Infertility


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The term 'infertility' is used when a couple fails to conceive after one year of sexual life without contraception. 80% of all women desiring children, conceive within 1 year of marriage and another 10% within the second year.

According to the World Health Organisation, incidence of infertility is about 10 % worldwide. Another 10-12% of all the other couples have only one child and wish to have more. The incidence of infertility is gradually increasing all over the world.

For many people going through infertility treatment, the level of distress and tension can be very high. Mutual trust and faith in the doctor can help the couple to enquire about different modalities of treatment for both the male as well as the female partner, and make informed decisions of their reproductive status.

Causes of Female Infertility

About 40% of all cases of infertility are due to problems with the female partner. A study of the female reproductive tract is vital to understand the causes of infertility in women and how they can be overcome. The main causes of infertility in women are blockage of the reproductive tract at some site, usually in the tubes and lack of ovulation (anovulation). There are different conditions which can cause blockage or contribute to causing anovulation. Read More ...

Causes of Male Infertility

About 20-30% of all cases of infertility is due to male fertility causes . Of these, low sperm count and poor sperm quality are the main factors causing infertility. Other causes like blocked genital tract or hormonal problem are uncommon causes of male infertility. In recent years, the incidence of male infertility has been rising and more and more couples are presenting with male factors rather than female factors for infertility. Read more ...

Workup and Evaluation of the Infertile Couple

Workup for infertility should be started after 1 year of regular sexual intercourse in couples in whom the age of the female partner is less than 35 years and after 6 months when the age of the female partner is more than 35 years. In couples with a known risk for infertility like endometriosis, previous amenorrhea or irregular menstrual periods or a history of a sexually transmitted disease, especially chlamydia, the workup can be started earlier. Infertility workup consists of a thorough history taking and a basic physical checkup and blood tests. Read More ...

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Infertility Testing in Women

Tests for clinical evaluation in the femae partner may be both invasive and non-invasive. Blood tests for hormonal levels, especially of the thyroid hormones, the follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), Prolactin and Leutinizing Hormone (LH) as well as an ultrasound of the pelvic organs are non-invasive tests. Invasive tests are the hysterosalpingography (HSG), laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, endometrial biopsy etc. Read More ...

Tests for Male Infertility

Testing for male infertility is based mainly on the semen analysis. The sperm count, the sperm quality, as well as the quality of the semen are important parts of the semen analysis. Other important tests are hormonal tests, especially the thyroid hormone levels and the FSH levels. Testicular biopsy and tests for antisperm antibody may also be required. Read More ...

Treatment of Female Infertility

The aim of treatment of female infetility is to remove any blockages in the female reproductive tract and to stimulate ovulation. Blockages can be removed by surgeries like laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Ovulation is stimulated by the use of medicines like clomiphene citrate and anti-gonadotrophins. Hormonal imbalances should be corrected. Read More ...

Treatment of Male Infertility

Treating male infertility is very difficult since the exact cause of poor sperm count and quality is difficult to identify. Hormonal imbalances should be corrected in an attempt to improve the quality. Medicines like clomiphene citrate, FSH and GnRH helps to improve the sperm count to some extent. Varicocele, if present, should be corrected.

Treatment procedures like IUI (intra-uterine insemination), and IVF (In vitro fertilization) are frequently used procedures and are fairly successful. Read More ...

Books on Infertility

A number of books on infertility are available. These describe the causes, the tests and treatment procedures of infertility in a easily understandable manner. Read More ...

The aim of treatment is to remove any of the identified factors causing infertility. Most couples appreciate a description of the physiological process of fertilization and conception. A sympathetic response to their difficulties goes a long way in decreasing the stress involved in visiting a doctor for treatment.

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