Infertility means accessibility to get pregnant. If a woman is unable to conceive even after a minimum one year of unprotected intercourse, it is termed as Primary Infertility. Several females get pregnant but suffer from repeated miscarriages. This is known as Secondary Infertility. One out of ten women in the world sufferers from infertility. It is important to know that if you are having a problem in getting pregnant or are suffering from repeated miscarriages, you are not alone. The good news is that infertility in most cases is treatable.
Infertility treatment depends on many factors such as the type of infertility (including the pinpointing of the exact cause), age of the couple and the time for which the condition has exhausted. Several issues personal to the couple undergoing the treatment also affect the process adopted for the cure. In some cases, it is not possible to treat infertility by medication and therapy alone. Such women can still conceive with the help of assisted reproductive methods, IVF (in vitro fertilization) being one of them. Most importantly, infertility treatment involves physical and psychological commitment and the will to bear with relatively expensive medical procedures.
Infertility Treatment for women : Infertility can be cured by undergoing one of the following therapies. At times the patient is required to undergo more than one therapy to treat the condition:
Stimulating ovulation : Medicines to regulate or inducing ovulation are given to assist in fertility. Clomifen, Metformin, Tamoxifen are some of the drugs which are used to stimulate ovaries in women with infertility.
Intrauterine insemination: This process involves collection, concentration and placement of healthy sperms directly into the uterus. This process is done during ovulation. The timing of this treatment is coordinated with the normal menstrual period or with fertility drugs. IUI is used in the following conditions:
· Unexplained fertility
· Man has low sperm count / low sperm motility
· Man is impotent or premature ejaculation
· Woman has mild endometriosis
Surgery: Surgery as an intervention for treating infertility is used when a woman is diagnosed with conditions like endometriosis (a condition when parts of womb lining begin to grow outside the womb), PCODs, fallopian tube blockage or scars.
Assisted Reproductive Technology: Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) offers the highest chance of getting pregnant for most couples. Physicians, embryologists, psychologists, lab technicians, nurses and associated medical professionals work together to help couples achieve pregnancy through this method. The most common ART technique is in vitro fertilization. In this technique, ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs which are then collected and fertilized with sperms in a lab. The fertilized embryos are implanted in the uterus of woman within three to five days. In US alone, thousands of babies are born every year with the help of Assisted Reproductive Technology. The success of this technique gets lower after a woman reaches 35 years of age.
There are different methods which can be used during IVF such as:
Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection: This technique is often used when semen quality is a problem and there are only a few sperms or if fertilization attempts during IVF fails. In this technique, a single healthy sperm is injected directly into a mature egg.
Assisted hatching: This technique offers new hope for patients who have experienced repeated ART failures or are running out of their age. In this procedure, the outer covering of the embryo is opened during its implantation in the uterus.
Donors: Egg donors or sperm donors are used when there is a problem with either the sperms or eggs. In this technique, couples can choose sperm or eggs from a known or unknown person.
Gestational carrier: Women who are not fit to conceive or for conceiving can create a serious health problem may choose a gestational carrier. In this case, embryo is placed in the uterus of the carrier who carries and delivers child on behalf of other couple or person.