Below enlisted are some important and frequently asked questions about infertility.
Read them to know more!
What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
Fertility issues can happen in both male and female, and can be due various causes.
What are the causes of infertility?
Infertility can be caused due to:
No ovulation- no release of eggs from the ovaries
Blocked fallopian tubes- restricts entry of sperm
Poor egg quality
Endometriosis- tissue that should be present inside the uterus is found outside
Untreated gonorrhoea or chlamydia
Low sperm count
Untreated gonorrhoea or chlamydia
Poor sperm motility
Absence of sperm in semen
Abnormality in sperm formation
Overexposure to alcohol, tobacco, and certain medications
What are the risk factors of infertility?
Factors that can contribute to infertility include:
Age- with increase in age there is decline in fertility. In women it is around mid-30s, while for men it is over the age of 40.
Use of alcohol and smoking tobacco
Being overweight or underweight
Lack of exercise
What are the signs and symptoms of infertility in women?
Signs or symptoms include:
Abnormal, irregular or painful periods
Dark or pale menstrual blood
Unexplained weight gain
Pain during sex
Chronic pelvic pain
What are the signs and symptoms of infertility in men?
Signs and symptoms include:
Changes in hair growth
Problems with erections and ejaculation
Changes in sexual desire
Lump, swelling and pain in testicles
What should be done to prevent infertility?
Take the following preventive measures:
Avoid alcohol consumption, drug and tobacco use
Limit medications that can affect infertility
Avoid overweight or underweight
What are the tests performed to diagnose infertility in women?
Ovulation test- a blood test that measures hormone levels to check if a woman is ovulating
Ovarian reserve testing- a test that determines the quality and quantity of eggs
Hysterosalpingography- evaluates the condition and checks for blockages in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Other hormone tests- checks the level of ovulatory hormones and pituitary hormones, which controls the process of reproduction
Depending on the condition certain other tests like laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, and genetic testing can also be done.
What tests are performed to detect infertility in men?
Semen analysis- to detect sperm count
Genetic testing- to identify if there is any genetic defect that is causing infertility
Hormone testing- to determine levels of testosterone and other male hormones
Testicular biopsy- to detect abnormalities causing infertility
When should one consult a doctor for infertility testing?
Visit your doctor if:
You are unable to conceive after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse
You or your partner have a history of ectopic pregnancy (embryo attaches outside the uterus), repeated miscarriages, injury or trauma to the testes and scrotum, cystic fibrosis, and thyroid problem.
What are the treatment options for infertility in both male and female?
Infertility can be treated with the following methods:
Medications- to improve the sperm count and increase chances of a successful pregnancy
Sperm retrieval- in patients with low sperm count or absence of sperm
Surgery- to reverse sperm blockage
Regulate ovulation with fertility drugs
Surgery- restores fertility
Intrauterine insemination- healthy sperms are placed directly to the uterus
Assisted reproductive technology- In vitro fertilization (IVF), assisted hatching, donor eggs or sperms, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and gestational carrier
What are the complications of infertility treatment?
Complications of treatments can be:
Infection or bleeding
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)- causing swollen and painful ovaries
What should be done to cope with the issue of infertility?
Be prepared- there could be uncertainties in the treatment
Seek support of your friends and family
Consider the available alternative treatment options
Manage your emotional stress- during treatment and also after knowing the effects of outcome
Exercise and have a healthy diet
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