Having children is one of life’s greatest gifts- it can be devastating and exhausting for couples who are having a hard time getting pregnant. Luckily, infertility treatments are available for couples who are finding that they are having a hard time conceiving currently exist. Please read on to learn more about infertility treatments and how they can help you.

 

What is Infertility?

 

Infertility is, essentially, the inability to conceive.  In other words, the woman is unable to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex with her partner, either due to infertility factors stemming from the male, from the female, both, or sometimes, from unknown origins.

 

For females, infertility can occur if:

 

  • The ovaries have issues producing viable eggs
  • The eggs are unable to move from the ovaries to the womb
  • Fertilized eggs have problems attaching to or surviving the lining of the uterus

 

For males, infertility can occur if:

 

  • Not enough sperm is being produced
  • The sperm are unable to properly exit the testes
  • The sperm that is produced is not viable

 

Technically speaking, infertility can be categorized into two different inabilities to conceive: primary infertility and secondary infertility. Primary infertility refers to couples who have never conceived before and have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for at least one year. Secondary infertility refers to couples who have successfully conceived before in the past (even if it did not result in the birth of a child) and have been unsuccessfully been trying to conceive again for at least one year.

 

Being able to conceive but having a series of miscarriages without an instance of a live birth is also classified as infertility.

 

What causes Infertility?

 

Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors and reasons, both in females and males.

 

For females, infertility can be caused by, but not limited to:

 

  • Damaged fallopian tubes
  • Cancer, especially in the uterus or cervix
  • Growths in the uterus, ovaries, or cervix
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Birth defects
  • Genetic factors
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • Poor nutrition/Unhealthy lifestyle

 

For males, infertility can be caused by, but not limited to:

 

  • Testicular problems/Damaged testes
  • Cancer, especially in the prostate
  • Growths in the testes or prostate
  • Infections
  • Birth defects
  • Genetic factors
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Older age
  • Poor nutrition/Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Environmental factors

 

It has been estimated that between 10-20% of infertility cases stem from unknown causes. In other words, signs of infertility in the female, male, or both, exist, but modern medical technology has yet to come up with a method to detect those signs.

 

How do you treat Infertility?

 

Depending on the cause of infertility and whether the infertility occurs in the female, the male, or both, treatments for infertility will vary. There are two ways that infertility problems can be addressed through treatment: through medically-based treatments and through counseling-based treatments.

 

Medically-based treatments, typically referred to as “assisted reproductive technology (ART)”  are those that involve drugs or surgery to treat infertility. These types of infertility treatments include:

 

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) or Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
  • The use of donor eggs or frozen embryos
  • Intracytoplasmatic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
  • Fertility drugs, such as Clomid or a Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) like Pregnyl

 

Counseling-based treatments are those that involve educating the couple about infertility, its causes, and how to battle the causes of certain types of infertility through lifestyle changes. These types of infertility treatments and lifestyle changes include:

 

  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking/Reducing alcohol intake
  • Wearing looser clothing
  • Avoiding excessive heat (for males, as heat affects sperm production in the testes)

 

Infertility services and treatments offered through Complete Healthcare for Women include comprehensive workups, fertility drug therapies, surgical therapies, and psychological support. Please contact us at 614.882.4343 for a consultation.

 

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