Infertility is defined as not being able to conceive a child despite trying for at least a year. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects 6.1 million American women and their partners, about 10 percent of the reproductive age population. This infertility percentage is almost the same for Miami.
Though this issue concerns most women, it is a myth that infertility is always a woman’s problem. Experts say that 80 percent of cases which was diagnosed with infertility are due to male problems. Infertility may be due to a single cause in either a woman or her partner, or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing. According to the NWHRC (National Women’s Health Resource Center), most women in their late 30s are 30 percent less fertile than they were in their early 20s. About 20 percent of infertility cases are the result of fallopian tube disease. It also added that between 30 and 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile. In 85 to 90 percent of all cases, infertility is treated with either medication or surgery. However, recent improvements and innovations in medications such as microsurgery, and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), make pregnancy possible. There are now more than 45, 000 babies that were born using IVF.
In Vitro Fertilization is a fertility procedure which was first done successfully in 1978 in England by Dr. Robery Edwards, an embryologist and Dr. Patrick Steptoe, a gynecologist. Since then, the technology has been further advanced and developed by physicians and embryologists, with over 20,000 babies born worldwide. The possibility of a continuing pregnancy being achieved through IVF has improved from practically nothing to a one-time chance in 4 to 6 trials.
In Vitro Fertilization: New Hope for Overcoming Infertility
Signs of InfertilityAccording to the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2002 about 12 percent of women (7.3 million) in the United States aged 15-44 had difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a baby to term.Infertility can be termed as the state in which the ability of a person to conceive or have offspring is the diminished greatly. Infertility is also defined in specific terms as the failure to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception. Irreversible infertility is also referred to as sterility. In most cases couples achieve pregnancy within the first six months of trying. Overall, about 80 -85% of couples become pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Over the next 36 months, about 50 percent of the remaining couples will go on to conceive spontaneously.It is totally wrong to say that infertility is on woman's part only as in only about one-third of cases infertility due to the woman (female factors). In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown factors.Causes of male infertility include abnormal sperm production or function, impaired delivery of sperm, general health and lifestyle issues, and exposure to certain environmental factors. Women aren't the only ones with a hormone cycle. Men have a hormone cycle, too! But there are big differences. For instance, instead of having a month-long hormone cycle like gals, guys go through an entire hormone cycle in a single 24 hours. Researches show that the quality of the male sperm can go down, in accordance with his hormone cycle. The lower sperm quality of a man can significantly reduce his ability to impregnate.In case of both the genders the signs of infertility become distinguished with growing age. Some of the common causes of male infertility are Azoospermia, Presence of Antibodies, Klinefelter's Syndrome, Hormone Disorders and Bacterial Infection.One of the most potent factors that are considered as a part of the men infertility causes is malnutrition. A man with malnutrition becomes easily prone to disease or any bodily disorder leading to infertility. The sudden gain or loss in weight is an alarm for infertility in men as it can imply a medical or psychological condition or can easily be because of wrong eating habits.Another aspect of men infertility is having severe mental or physical stress. Don't unnecessarily plunge in excess of things as they may lead to physical and mental stress. The worst and more obvious factors that are included in the list of men infertility causes are the foreign or unhealthy vices that men undertake, more known as toxic substances which include high exposures to metal, drugs, radiation and heavy smoking.It is difficult to look for signs of infertility in men though excessive thinness, obesity are observed but surely Andropause (or, the process of menopause in males) results in easy detection of the signs of infertility. The indications of infertility in men may include Losing hair on a regular basis,Gaining weight with excess fat in the abdominal parts, Wrinkles and dryness of the skin, mental depression, abnormality in erection, nervousness, excessively sweating, fall in the male libido levels etcThe common causes of infertility in female are many some of them are Polycystic ovary syndrome which is often responsible for infertility in women, early menopause caused by certain infectious diseases, such as mumps, tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases, septum in the ovary, endometriosis, Luteal Phase defect (the ovum fails to lodge in the endometrium), hormonal imbalance including hypothyroidism and hypopituitarism, Pelvic inflammatory disease, lifestyle related causes like eating habits, obesity smoking etcIn case of female physical changes such as irregular periods or the absence of menstruation, pelvic pain, chronic acne and weight gain can act as clues for infertility. One of the most observed sign is irregular menstrual cycle in women but that not only indicates infertility but certain other problems as well. Some may bleed excessively in periods. There may be severe menstrual cramps and pain in the pelvic region. Hormonal imbalance can cause anxiety, fear, depression etc. some women feel excessive pain during intercourse. Other significant signs of infertility can be a weight problem. Some women who are too thin and bordering on emaciation can have a problem in conceiving because they suffer from nutritional deficiencies. People with obesity sometimes suffer from hormonal problems, which in turn can adversely affect their reproductive system.Actually pregnancy occurs when the right conditions met with the right timing. It becomes difficult for some couples to achieve these conditions and as result infertility occurs, and in these instances it is important to consider a holistic approach. Holistic approach can be most effectively used for female infertility involving a combination of diet, acupuncture and herbal medicines into a gathered and multifaceted strategy. Healthy diet rich in Folic Acid, Zinc, and Vitamins B6 and E along with restraining from alcohol, caffeine, and smoking forms the focal points of the strategy along with centuries old herbs and their extracts. Holistic approach is aim to correct the root of the problem rather than the symptom. Holistic approaches have been successful in many women who have not been able to conceive using Western treatments. By combining this holistic strategy with Western Medicine, there are great chances to enhance your chances of having a baby while improving your overall health.
- What Happens During IVF Treatment?
Here's a step by step description of what usually happens during an IVF treatment cycle.1. Fertility assessmentAt your first meeting, the doctor will discuss your medical and fertility history. This will be followed by a fertility assessment of both the partners to determine which treatment process will work best for you and increase your chances of conception. The fertility assessment will include ultrasound, blood tests, determination of sperm count and quality of eggs. IVF treatment is not a painful procedure at all and you needn't worry or be stressed about it, especially in the hands of a good doctor. Also, arrangements will be made for special psychological counselling sessions to help you cope with stress and anxieties regarding your infertility and IVF treatment.2. Ovulation stimulationThis is a standard procedure in IVF treatment or other assisted reproductive methods. Medication and injections are used to induce ovarian follicle development and oocyte maturation. It also prepares a woman's uterus for embryo implantation by supporting the endometrial tissues onto which the embryo will be implanted in case of fertilization. The growth of the follicle and the development of the uterine tissues are monitored by serial ultrasound scanning till the follicle is ready for collection. This process takes about two weeks.After egg collection you will be given medication to support the uterine lining. The medication is given in the form of pessaries, injection or gel.5. Embryo transferEmbryo transfer is normally carried out 48 hours after the egg collection. For this procedure a fine tube (catheter) is passed through the cervix and the embryos are injected high into the uterus in a minute amount of culture medium. This technique does not normally require sedation. Medical support is given for upto 15 days to support implantation.A urine pregnancy test (BhCG) is carried out 15 days after the embryo transfer. If the test is positive, the monitoring continues till the detection of foetal heart beat. If conception does not occur, the cycle is repeated.