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Understanding Infertility

Submitted by admin on Mon, 03/05/2018 - 23:39

Infertility

Infertility is when a couple finds it difficult to conceive even after having regular unprotected sex. The reason for infertility can be either one or both partners who cannot contribute to conception; there are also times when the woman is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. Close to 8% to 12% of couples across the world experience fertility problems.

Types of Infertility:

  1. Female Infertility
  2. Male Infertility
  3. Both

Female Infertility

Dr. Umamaheswaari has been a co-investigator in publications in her field. She has had the opportunity to provide care to patients and served as Assistant Professor in educational institutions for more than 6 years at Meenakshi Medical College and Research Institute and ACS Medical College, Chennai.

The ability for a woman to conceive is high between 21years to 28 years of age, and the fertility tends to fall around the age of 32 years drastically. Unlike the past generation female infertility is coined around few common habits or practices which majorly include too much of social life style (Smoking/Alcohol/Obese/Unhealthy Dieting) and late marriages. Also career focused woman suffer from excessive mental stress, this may affect female ovulation which can lead to reduced sexual activity.

Types/Reasons:

Ovulation Disorder

 

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):

PCOS/PCOD is a hormonal disorder common amongst women. Affects close to 12% to 18% of reproductive age.  The hormonal imbalance creates problems in the Ovaries.  With PCOS, the egg may not develop or it may not be released during ovulation. This medical condition generally causes missed or irregular menstrual cycle. Common symptoms of PCOS includes Weight Gain, Fatigue, Acne, Mood Swings, Unwanted Hair Growth, Infertility, etc.

Can PCOD/PCOS be treated? YES! The stages of PCOS may vary from mild, to moderate, to advance. Though PCOS is found in most women, it is one medical condition which can be treated and brought to normal with very simple yet effective lifestyle modifications such as weight reduction, regular exercise, proper diet, plenty of fluids and anti-oxidant supplements. In advanced or rare cases we can have the ovarian drilling done to elevate the possibility of pregnancy.

  • Premature ovarian failure:
  • Premature ovarian failure is also known as primary ovarian insufficiency. This insufficiency is a loss of function of ovaries before 40 years of age. Generally if the ovaries fail, they don’t or can’t produce normal amount of the estrogenic hormone or release eggs regularly. This problem can be from birth or developed as early as the early teen years. One of the common results of this failure is INFERTILITY. The symptoms of primary ovarian insufficiency are quite similar to that of Menopauseeg:Irregular menstrual cycle, Hot Flashes, Night Sweats, Vaginal Dryness, etc.

Is there any treatment for POI ? Yes! There are various ways to sort this condition, how ever it may differ from person to person. Ovarian Hormone Replacement, Restoration of Fertility or Hormone Therapy are most preferred ways of treatment.

 

Poor egg quality:

It is a universally known fact that egg is the basis of reproduction, the building block of life. Quality of woman’s eggs determines her ability to conceive.For many of the couples, we have foundin the recent past that one of the reasons for their infertility is poor quality eggs. Poor egg quality means an egg isn’t viable enough to conceive a healthy baby. The egg quality can be regarded as poor if the number of chromosomes is not right. In such cases, a woman may come across an array of fertility and pregnancy related complications. Another reason of poor egg quality is that it may lack energy to divide and develop after fertilization.

Who can possibly encounter this kind of a medical condition? Mostly starting from women who are in their late 30’s. However genetics and health problems can also affect the egg quality. Additionally, exposure to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and smoking can cause decline of egg quality.

Once a woman is diagnosed with poor egg quality, they have various treatment options open for them. The fertility specialist will start by prescribing fertility drugs to improve egg quality so that the women may conceive. In cases where fertility drugs do not work, more aggressive approach may be required. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the best option in such cases.

1.Thyroid problems:

A butterfly-shaped gland in the front of the neck is called Thyroid. The thyroid has important roles to regulate numerous metabolic processes throughout the body. Anything affecting this gland is defined as Thyroid Disorder. Different types of thyroid disorders affect either its structure or function. The thyroid uses iodine to produce vital hormones. Thyroxin, also known as T4, is the primary hormone produced by the gland. Thyroid disorder has some significant symptoms associated with fertility. There are various kinds of thyroid namely Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. These conditions allow the individuals to experience loss of libido, irregular menstrual cycle, Galactorrhea, Infertility, miscarriages, birth defects, etc. This particular medical condition does not restrict itself just with women but affects men as well. The cure or having a balance in this medical condition completely depends on the individual and the severity of the thyroid level however this medical condition can be brought to maximum control with very basic lifestyle modifications such as exercise regularly, eat a whole food diet, while working to keep stress at bay to protect your body from thyroid problems along with this follow the medications prescribed by your doctor to achieve pregnancy and carry a full term. 

Endometriosis:

Endometriosis is one of the medical conditions that women experience, in which endometrial-like tissue is found outside of the uterus in other parts of the body. This tissue, which normally lines the uterus, is associated with monthly menstruation and is often characterized by abnormal painful and heavy periods, as well as pelvic pain, severe cramps, and pain with sex. Most importantly this condition is also a leading cause of infertility and chronic pelvic pain, it has also been linked to other health concerns.

