implanted directly into the uterus, thus close to the eggs in order to increase the chance of fertility.
Ovum, Sperm, and Embryo Freezing
It is a process where the sperm, eggs, and embryos are frozen at sub-zero temperatures. This keeps them alive and offers a chance for couples to conceive at the time of their choosing without hindering life goals.
Other infertility treatment options for women are surgery, surrogacy, Embryo cryopreservation, mature, oocyte cryopreservation, etc.
Treatment Options for Males
Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART)
Assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) apply to men too.
Sometimes the issue is not physical but mental and at those moments counselling and therapy can help. A fertility doctor usually offers to counsel men battling infertility.
Hormonal therapy can help stimulate or limit the growth of hormones affecting fertility in men.
Infertility is a common issue and one should not be embarrassed. Instead, people should seek the help of a fertility doctor. Today, several fertility treatment facilities with a maximum success ratio exist. So do not give up on your dream of parenthood and miss the precious joy because infertility can be treated.
If you’re looking for fertility treatment then Banker IVF is the most trusted IVF centre in Ahmedabad operated by Dr. Banker. He has been helping couples overcome infertility for years now. Don’t wait till it gets too late!