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Trying to Get Pregnant? Infertility Treatments Explained.

Author: Dr. Gowrimeena - Reproductive(Fertility) Health
Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018  

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Abstract:

Infertility is a condition where the couple is unable to conceive after 12 months of regular sexual relationship without birth control. In some cases we do not wait for this 12 month period to start investigating e.g., if the patient’s age is 35 or more.

Contents


Infertility is a condition where the couple is unable to conceive after 12 months of regular sexual relationship without birth control.

In some cases we do not wait for this 12 month period to start investigating eg if the patient’s age is 35 or more, patient has irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, pelvic infections, has had appendisectomy etc.

Types of infertility

  • primary infertility mean that the couple has never conceived.
  • Secondary infertility means that the couple has experienced a pregnancy before and failed to conceive later.

Facts About Infertility

It's a myth that infertility is always a "woman's problem". Half of all cases of infertility result from problems with the man's reproductive system. Most infertility results from physical problems in a man or woman's reproductive system. Sometimes we may not be able to find a cause for infertility (Unexplained infertility).

  • Tests for the male partner are first advised as they are relatively simple and help decide treatment. This includes a basic health assessment & lab testing including semen analysis.
  • Tests for the female are done to check general health, hormones affecting fertility & infections.

In some cases we may ask for tests to detect ovarian reserve (number of eggs in the ovary). Additional tests include ultrasound scan to assess health of reproductive organs & to check ovulation (egg release).

Tubal patency can be checked by HSG or Hysterosalpingogram which is an X ray test or during a laparoscopy (key hole surgery). You may also need hysteroscopy (camera test for uterus) if we suspect fibroids or polyps in the uterus hindering pregnancy.

Infertility treatment can range from practical lifestyle changes to extended medical procedures - depending on the nature of the problem.

As a first step, it may just be a few simple measures, like sexual education, awareness of fertile period and adhering to a healthy lifestyle.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is the term used for advanced infertility treatments. These treatments are designed to increase the number of eggs or sperm, and to bring them together, thus improving the likelihood of pregnancy.

The Types of Treatment Are

OI (Ovulation induction): This is offered when the female has irregular ovulation. Medication is provided to increase the number of eggs released to improve chances of pregnancy.

IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination): This is the method by which processed semen is placed directly in the uterus with the help of a catheter.

IVF (Invitro Fertilization): IVF means fertilization of an ovum outside the body and consequently, the transfer of the fertilized ovum (embryo) into the uterus of the woman.

ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection): In this technique, a single sperm is directly injected into the cytoplasm of an egg in order to achieve fertilization.


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