It is a natural human instinct to want to conceive a child at some point in life. Sometimes, natural conception is hindered due to various reasons. It is of utmost significance for couples to understand what normal fertility is in order to determine when it is time to seek help. Usually, couples achieve pregnancy during the first year of trying. Therefore, infertility has come to be defined as the inability to conceive within twelve months. Approximately 15% of couples are deemed infertile. Fortunately, in this day and age of medical advancements, these impediments cease to hold their form and it is possible for nearly all couples to find a solution to such problems.
Prior to treatment, it is imperative to understand the cause of infertility since that is what directs the line of action. Prime causes include the following:
- Advancing Maternal Age – Nowadays, women are delaying their pregnancy and it is being observed that advancing maternal age is having adverse effects on egg function. Due to unknown reasons, the number of eggs a female produces decreases rapidly with age. The egg quality, or the likelihood of it getting fertilised also decreases. In fact, advancing age is the most common cause of infertility since most infertile women, who are trying to conceive, lie in the age bracket of early thirties to mid-forties.
- Ovulation Disorders – Normal and regular ovulation, or release of a mature egg, is essential for women to conceive naturally. There are many disorders that may impact the ability for a woman to ovulate normally. If the menstrual cycles are infrequent or irregular, proper testing needs to be performed to analyse what might be causing a discrepancy in ovulation and subsequently an appropriate treatment option needs to be adopted.
- Tubal occlusion (blockage) – A history of sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or pelvic inflammatory disease can predispose a woman to having blocked fallopian tubes. When this blockage happens, it causes infertility because the ovulated egg is unable to be fertilized by the sperm or to reach the endometrial cavity. Depending on whether one or two tubes are blocked, an appropriate treatment path is recommended.
- Male factors affecting sperm function – Male factor infertility has been associated as a contributing factor causing infertility in 40-50% of cases, and as the sole cause for infertility in 15-20% of cases. If a semen analysis is found to be abnormal, generally it is first repeated to confirm the abnormality. Once confirmed, the male partner is referred to a reproductive urologist, especially if the abnormality is severe. In some cases, the reproductive urologist can improve semen function by recommending certain lifestyle changes, by hormonal treatments, or by surgery. In most cases however, sperm function may not improve and therefore any attempts at pregnancy may require additional treatments or procedures to be performed.
- Other – Many other factors such as endometriosis, endometrial polyps, uterine fibroids, etc. may also cause infertility. In fact, in some cases the cause of infertility remains unknown even after rigorous testing. Therefore, it is safe to say that this problem is heavily prevalent but not insurmountable.
Whatever the cause of infertility may be, modern day science has a solution for most cases. Procedures like IVF, insemination and third-party reproduction are gaining increasing popularity. Various medications to induce egg development and ovulation are now available. Therefore, educating one’s self about the diverse treatment options and following the right guidance is crucial to overcoming this obstacle and delivering a healthy baby. We, here at Vibcure, are ready to offer you our prompt services and cater to all such needs that will aid you in starting a family.