Endometriosis is classified into one of four stages (I-minimal, II-mild, III-moderate, and IV-severe). It is to be noticed that many women with confirmed endometriosis are able to still conceive without difficulty, particularly if the disease is mild or moderate. It is estimated that up to 70% of women with mild or moderate endometriosis will conceive within three years without any specific treatment.

Endometriosis can be treated with medications and/or surgery depending on the exact location, extent, and depth of the endometriosis.  Since endometriosis occurs during the reproductive years, many of the available medical treatments for endometriosis rely on interruption of the normal cyclical hormone production by the ovaries. These medications include GnRHanalogs, oral contraceptive pills, and progestins.

Adhesions

Adhesions are nothing but bands of scar tissue which form between the abdominal organs and wall of the abdomen. The abdominal organs such as uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, or bowel. Most common causes or reason for adhesions are infections, previous surgeries, abdominal trauma, endometriosis, appendicitis, etc. In short anything that allows or causes inflammation in the abdomen can cause Adhesions. This particular medical condition makes it difficult to become pregnant or carry a full term or causing pain totally depends on the location of the Adhesions. Adhesions makes it difficult for the eggs to enter the fallopian tube during the time of ovulation. How to set right this medical condition? Surgery is the only effective treatment for pelvic adhesions. The biggest difficulty in adhesions is that there is no permanent cure, because even after the removal of the adhesions there may be new ones formed. However the fertility doctors try their best by using the medical advancements to prevent adhesions from returning through various types of fluid in the abdomen after the surgery.

Fibroids

Fibroids are non – cancerous tumors of the uterus. They tend to grow from the muscle cells of the uterus also protrude from the inside or outside the surface of the uterus. These tumors are found in different sizes and shapes. They can be classified as Submucous Fibroid, Intracavitary Fibroid, Intramural Fibroid, Subserosal Fibroid and Pedunculated Fibroid. This medical condition tends to affect mostly women in the age group of 30 to 50. It’s to be noted that close to 80% of women suffer with fibroids. Fibroids actually change the shape of the uterus thereby making it difficult for the women to conceive. However the best treatment to remove fibroids is through surgery which naturally allows the scope of pregnancy to the maximum possible percentage. A myomectomy is performed to preserve the uterus while removing only the fibroids, and is an alternative to a hysterectomy. Myomectomy can be abdominal, laparoscopic, or hysteroscopic.

Abnormal Uterus

Sometimes, the uterus develops into a different shape from the normal pear-shape.Research says 1 in 100 women and 1in 30 women has a uterine abnormality. In this medical condition, it becomes challenging for the medical team also to find out the abnormality. Generally this kind ofabnormalities does not affect the ability of the women to become pregnant and give birth. However, depending on the abnormality, it may be very difficult the baby for the full term of the pregnancy. This may mean you need extra monitoring. Uterus Didelphys, Unicornuate Uterus, Bicornuate Uterus, Septate Uterus with these kind of abnormality pregnancy is still possible. The best possible remedy to have the pregnancy carried for a full term and deliver a baby is with repeated doctor visits, not missing any prenatal appointments and having a close watch by the obstetrician.
 

Repeated miscarriages:

Close to 50% of the couples are unaware of the reason for repeated miscarriages. In the case of finding the reason for miscarriage then it’s less difficult for the couple to address the issue unlike cases were the reason is not found or difficult to find. Most common causes of both single and  recurrent miscarriage is Chromosomal Abnormalities, Uterine Abnormalities and Incompetent Cervixes, Immunologic Disorders, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Bacterial Infections, Lifestyle (Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs, Environmental Toxins). There is no single treatment found for this condition as there is no single reason for the miscarriages. However there are some guidelines which reduces the risk of miscarriages that will be advised by the fertility doctors.

 

Male Infertility

Male fertility is usually decided depending on the amount and quality of sperm let out by the man. When does a man experience infertility? When there is low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm. Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can play a role in causing male infertility. There are other lifestyle changes that affect fertility such as after 40 years of age the quality of sperms tend todeteriorate not allowing not conceive. Being an addict to illegal drug, alcohol, caffeine, cimetidine, prolonged hours of work, night shifts, excessive level of stress, tobacco, obesity, heat, etc. There are various conditions that affect the fertility they are Cryptorchidism, Cystic fibrosis, Ductal obstruction, Hemochromatosis, Hormone dysfunction, Inflammatory infections, Retrograde ejaculation, Sexually transmitted diseases, Sickle cell anemia, Testicular cancer, Varicocle, Spinal cord injury, etc.

At Sri Vaishnavi Nursing home, we treat all types of fertility and offer the latest treatments and procedures to do so. The types of male fertility can be classifies as Oligospermia- Low Sperm Count, Azoospermia, Poor Sperm Motility, Abnormal Sperm Morphology, Erectile Dysfunction, Premature Ejaculation and few undefined reason.

Our doctor’s focus is to help you and your partner starts your family.

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