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Trying to Get Pregnant? Infertility Treatments Explained.

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Trying to Get Pregnant? Infertility Treatments Explained.

5 min read


Infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive after 12 months of regular sexual relationships without protection. Read the article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Gowrimeena

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At May 7, 2014
Reviewed AtFebruary 28, 2024


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

In some cases doctors do not wait for these 12 months to start investigating, if the patient’s age is 35 or more, the patient has irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, pelvic infections, has had appendicectomy, etc.

What Is Infertility?

Infertility is characterized by an inability to conceive after at least a year of unprotected sexual activity. Some doctors analyze and treat women 35 years of age or older after 6 months of unprotected intercourse because it is well-known that fertility in women declines significantly with age. Although data collection and monitoring are facilitated by these criteria of infertility, they are not meant to serve as guidelines for recommendations about the provision of fertility care services. When a person or couple is unable to conceive, they ought to think about scheduling a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist—a medical professional who specializes in treating infertility. Women who experience recurrent pregnancy loss, which is characterized as two or more spontaneous miscarriages, may also benefit from the assistance of reproductive endocrinologists.

Types of infertility

  • Primary infertility means that the couple has never conceived.

  • Secondary infertility means that the couple has experienced a pregnancy before and failed to conceive later.

What Are the Signs of Infertility?

The inability to conceive is the primary sign of infertility. There might not be any further distinct symptoms. Some infertile women may experience irregular or nonexistent menstrual cycles. Additionally, some men may have changes in sexual function or hair growth as a result of hormonal issues. With or without therapy, a lot of couples will eventually become pregnant. However, ladies ought to consult a medical expert as soon as possible if they:

  • Have attempted to conceive for at least six months and are 35 years of age or older.

  • One is older than 40.

  • If an individual has irregular, unpleasant, or nonexistent periods.

  • If a person is aware of their infertility issues.

  • One has a history of pelvic inflammatory illness or endometriosis.

  • An individual has had a history of miscarriages.

  • A person has received radiation therapy or chemotherapy for cancer.

Men who have any of the following should see a medical professional:

  • A low sperm count or other sperm-related issues.

  • A past medical history of sexual, prostate, or testicular disorders.

  • underwent chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment.

  • Had surgery to repair a hernia.

  • Smaller-than-average adult testicles or enlarged veins in the scrotum, the skin bag containing the testicles.

  • Experienced infertility previously with a partner.

  • Relatives who struggle with infertility.

What Are the Causes of Infertility?

In Males:

  • Circumstances that may have an impact on sperm production or quality.

  • Issues preventing sperm from entering the female reproductive system.

  • Fertility can be impacted by several environmental conditions, including radiation, toxins, and pesticide exposure.

  • The harm caused by cancer and the treatment process.

In Females:

  • Abnormalities of ovulation.

  • The uterine conditions.

  • Injury or obstruction to the fallopian tube.

  • The endometrial condition such as endometriosis.

  • Primary insufficiency of the ovaries.

  • Pelvic adhesions (These are the organ-binding bands of scar tissue. They may develop following appendicitis, endometriosis, pelvic surgery, or pelvic infection).

  • Cancer.

How Is Infertility Diagnosed?

Before doing an infertility test, your doctor's office or healthcare team tries to ascertain your sexual preferences. They could offer advice on how to increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Some infertile couples, however, have no apparent cause identified. We refer to that as infertility without known cause.

There may be uncomfortable procedures included in infertility testing. Additionally, it may be costly. Moreover, the expense of reproductive therapy might not be covered by all medical policies. Additionally, despite all of the testing and counseling, there is no assurance that you will become pregnant.

Tests for Men: The ability of the testicles to produce enough healthy sperm is necessary for male fertility. The sperm must be expelled from the penis and enter the vagina, where it must proceed to the egg that is waiting. Male infertility tests aim to identify any curable issues with any of these processes. Your genitalia may be examined as part of a physical examination. Tests for specific infertility could be

  1. Semen Analysis: One or more specimens from the semen may be requested by the medical staff. Semen is typically collected by masturbating or by pausing a sexual encounter to ejaculate into a sterile container. A lab will then examine your semen sample. Urine samples may occasionally be examined to determine whether sperm are present.

  2. Hormone Analysis: To measure your levels of testosterone along with other male hormones, a blood test may be performed.

  3. Genetic Examination: This could be done to determine whether infertility is caused by a genetic abnormality.

  4. Biopsy of the Testicles: Through this process, a small portion of testicle tissue is removed for microscopic examination in the lab. During infertility testing, a biopsy is not always necessary. In rare instances, it could be carried out to determine whether the reproductive system is blocked, preventing sperm from exiting the body as semen. Most of the time, your medical history, physical examination, and lab results can be used to make this diagnosis.

  5. Imaging Examination: The medical staff may occasionally suggest imaging tests to take internal body images. Ultrasonography, for instance, can be used to look for issues with the scrotum, the glands that produce the fluids that turn into semen, or the tube that extracts sperm from the testicles. An MRI of the brain can be used to look for non-cancerous pituitary gland tumors. The body may produce fewer sperm or none at all if these tumors induce the gland to produce an excessive amount of the prolactin hormone.

  6. Additional Examination: Rarely, additional testing to determine the quality of one's sperm may be performed. For instance, it might be necessary to examine a semen sample for DNA issues that could harm sperm.

Tests for Women: Women cannot become fertile unless their ovaries produce healthy eggs. An egg needs to be allowed by the reproductive system to enter the fallopian tubes and unite with sperm. After fertilization, the egg needs to get to the uterus and adhere to the lining. Tests for infertility in women look for issues with any of the processes. One possible physical examination for you would be a standard: pelvic exam. Tests for infertility could include

  1. Testing for Ovulation: Hormone levels are measured via a blood test to determine whether or not you are ovulating.

  2. Test for Thyroid Function: If the medical team believes that a thyroid issue could be the cause of your infertility, they can order this blood test. Insufficient or excessive production of thyroid hormone by the gland may contribute to problems with conception.

  3. Hysterosalpingography: Hysterosalpingography, pronounced "his-tur-o-sal-ping-GOG-ruh-fee," examines the state of the fallopian tubes and uterus. In addition, it searches for additional issues like fallopian tube blockages. An X-ray is taken after the uterus is given a special dye injection.

  4. Testing of the Ovarian Reserve: This facilitates the care team's determination of your ovulation egg count. Hormone testing early in the menstrual cycle is frequently the first step in the procedure.

  5. Testing of the Ovarian Reserve: This facilitates the care team's determination of your ovulation egg count. Hormone testing early in the menstrual cycle is frequently the first step in the procedure.

  6. Other Hormone Tests: These measure the hormone levels that regulate the ovulation process. Additionally, they assess pituitary hormones, which regulate several aspects of childbearing.

  7. Imaging Examinations: Pelvic ultrasound scans for ovaries or uterine disorders. Saline infusion sonography is often utilized to see details inside the uterus that are not visible with a standard ultrasound. A sonohysterogram is another term for the saline infusion test.

How Is Infertility Treated?

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 to achieve fertilization.


Being unable to conceive (get pregnant) after one year or more of unprotected sex is known as infertility. Some providers assess and treat women 35 years of age or older after six months of unprotected intercourse, as it is well known that fertility in women decreases significantly with age. Although these criteria of infertility are employed in the gathering and analysis of data, they are not meant to serve as a basis for suggestions on the delivery of reproductive care services. Individuals and couples who are experiencing infertility may want to schedule a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist, a medical professional who specializes in treating infertility. Women who experience recurrent pregnancy loss—defined as two or more spontaneous miscarriages—may also benefit from the assistance of reproductive endocrinologists.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Happens in a Fertility Treatment?

In fertility treatment, the egg is fertilized outside the body. Medications will be given to boost egg production in a woman. Then, the egg and the sperm are fertilized in the laboratory. After fertilization, the embryo is placed in the uterus and allowed to grow.


Are There Chances of Getting Pregnant With Fertility Treatments?

The chances of getting pregnant with fertility are quite high. However, the possibilities depend on the age of the person as well—the younger the individual, the greater the chance of getting pregnant with fertility treatment.


Which Is the Most Effective Treatment for Fertility?

The most effective fertility treatment depends on the individual's requirements. However, the most common fertility treatments may include artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination, and in vitro fertilization.


Is Fertility Treatment Painful?

There might be some amount of discomfort that may be associated with fertility treatment. Few patients may experience more significant pain than others due to the injections. The drugs given for fertility treatment may be associated with abdominal pain.


What Is the Time Duration of a Fertility Treatment?

One cycle of IVF (in vitro fertilization) usually takes two to three weeks. However, one may require more than one cycle. Fertility treatment, on average, takes five to six months.


What Are the Factors That Increase the Risk of Infertility?

Infertility can affect anyone. However, some factors pose an infertility risk. These include age, excessive use of alcohol, smoking, and lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease), and thyroid.


How Does an Infertility Treatment Start?

The beginning of fertility treatment can happen by choosing the right team of doctors. The doctors will then evaluate the person's overall health and design a treatment plan.


What Is the Ideal Age to Get Pregnant?

The ideal age to get pregnant varies depending on various factors. Some may consider late pregnancy over an early issue. However, the body is in the perfect condition to bear a child from the mid-20s to early 30s.


What Are the Signs of Female Infertility?

The signs of female infertility may include the inability to conceive, menstrual irregularities, or menstruation that could be absent.


What Are the Tests Done to Check for Infertility?

The various tests that could be performed to check for infertility include blood tests to see hormone assessment, semen analysis, and other scans the doctor may deem necessary.


Can You Suffer With Infertility Even After Having a Regular Menstrual Cycle?

Regular menstruation does not guarantee fertility and vice-versa. But, on the other hand, a person can have good fertility even without regular cycles.


Does Infertility Mean Absence of Eggs in a Woman?

Infertility does not always mean the absence of eggs. However, at times the eggs may not be produced at regular intervals, or they may not be of good quality.


Is Infertility Common?

Infertility can be understood as the inability to get pregnant after trying to conceive for over a year. Unfortunately, infertility is a common problem. It may occur in almost 10 % of the population.
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Dr. Gowrimeena
Dr. Gowrimeena

Obstetrics and Gynecology


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