Infertility is becoming a bigger problem all over the world. In India, an estimate of 10 to 15 percent of married couples are struggling with infertility and often, this is a health issue that some find hard to address.
There is a misconception that infertility only happens to women, as sterile is a term more used for men who have the same issue. However, what you should know is that infertility and sterility apply to both men and women who are having a hard time producing a baby or babies.
Definition Of Infertility
Usually, infertility is suspected when a couple is having a hard time getting pregnant. This is often the indicator that tests should be done on both male and female to check on their fertility.
Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive in a certain amount of time. Professionals only label the inability to conceive as infertility if the couple has already been trying for at least a year. If the female is already 35 years old and above, it could already be because of infertility as early as six months.
Aside from problems in conceiving or fertilizing an egg, the inability of a female to stay pregnant can also be considered as a fertility problem.
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What Causes Infertility
There are many possible reasons why a male or a female is infertile. For men, it is usually because of low sperm count that could also be caused by a few things. Some possible reasons why a male has low sperm count would be heavy drinking, old age, heavy smoking, and genetics.
For females, some common reasons why they are having such issue is because of certain illnesses or diseases like Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome, Endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory diseases. Fallopian tube blockage is also another common reason.
If a male or female has undergone cancer treatments, there is a possibility that those treatments affected their ability to produce an offspring. STIs should also be checked as this could also be the cause of the reproductive problem.
How To Diagnose Infertility
After the couple has talked to an expert or a professional about the inability to conceive, they may be asked to accomplish a few tests. Diagnosis usually starts with blood work to check for hormone levels. Individually, the male and female may have to undergo different series of tests.
For females, here are the tests that they may be asked to take:
- Transvaginal Ultrasound
- Uterine X-Ray
- Physical Exam
For males, they are only usually required to submit blood and semen samples. The semen sample will let the experts examine the sperm count, movement, and quality that the male can produce.
What’s Next After Finding Out About Infertility?
Based on the reason why a person is diagnosed as infertile, the options for treatment will vary. Some may only need to take medications, while some may need surgery. In some cases, treatment won’t even be necessary.
For some couples, they heavily rely on fertility healthcare platforms like Elawoman. Such a platform enables couples to have more options when it comes to choosing what treatment to take and even where they should be taking the treatment.
Elawoman is focused on three ways to help couples with fertility problems ease into parenthood. These three are the most common treatments that individuals can go through to successfully get pregnant. These are through IVF, IUI, and Surrogacy.
Ela works with a team that helps deliver advice and knowledge from different hospitals, fertility experts, and specialists that could help couples get what they truly want. They don’t only cover fertility healthcare platforms in India, but they also have partners all over the world.
Most Common Treatments
Let’s move on to the three most common ways that infertility problems are addressed. Here are the mentioned treatments and an overview of how each works.
- In Vitro Fertilization or IVF
This procedure has already been practiced in India for 40 years. IVF treatment in India is just the same as how it is in other countries. Overall, as of today, this procedure has been tremendously improved.
The IVF procedure is done by fertilizing an egg outside the body of the female. Females who can’t get pregnant but can produce healthy eggs and have capable male partners can choose this option.
Before the actual IVF happens, a female will be required to take fertility medications to make sure that she will produce multiple and healthy egg specimens. That’s right! Multiple eggs are harvested from the female to make sure that an embryo can be formed.
The male will just need to submit his semen sample and the experts will then put an egg and a sperm on a lab plate or test tube to encourage fertilization. Once that happens, the embryo will then be injected back to the female’s uterus.
The success rate of this process varies and depends on multiple factors like the female’s age, the capability to stay pregnant, and timing of harvesting the egg and injecting the embryo. Overall, most fertility clinics find this procedure as one of the most successful.
- Intrauterine Insemination or IUI
Also known as artificial insemination, this process only takes a few minutes to be done. This is only an option for females who can get pregnant and doesn’t have any reproductive problem. It’s a possibility that the male has low sperm count as to why this will be needed.
This is done by letting the male submit his semen and have it directly injected to the female’s uterus using a catheter. This process allows more live sperm to get to the female’s egg and successfully fertilize.
Artificial insemination is still considered effective, but not as much as IVF. Basically, IUI just helps boost the percentage of the success rate of getting a female pregnant.
Surrogacy in India is governed by law since 2015. India used to be a hot spot for foreign parents who’d like to get a commercial surrogate. However, since this was the case, it was hard to control how this business was.
The Indian government wanted to make sure that no surrogate will be taken advantage of, and so as of 2015, commercial surrogacy is declared illegal in India.
What’s currently legal is altruistic surrogacy. This means that a married couple can get a family member as a surrogate as long as they have proof that they are facing fertility problems.
Surrogacy is also done through the use of IVF. What’s amazing is that the egg and the sperm can both be from the couple who are trying to get pregnant. With that said, females who can produce healthy eggs but can’t stay pregnant for some reason can choose this option.
Outside India, there are places that welcome commercial surrogacy like the US and Russia. If you’re someone who is interested in this, visiting elawoman.com would be a great way to start your parenting journey.