Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive within a one year period. About 15% of couples trying to conceive suffer from infertility and should consult the help of a reproductive endocrinologist. Women who have infrequent menstrual cycles, history of pelvic infections or sexually transmitted diseases, and any known uterine fibroids or endometrial polyps should seek consultation. If a male partner has had history of infertility, semen abnormalities should be checked.
Infertility can be caused by a number of different factors. Some are more natural, like advancing maternal age, however others are more detrimental. These causes include ovulations disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (from signaling problems in the brain), and ovarian insufficiency (from problems of the ovary. A previous history of sexually transmitted infections including chlamydia, gonorrhea, or pelvic inflammatory disease can cause a woman to have blocked fallopian tubes. Infertility is caused because an ovulated egg is unable to be fertilized by sperm or to reach the endometrial cavity. Yet another cause are endometriosis and endometrial polyps. Endometrial polyps are growths in the uterine cavity coming from the lining of the uterus, the endometrium. Endometriosis is defined where cells very similar to the ones lining the endometrium, are found outside the uterine cavity. It is found in approximately 10-50% of reproductive-aged women and cause symptoms such as infertility as well as pain during intercourse and/or menstrual periods. Endometriosis produces inflammation and scarring, which can result in not only pain but also potentially detrimental effects on egg, sperm or embryo, resulting in infertility. Lastly, infertility could with the male. In fact, in 40-50% of infertility cases male infertility as has been associated as contributing factor. The male parter should consult a reproductive urologist if the couple is trying to conceive and suffers from infertility. While consulting the reproductive urologist they will test for abnormalities in semen analysis.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to treat infertility and help with conception. There are medications to help induce ovulation and egg development. These medications help stimulate the ovary to develop mature eggs for ovulation. They usually come in two forms: pills taken by mouth and injections. There are also other options such as intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI. It is the process by which sperm is prepared for placement into the uterine cavity, therefore bypassing the cervix and bringing a higher concentration of motile sperm closer to the tubes and ovulated egg. In vitro fertilization (IVF) means “outside the body.” This is the process whereby eggs are collected and then fertilized by sperm outside the body, in an embryology laboratory. This is then followed by the transfer of the embryos directly into the uterus.
Although infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant.
Hello. I am a male health specialist from Perth, Australia. My main interest is treatment of erectile dysfunction.