Reproduction should be the most natural part of life; after all, humans are lucky enough that it is not only fun but pretty simple. However, for those with fertility issues, reproduction is very much a science, and a frustrating one at that. Out of couples that have sought out IVF treatment, 30% of infertility stems from the man, and 29% of infertility stems from the woman. Therefore, infertility is a widespread problem that affects both genders almost equally. The following are a few of the most common reasons for infertility.

Female Infertility

In women, the most common reason that infertility is present is because of ovulation problems or egg quality issues. An Infertility Specialist can treat a wide variety of problems that are related to ovulation or egg issues. Older women will have a limited number of eggs left, which can complicate any attempts to get pregnant. In these cases, IVF is a very common treatment.

For other women, the main issue might be ovulation. Some women do not ovulate without medication intervention, and other women do not ovulate on a regular schedule. Both situations can make it hard to conceive naturally. Also, fallopian tubes that are blocked can cause infertility since the eggs are not able to pass through the fallopian tubes to be properly fertilized. 

Male Infertility

On the other hand, you might be interested in an infertility specialist because of male infertility issues. Common infertility issues for men include blockages that inhibit sperm ejaculation and sperm quality. When sperm cannot properly ejaculate, then there is no way for it to leave the male’s body. Therefore, no contact between the egg and the sperm is ever made.

Sperm quality and mobility are two more large issues for males that are facing fertility issues because, as men age, their sperm count can decrease. Certain things can be attributed to a low sperm count, such as tight clothing and regular warm baths, but sometimes a man has a low sperm count for no explainable reason. Also, some men have problems with their sperm’s mobility. In this case, the sperm do not swim as they should, making it hard for sperm actually to make it to the egg to fertilize it.

When You Should Visit an Infertility Doctor

If you and your partner have tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for a year, or have had more than two miscarriages, it might be time to visit a fertility clinic.  Irregular ovulation can pose problems to couples who are having trouble getting pregnant. Still, there are many options for these couples as soon as they come to terms with the challenges of conceiving a child under such conditions. Other possible reasons for infertility might include weak sperm count, damaged fallopian tubes, or any assortment of genetic conditions that could make having a baby more difficult. There are many reasons that a couple might have trouble having a child, but if you find yourself in this situation, then there is no reason to panic or despair. 

Modern technology has provided us with several possible solutions to the infertility problem. There are exercises that people can do to increase their fertility rate. There are certain medications available to some people that might make the chances of having a baby increase. These and many more solutions could be available to you if you take that first step and visit a fertility center soon. As a couple, if you have taken the time and effort to understand the issues that could be set before you and if you are ready to hear the options that you have available to you, then you are ready to make the trip to the fertility center today.

Options and Treatments for Infertility

Corrective Surgery

If the problem is with either or both of you, a doctor may advise that you go for surgery. There are medical procedures that will correct say varicose veins, blockages, or retrograde ejaculation in men. In women, the surgical procedures are aimed at rectifying blockages on the fallopian tubes such as removal of the growth. Hopefully, this will clear the way for you to conceive naturally.

Fertility Drugs

There could be problems with the secretion of hormones. In such a case, you will be asked to take some fertility drugs. Their work is to stimulate the production of hormones or bring the ovulation process back to normal. Some trigger ovaries to start releasing eggs, and others help slow down or speed up your ovaries if they have been releasing eggs early or late. Your doctor will prescribe the type of fertility drugs that you need.

Fertility drugs are designed to regulate reproductive hormones in the body. These drugs also stimulate the ovaries to release several eggs per cycle to increase the chances of pregnancy. Some common fertility drugs are clomiphene and gonadotropins. These drugs result in pregnancy in up to sixty percent of cases and are often used in conjunction with artificial insemination. The cost can vary depending on the specific drug used and can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars throughout treatment. When using fertility drugs, patients should expect to encounter symptoms such as headaches, cramping, bloating, and soreness. 

Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination involves injecting sperm – from a partner or donor – directly into the uterus. This procedure has up to a twenty-five percent success rate. The cost range is several hundred dollars for the procedure. If fertility drugs are taken along with artificial insemination, there is an increased chance of multiple births. Some cramping may occur for twenty-four hours after this procedure.

