When to Seek Help for Infertility
The Fertility Treatments Available
It can be hurtful and stressful to experience infertility or, indeed, any other issues relating to getting pregnant. Maybe you have done an internet search and tried different ways to increase your chances or having that longed for child. Or perhaps you have been diagnosed with a condition, or had some treatment that could be affecting your chances?
If you have been trying to get pregnant without success for a long time, perhaps you are starting to think there are fertility problems with you and/or your partner, or perhaps issues with your reproductive system? Don’t delay. It is definitely worth seeking help.
There are more infertile couples out there than you probably realise. And infertility affects both women and men, yet it is quite popular for people to associate any reproductive issues or fertility problems with the female. Men have the same rate of infertility as women do. Infertility is a result of many things. Some even believe living an eco-friendly life can boost your fertility because the chemicals in products contribute to health problems.
There are certain illnesses that require assistance when it comes to fertility and conceiving. Though there are options out there, it can be frustrating to know that you are limited because of a disease. Damage to the fallopian tubes or ovaries can especially lead to fertility issues. Anything from previous infection to endometriosis can be the cause of infertility in women.
Ovulation conditions are usually the result of hormonal imbalances, stress, and even extreme exercise. Tumours and cysts can be a problem when it comes to trying to get pregnant as they can affect ovulation regularity.
There are many illnesses that affect how the reproductive system works, such as:
● Pelvic inflammatory disease
● DES syndrome
● Birth defects
● Reproductive tract infections
● Hormonal imbalances
● Drug use
To be diagnosed and understand if you are infertile or not, you should take a visit to your GP to start the process of getting tested. Your GP is likely to suggest you try to conceive for at least year before considering any kind of treatment. During that year, there are lots of ways you can increase your chances of success including stopping smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, improving your nutrition, getting fit and active, and perhaps having some complementary therapies such as Maternity Reflexology or Bowen Treatment
Consider age when you are thinking about fertility as well. You may certainly want to visit your GP if you are over the age of 35 as fertility decreases around this time. It is more difficult to get pregnant as you get older and the reproductive system begins to close shop at around age 40.
If you are likely to be infertile, you will be referred to a specialist for further testing. These tests include ovulation testing which is done to see if ovulation is occurring with ovulation kits, ultrasounds, temperature checks, and blood tests. They will also test how your ovaries are functioning. You will also be asked about your sexual past and habits to get a better understanding of your reproductive system. The whole purpose of these tests is to see the root of your fertility problems.
Hormone and luteal phase testing are also done to help the doctor decide on a well-fitting treatment. These specialists are responsible for educating you about the options for infertility and advise you on what your next move should be.
As we get further into technology and scientific understanding of how the reproductive system works, more options for those who struggle with fertilisation issues due to previous illnesses or newfound issues are available. Infertility affects both men and women, but there are more treatment options for women.
Your doctor may choose to prescribe you medication to boost your fertility and chances of conceiving. This choice can be for women and men. Women who have problems with ovulation can take medications that help stimulate the ovaries to create more eggs, also known as ovulation induction. There are many types of medication but clomiphene citrate is the primary medicine doctors prescribe.
There are options for men who are diagnosed with infertility as well. Low testosterone is a prominent condition that affects the creation of sperm and their quality. This condition is called hypogonadism and may require injections of drugs such as gonadotropin that will help you produce appropriate levels of testosterone.
All medications have potential side effects, so do ensure you speak with your doctor or specialist and potential risks and do some research yourself to ensure they are drugs you feel comfortable with taking.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF)
In vitro fertilisation, commonly known as IVF, is quite a popular treatment for infertility and, nowadays, has a rather high success rate, although success cannot be guaranteed. The process can also be quite traumatic if a series of treatments prove ineffective, so always ensure you use a first-class clinic.
The procedure begins by taking the eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilising them in a lab. Fertilisation takes a few days and once it is completed it is inserted back into the woman’s uterus.
The UK Government’s independent regulator overseeing fertility treatment and research is the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) Their website features a great deal of free, clear and impartial information including what you should look for in an In Vitro Fertilisation clinic, together with a search facility to find a clinic near you.
Should you wish to use a clinic further afield such as the Advanced Fertility Center of Chicago which has amongst the highest success rates for IVF in the US, do refer to the HFEA’s advice and guidance. This should always be applied diligently and particularly if you decide to go to another country for IVF treatment.
IUI treatment for infertility is more focused on the sperm placement. Instead of removing the eggs from the uterus like in an IVF procedure, IUI takes a sample of sperm and places it directly into the woman’s uterus. This option is for the men who have issues with ejaculation or sperm swimming up the fallopian tubes.
This treatment is accompanied with injections to help the woman produce more eggs by stimulating her ovaries. This has a risk of multiple births, though, causing twins, triplets, quadruplets, and so on because several eggs are developed at the same time.
Male Fertility Treatment
Male infertility isn’t talked about as much as infertility in females and is focused on sperm disorders. But it takes two to conceive and both parties should be checked. Men shouldn’t feel threatened by any problems they may have in fertilising their partner; there are many solutions available.
As well as ensuring general good health and fitness, specific treatments can include medications and prescriptions and even surgery if you have no sperm in your semen which is called obstructive azoospermia, if you want a vasectomy reversed, or if you have varicoceles.