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There are many reasons leading to infertility, but one of the main causes is the inability of the sperm to travel all the way up to the uterus to fertilize an egg. This is caused by defective sperms and could be due to poor sperm quality, poor motility, etc. There are multiple reasons for this, and even smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc. could be reasons.
Many technical advancements in fertility treatments are being done, and they try to keep the natural process of fertilization intact, at the same time improving the chances of success. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI, often used as a standalone term iksee) improves the rate of fertilization in that the sperm is directly injected into the egg. The environment of this artificial fertilization is completely controlled, and the fertilized egg is then placed into the womb for further growth. It is one of the recent methods of improving fertility, a part of ART (assisted reproductive technology).
- Poor sperm perms motility
- Semen where sperm concentration is low
- Male infertility with unidentifiable cause
- Poor sperm quality, with sluggish sperms
- Ejaculation issues, such as retrograde ejaculation (semen is ejected into the bladder)
- Useful in couples who have failed IVF
- Low AMP reserve
- Low egg quality
- Tubal blockage
What to expect?
The following outlines some of the steps for both male and female before and during the procedure.
Before the procedure - males:
- The first step is the sperm collection; a screening is first done
- Sperms collection happens through either masturbation or directly from the testicles via a small incision
- Sperms could be collected fresh or collected and frozen for later use
Before the procedure – women:
- In the normal menstrual cycle, only a single egg is released. However, prior to ICSI, the woman is given ovulation drugs, which are high-dose hormone injections prior to ovulation. This ensures multiple eggs are released, which are then retrieved for fertilization in the external environment.
- Blood and urine are monitored regularly to identify the ovulation time, and eggs are collected within 24 to 36 hours of release
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Treatment
The process of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is a laboratory procedure where the egg is fertilized with the sperm in a laboratory dish and is implanted into the woman’s uterus. Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproductive technique wherein a single sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of the oocyte with the help of special micro-manipulators.
While alcohol and drug addiction are commonplace, sexual addiction is also a real problem. This addiction can affect men and women. In many cases, this type of addiction lasts for months before it is diagnosed. A sex addict is a person who uses casual sex to relieve anxiety, tension, feelings of loneliness etc. In some cases, people can get so obsessed with sexual activities and thoughts that it affects their day to day life. This addiction can involve activities that are considered normal and healthy or be focused on activities that are socially frowned upon. It can manifest itself in the form of one night stands, engaging with prostitutes, watching porn excessively etc. Thankfully, as with any other kind of addiction, sexual addiction can be treated.
It is not easy to diagnose a sex addict as this form of addiction has many stages. Some of the symptoms a sex addict professional looks out for are:
Intense sexual urges.
Abnormal sexual activities.
Difficulty connecting with people emotionally.
The use of sex as an escape from uncomfortable situations etc.
Irresponsible sexual behaviour.
Hence, the first step to coping with sexual addiction is for the patient to visit a doctor and accept that he or she has a problem. Many addicts do not realise they have a problem and lie to both themselves and their partners about the addiction. For example, most sexual addicts tell themselves that they watch porn only occasionally and that is simply harmless fun.
Once diagnosed, an addict needs positive motivation. Humiliation or looking down on the person because of his or her habits may worsen the situation instead of helping the person. Overcoming an addiction to pornography, voyeurism, phone sex, compulsive masturbation etc require intense effort and for this the person needs to feel that the people around him support him.
The patient and his loved ones also need to recognise the symptoms of the addiction. For example, if a person tends to watch pornography at night, he needs to ensure that he is occupied with something else until the urge to watch it goes away. In achieving this he may need the help of the people he lives with.
In some cases, psychotherapy may also be required to treat sexual addicts. This can be in the form of both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Psychotherapy takes the form of both one on one counselling sessions and group exercises.
Masturbation is rarely discussed, even amongst the closest of friends. Even though this is a normal part of human sexuality, society frowns on it and young people are often taught to avoid masturbation. Lack of knowledge and opportunities to talk about it have given rise to a number of myths on this subject. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Masturbation can damage the genitals
Touching your genitals is very unlikely to damage them. The sex organs are designed to withstand friction and hence are very tough organs. The maximum damage that can be caused by masturbation is a little chafing. Using lubricant can prevent this from occurring.
It causes health problems
Pleasuring yourself is the ultimate form of safe sex. There is no way for you to catch an STD or for it to cause any sort of mental health problem. The only risks involved are allergic reactions to lubricants or toys and a feeling of guilt or shame due to societal pressure.