In Vitro Fertilization

What is IVF?  The colloquial term used to refer to a baby born as a result of IVF.   IVF is the process of taking an egg and fertilizing it with sperm outside of the body. “Vitro” is Latin for glass and refers to the various receptacles that were used to hold the fluids necessary for the proper fertilization to take place.

In vitro fertilization is an option for women with ovarian irregularities like cysts, Fallopian tube issues, or irregular ovulation cycles. The physician starts the prospective mother on a schedule of drugs to induce the maturation of her eggs. A hypodermic needle then removes these eggs.

In Vitro, fertilization eggs are harvested from the ovaries. Sperm from a partner or donor is used to fertilize the harvested eggs in a laboratory. The eggs mature to blastocysts, which are hollow balls of cells. The healthiest is implanted in the uterus of the woman. Many women begin progesterone injections to assist the growth of the fertilized eggs.  The procedure can cost up to fifteen thousand dollars. Side effects of this procedure are associated with the use of fertility drugs that many patients must take before the In Vitro fertilization procedure.

The egg used for fertilization may be from the woman who is interested in getting pregnant, or it may be from a donor.  Likewise, the sperm may be from the partner or a donor. Often, more than one egg is collected for the process, so that the probability of fertilization can increase.

The embryo that results from fertilization may be implanted in the uterus of the woman interested in having the child.  However, if she is unable to carry an embryo to term, a surrogate may be used.

The success rate for IVF can range from just under 50 percent to as low as 12.5 percent depending on the age of the person carrying her embryo and whether success is counted as pregnancy or as a live birth.  For freshly donated eggs, the rate may be as high as 55 percent, while frozen eggs may have a success rate of up to about 34 percent.

The biggest risk with IVF is that of multiple births.  While a couple may be ready to have a single child, twins, triplets, or more may place a significant financial strain on a couple that has already paid for an expensive procedure.  Studies about congenital disabilities and other problems caused by IVF have been, for the most part, inconclusive. Depression in women who do not conceive after an IVF procedure appears to be common but does not seem to lead to long term emotional or psychological issues.

In vitro fertilization, doctors are needed so that families, who may not otherwise be able to, can have the experience of bearing children.  The bond that is formed during pregnancy and childbirth between mother, father, and child cannot be overestimated. The process also helps to instill a sense of awe and wonder that many people lose as they grow older and more disenchanted with a world that does not live up to childhood expectations.

The greatest factor for success with this method is the mother’s age. If a woman is over forty, she may want to use donor eggs. Most insurance companies don’t pay for the entire procedure, so ask your carrier before beginning treatment. Inquire about the clinic’s success rates. Get reviews from couples that had successful and failed treatments.

Surrogacy 

Surrogacy is another option for those struggling with infertility. The gestational carrier or surrogate will carry an embryo throughout the pregnancy. When the surrogate gives birth, she signs away parental rights to the child. There are no statistics on the success rate of this option. Some side effects – mostly psychological – center around a lack of a feeling of control over the pregnancy and birth. This is why it is important to choose the carrier carefully. Parents should choose a carrier with whom they feel comfortable and can effectively share communication.  

Surrogacy involves an arrangement where a woman carries a baby on your behalf and delivers the same. Once the child is born, it becomes your own. In surrogacy clinics, the doctor implants an embryo in the person who has agreed to become your surrogate via in vitro fertilization. Since there are legal issues involved, the clinic’s management will help you resolve these. 

Gestational carriers are surrogates who carry a fetus produced from the couple’s egg and sperm. They are fertilized in vitro and implanted in the carrier’s uterus. Because carriers have no genetic tie to offspring, there are few issues regarding parental rights. 

The recommended way to choose a surrogate is a surrogate agency. The agency acts in the interest of parents and surrogates. These agencies have several surrogates screened to make a good match for the parents. They help arrange medical procedures and give legal advice where applicable. Always make certain the clinic is fully licensed and get referrals from unaffiliated doctors and clients.

  • Surrogacy is not legally regulated, but the American Medical Association has guidelines
  • A gestational contract that ensures fair treatment to both parties
  • Medical care and advice for the birth mother
  • Mental and emotional evaluations for both parents

Other guidelines are only to consider women who have previously given birth. They know what is asked of them regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Choose someone at least twenty-one years old for the safety of the birth mother and child. To avoid conflict of interest, insist gestational surrogate and biological mother use separate gynecologists.