Inability to conceive after unprotected, sexual intercourse is termed as infertility. The duration depends on the age and is considered to be
- More than 1 year for women less than 35 years of age
- More than 6 months for women greater than 35 years of age
But we at "Yash IVF" believe that "infertility" is a misnomer. With the progress in science and advent of new technology that we offer at our center, infertility issue is medically treatable. We like to use the term "subfertility-means decreased fertility rather than infertility-inability".
There are major two sub categories of infertilities.
- Primary Infertility - the woman has not conceived at all.
- Secondary Infertility - the woman has conceived in the past irrespective of the outcome and is now having difficulty in conceiving
Symptoms of Infertility
An infertile woman may have
- Too long menstrual cycle, 35 days or more
- Too short menstrual cycle, less than 21 days
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
An infertile man may have signs of hormonal problems, such as
- Changes in hair growth
- Sexual function
- Reduced sexual desire
- Problems with ejaculation
- He may also have small testicles or a swelling in the scrotum
Causes of Infertility
A woman's fertility drops after the age of 35 years. Male’s fertility increasingly drops after the age of 40. A 50-year-old man is generally less fertile than a man in his 20s.
Smoking highly increases the risk of infertility in both men and women. Regular or heavy Smoking may affect the fertility treatment as well. Even when a woman smokes while her pregnancy; she has a greater risk of miscarriage.
In women, consumption of any amount of alcohol seriously affects the chances of pregnancy. Alcohol consumption is harmful for men’s also, it may lower male fertility. Moderate alcohol consumption has not been shown to lower fertility in most men, but is reflection to lower fertility in men who already have a low sperm count.
Being obese or overweight
Overweight / obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are often found to be the principal causes of female infertility. An overweight man has a higher risk of having abnormal sperm.
Women who become seriously underweight as a result of an eating disorder may have fertility problems. Intake of iron, folic acid, zinc and vitamin B-12 are adequate, otherwise you may face the danger of infertility.
A woman who exercises for more than seven hours each week may have ovulation troubles.
Not exercising can also sometimes lead to infertility in both men and women.
Exposure to toxins and chemicals
Exposure to some chemicals such as several pesticides, herbicides, metals like lead and solvents have been associated to fertility harms in both men and women.
Female ovulation and male sperm production may be affected by mental stress. If at least one partner is stressed it is possible that the regularity of sexual intercourse is less, resulting in a lower chance to conceive.
When one must visit an Infertility Specialist?
Generally, it is appropriate to visit an Infertility specialist for medical assistance after trying to get pregnant on your own for a year.
It is advisable to visit an IVF specialist if the age of female partner is over 35
In India, people mostly visit primary care even if there are conception problems even after 12 months of trying. It is advisable to visit infertility specialist earlier as fertility testing can sometimes take time and female fertility drops when a woman turns over 30.
As it takes two to reproduce an offspring, it is advisable for both male and female to see the specialist and undergo the tests recommended.
Infertility Tests for Male
Before tests IVF specialist may ask few questions on medical history, medications, sexual habits and more. The doctor may examine genitals and testicles for abnormalities or deformities.
Semen specimen is collected to analyze in a laboratory for sperm motility, concentration, quality and infections. Semen is also analyzed to check if any blood is present. If the sperm count varies then male has to produce more semen samples
Blood tests are done to check the testosterone level or male hormone level
This test is conducted to determine retrograde ejaculation, ejaculatory duct obstruction, or other abnormalities
Infertility Tests for Female
Woman will have to undergo a gynecological examination. Doctor will also ask questions about her menstruation cycle, medical history, sexual habits and more
Blood test is conducted to check several things such as hormone level in woman and whether she is ovulating i.e. progesterone test
To check the conditions of the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, laparoscopy is done. Laparoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a camera at its end is inserted into the pelvis and abdomen for the check-up. With laparoscopy, doctor can detect blockages, scarring and other irregularities present in the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Ovarian Reserve Test
This test is done to check how effective the eggs are after ovulation
This test is suggested to check if the genetic issues are interfering with the woman’s fertility.
Thyroid Function Test
As per the research, abnormal thyroid is also one of the primary reasons for infertility in women.
Infertility Treatment - Female and Male
- Intrauterine Insemination
- In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
- Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
- Blastocyst Culture
- Laser Hatching
- Egg Donation
- Embryo Donation