Getting pregnant is a complex biological process which seems to look so simple because almost 85% couples will have no difficulty in having babies. However in the rest 15% couples facing difficulties there are a lot of factors interfering in the process of reproduction.
The factors that can disrupt this process are attributed to either female or male or sometimes both.
The common Causes of infertility are
- Ovulation Disorders-PCOS, hypothalamic –pituitary cause, premature menopause.
- Fallopian tubal blockage
- Uterine or Cervical causes- fibroids, adenomyosis
- Unexplained Infertility
- Sperm production problems- ranging from production of no sperms to low no of sperms.
- Blockage of sperm transport- obstructive azoospermia
- Sperm Antibodies
- Sexual problems-erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction.
- Hormonal Problems – lack of hormones coming from brain , intake of anabolic steroids.
IVF literally means “in glass” and as in this form of assisted reproduction technique reproduction happens in lab in a glass dish it has also been famously called test tube baby.
In IVF treatment procedure the eggs from the woman’s ovary are extracted through a needle and than fertilised with the partner’s sperm in the lab . The sperms fertilise the egg and the resulting embryos are transferred back in the woman’s womb using a thin tube.
Candidates for IVF- IVF started as a mode to help women with tubal block conceive as it effectively bypasses the fallopian tubes because fertilization happens in lab , however now it is the most successful fertility treatment with very good IVF success rates, the common indications for IVF are:
- Fallopian Tube Damage/Tubal Factor : The only options for treating significant tubal damage are surgical repair or bypassing the tubes with IVF. It is the most efficient form of fertility treatment for women with significant tubal damage.
- Male Factor Infertility: One of the most dramatic advances in the treatment of infertility has been the capacity to obtain fertilization and pregnancy in the IVF lab in men with low sperm counts. IVF is generally recommended to men with mild sperm abnormality, but in men with severely abnormal sperm samples fertilization is achieved by utilizing ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis may be effectively treated with a combination of surgical and medical therapy. Women with endometriosis often have distorted pelvic anatomy combined with poor ovarian reserve .IVF is very effective as a second line of treatment if the initial treatment is proven unsuccessful.
- Age Related Infertility: In normal reproductive life, a woman’s ovarian function is diminished with age. In many cases, this reduced function can be overcome through the use of IVF alone or in conjunction with techniques such as Assisted Hatching and ICSI.
- Anovulation: The majority of patients with anovulation will conceive using simpler treatments. However, those patients who have not conceived after ovulation induction and IUI require IVF. They are typically “high responders” to gonadotropin therapy and have a good prognosis.
- Unexplained Infertility: Approximately 20% of couples will have no identifiable cause of infertility after completing a comprehensive investigation. IVF is often successful even if more conservative treatments have failed, especially since some of these couples actually have some block to fertilization.
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Related Article: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome