Fertility has been an increasing concern for many modern couples.
Hectic schedule, work stress and other contributing factors are inherent hurdles in the setting up of a family. infertility for a couple is defined as trying to conceive without success for more than a year. 80 to 90 percent of couples would have succeeded.
A couple should seek help earlier if there are any evidence of infertility and these include age, gynecological conditions such as endometriosis, or a history of painful or irregular menstruation.
The specialist will carry out a series of tests for the woman, which includes an ultrasound scan of the pelvis to assess for a healthy uterus and ovaries, hormonal blood tests to assess for ovarian reserve and exclude any hormonal imbalance, as well as tests to assess for tubal patency. investigations for the man would include a semen analysis.
A gynecologist is able to guide the couple towards a healthier lifestyle that is essential for conception.
Infertility affects one in seven couples worldwide. When faced with such diagnosis, patients must try to optimize their health- both physical and mentally.
Treatments can be stressful and time consuming. it is important to maintain a positive outlook and develop anti- stress measures.
Some of the common causes of infertility among women include:
- Endometriosis – a condition where the lining of the womb occurs outside of the womb, causing painful menstruation
- Polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition where there is a lack of regular ovulation leading to irregular menstruation
- Blocked fallopian tubes – a condition which may occur due to previous infection or surgery, preventing the egg and sperm from meeting
Common causes in the male include poor sperm count and/or poor sperm quality.
In a third of the cases, it is attributed to both the female and male.
Each cause has its own specific treatment. However the difficulty with fertility treatment often does not lie with the cause, but with the age of the couple. it is easiest to treat younger couples with a good ovarian reserve, and it is most difficult with older couples who have fewer good quality eggs left. a couple should stop trying if investigations indicate that the woman is menopausal. it may also be advisable to stop if they have had multiple failed IVF attempts with poor response to hormonal stimulation. this could indicate that there are insufficient eggs left. in such cases, it may be necessary to look for an egg or an embryo donor, or consider adoption.