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Understanding Infertility In Both Men And Women: Know Treatment Options

Infertility is a common concern these days. There are several reasons behind infertility in both men and women. Know more about causes of infertility.

Understanding Infertility In Both Men And Women: Know Treatment Options

Infertility: There is lack of information about various treatments of infertility among people

Infertility can be a very complicated topic to talk about. This is because of the lack of information about various treatments available to couples trying to conceive. This is especially for couples new to the discussion around infertility and assisted reproductive procedures. To address fertility related issues, it is crucial to know the causes behind it. In this article here are some possible reasons behind rising rates of infertility amongst men and women, factors to look out for, treatments, and their success rates.

Infertility in men and women

Causes of infertility amongst men include:

  • Low counts or low motility of sperm
  • Abnormal sperm production or no sperm production
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Premature ejaculation

While the causes in women include:

  • Ovulatory disorders - where the woman's reproductive cell or the egg is not produced every month
  • Tubal disorders - where the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged; endometriosis, adenomyosis fibroids in the uterus, or if the patient has low egg reserve.

Over 30% of couples go through unexplained infertility.

Dr. Shweta Mittal, Consultant Gynecologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital mentions that "These causes are also grouped into correctible and non-correctible causes. An example of treatable causes is erectile dysfunction in men or polycystic ovarian syndrome, which affects many couples, and can be treated medically. Some of these disorders can be corrected for both men and women through certain lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking, consuming alcohol, or taking injectable medication or surgery to improve fertility. However, some unexplained causes of infertility take longer to diagnose and understand. Conditions like endometriosis in women are required a surgical approach to improve their fertility. These could be linked to certain medical conditions in the medical histories of the couple, such as diabetes, early cancers, infections, etc., which could have impacted the couple's fertility earlier. These take longer to solve but most often respond to the treatment provided".

Dr. Nayana Patel, Consultant Gynecologist at Akanksha IVF Center states that "There are certain treatments for different levels of infertility. For mild infertility, ovulation induction is conducted when the couple is young, more or less healthy, but still faces some problems. The woman's egg is tracked according to her cycle and is given an injection to increase fertility during ovulation so that chances of success are higher. These medications could either be given orally or through injections".

The second treatment includes checking if the woman's tubes are in good health through simple x-rays and straightforward and minimally invasive surgery to clear any blockage. This could also be done for the ovaries and the endometrial layer within the uterus. Another treatment is intrauterine insemination, where the woman is given injections or oral supplements and then takes the man's sperm and prepares the best sample for placing it in the uterus. It is a painless procedure with a brief recovery period. If these are unsuccessful, then in vitro fertilization or IVF is done.

The experts also recommend that if you are suggested to take IVF, try going for the procedure as soon as possible because the longer a couple waits, the smaller the chance of success is. In this process, the eggs are taken from the ovaries, fertilized by the male sperm, and then within five days, are transferred inside the female's uterus. IVF is recommended when the tubes are blocked when the female and the male cannot conceive for three years or more of unexplained fertility.

Because infertility is something most people conventionally abstain from discussing, both doctors note that most couples come much later than they could have, causing them to have a much lower chance of success in these treatments. Enough emphasis should also be given on age being an undeniably crucial factor in the discussion around infertility. Although doctors do acknowledge this as a critical factor, they also remain positive in that most couples who come for these different treatments do have a chance at success.

(Dr. Nayana Patel is a Consultant Gynecologist at Akanksha IVF Center and Dr. Shweta Mittal is a Consultant Gynecologist at Sir Gangaram Hospital)

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