The desire to have a child is natural, and most couples plan pregnancy at a certain point in their adult lives. Conceiving a baby may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but it is not the case for many people.
If you have been struggling to achieve pregnancy, you are not alone. Many women experience infertility, the inability to get pregnant. Most couples pre-assume that they are fertile and expect to conceive soon after stopping the use of contraceptive measures.
Causes of Infertility
Most couples that face difficulty in conceiving a child are usually infertile or sub fertile (having fewer chances of achieving pregnancy spontaneously in the normal way).
Some of the commonly known causes of infertility are ovulatory disorders, tubal disease, and spermatozoa defects. But, a majority of the couple is due to unexplained infertility. This is when a woman fails to achieve pregnancy after 18 months of regular sexual practice, and no cause is found. Those couples who seek medical attention, it has been found that in about 40% of cases, infertility is a problem in the female and exclusively in the male in about 30% of cases. While in some cases, the problem is in both partners or the cause cannot be explained.
Infertility treatment offers hope:
If you or your partner have been diagnosed with infertility that does not mean you will never conceive. It can often just mean that achieving pregnancy is a challenge, which can be aided significantly using fertility treatments.
If any of the partners suspect a problem with fertility, the best thing that one can do is to take immediate action. The earlier an issue is identified, the sooner your healthcare specialist or gynaecologist can suggest the treatment that is right for you or your partner. Responding to the problem early can increase your chances for a successful outcome.
Fertility treatment should begin as soon as you seek medical assistance for infertility. Many couples who are unable to conceive undergo a long medical process to attain pregnancy, and then also they will not have a successful outcome. On the other hand, some women become pregnant soon after their first or second visit to the health care specialist.
Since both, you and your partner are involved in the process of conceiving a child. So, it is necessary that he should also accompany you to the fertility specialist. In this way, your health care professional will be able to discuss with both you the different opinions that you and your partner have as well as he/she also outline the chances of success and the possibility of failure.
Over half of the couples with two or more years of problems resulted from infertility eventually become successful in conceiving a baby. With the availability of wider technology, the success rate of infertility treatment is increasing all the time.
The treatment for infertility will depend on your particular diagnosis. The treatment may include:
- Timed intercourse
- Hormone therapy
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- In vitro fertilization with embryo transfer (IVF-ET)
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- Gamete Intra Fallopian transfer (GIFT)
During the evaluation, your fertility specialist will perform various tests to determine male partner status, ovarian or uterine status, and tubal status. This will provide your health care professional with the necessary information required to decide the treatment option that is right for you. Also, your physician will recommend a less invasive treatment plan at the beginning of the treatment. Less invasive treatment such as timed intercourse or IUI. If your body does not respond to the treatment or you are unable to achieve pregnancy after several cycles, your fertility specialist will suggest another treatment such as ICSI or IVF. To know more about treatments and procedures, consult a fertility specialist.
Fertility drugs are usually prescribed to females as they are mostly useful in managing ovulation disorders. But in some cases, they may also be given to males to treat problems with infertility. These medications are supplied in the form of pills and injection for oral administration and intravenous use respectively. Infertility medications work by releasing a hormone that induces ovulation to promote egg production and make the uterus more receptive to embryo implantation. Some of the most common fertility drugs for men and women are listed below:
- Clomifene- encourages ovulation (the monthly release of an egg) in women do not ovulate on a regular basis or who cannot ovulate
- Gonadotrophins-Works by stimulating ovulation in women and useful in improving fertility in men
- Tamoxifen-an alternative to clomifene that may be prescribed to women with ovulation disorders
- Metformin- Particularly recommended for women to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Gonadotrophin– releasing hormone and dopamine agonists- Other types of fertility drugs to promote ovulation
Some of these drugs may cause adverse effects such as headaches, hot flushes, nausea, and vomiting. Talk to your physician to know more about the adverse effects of specific medicines.