It lowers the chances of you having an orgasm during sex
Masturbation does not reduce your sex drive or prevent you from having orgasms. Many people also claim that women get addicted to vibrators and cannot enjoy sex without them. However, there is no truth behind this.
Masturbation is akin to cheating
Single people as well as people in committed relationships masturbate. While it can lead to problems in a relationship depending on your partner's views about it, it does not amount to cheating on him or her.
It can cause blindness
Blindness is the most outrageous myth associated with self-induced orgasms. Till date, there has not been a medical case to prove it.
It causes infertility
Pleasuring yourself does not reduce your chances of getting pregnant or getting someone else pregnant. However, for men with a low sperm count, restricting ejaculations while trying to get their partner pregnant is a good idea. The only way masturbation can lead to infertility is if partners who share sex toys do not
keep them clean and pass on STDs through them.
Only men masturbate
Men and women across the world masturbate.
Eating certain foods can help control the urge to masturbate
Pleasuring yourself is normal and not affected by what you eat or do not eat.
It is only for young people
Men and women of all ages can enjoy self-induced orgasms. This does not have any adverse effects on your health.
Ejaculation can be considered premature if it happens within 1 minute of penetration or if you are unable to control your ejaculation. There are several reasons that can contribute to premature ejaculation like performance anxiety, excessive excitement, relationship issues and hypersensitivity of the skin. To treat premature ejaculation, it is important to determine the cause and stress that can be a potent reason that is preventing you from 'lasting' long. Premature ejaculation can be life long or acquired.
The effects of stress on the mind
Stress can create havoc in your life and it is closely related to sexual dysfunctions. It is caused not only by rigorous emotional turmoil, daily factors like work or school can also lead to continuous stress, which may pile up to have a profound effect on your mind and body. Stress tends to alter the brain chemistry by triggering hormones like Cortisol, Norepinephrine, Serotonin and many others that signal the nervous system and endocrine to put the body in a state of anxiety which leads to weakening of the ejaculation reflex arc.
Increased level of stress causes the heart rate to drop and the body is stimulated to produce excess blood sugar, adrenalin and chemicals. If your stress is caused due to work, your body will respond to it by diverting blood towards the important organs like hands and legs and your concentration might also improve under stress. However, stress can diminish your ability to enjoy sex, heighten your sensitivity to stimulation and pain and increase impotence.
How stress causes premature ejaculation
Stimulation of the sympathetic nerves and hormonal imbalance caused by stress create an urge to ejaculate. Generally, this urge is enhanced by mental and sensory stimulation till orgasm is reached. One is likely to engage in sex with an amplified urge to ejaculate because the nerves have already been exhausted which leads to an early climax. Men with premature ejaculation has shown significant impact on self esteem and self confidence and many people confirm high levels of anxiety connected to sexual or intimate situations with a partner.
In a recent-published survey investigating the female partner's perception of premature ejaculation and impact on relationship break ups, relationship quality and sexual satisfaction among females, many of them confirmed that premature ejaculation was the main reason for break ups.
Hormonal disturbances in Thyroid, Prolactine, Erectile dysfunction, Penile anomalies, Prostate disease, Lower urinary tract infection can also cause premature ejaculation.
Reducing stress is an important step to cure premature ejaculation. Premature ejaculation can be treated with medications, counseling, diet and exercises.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection i.e. ICSI is different from conventional IVF i.e. In Vitro Fertilization because a single sperm is selected by the embryologist to be injected by a needle into the egg rather than a dish with many sperms placed near the egg so that the fastest swimming sperm enters it. Once the sperm is injected directly into the egg, it fertilizes, after which the embryo is transferred into the womb or uterus.
Your doctor might recommend ICSI treatment for you if you have an extremely low sperm count resulting in infertility or other medical sperm conditions such as poor motility or poor morphology. It may also be suggested if prior attempts at IVF procedures have failed in fertilizing the egg or the fertilization rate is extremely low. You must also consider ICSI treatment if you resort to embryo testing or if the sperm needs to be collected from the epididymis or testicles surgically.
However, you must keep in mind that if your partner has a genetic problem resulting in low sperm count, it could be passed on to your child, if you decide to use your husband's sperm for this process.
Success Rates of ICSI:
The success rate of ICSI treatment depends on your age and your fertility problem. Your eggs are healthier when you are young and as you age, chances are that they will become less healthy.
1. 35 per cent if you are under 35 years of age
2. 29 per cent if you are between 35 to 37 years of age
3. 21 per cent if you are between 38 to 39 years of age
4. 14 per cent if you are between 40 to 42 years of age
5. 6 per cent if you are between 43 to 44 years of age
6. 5 per cent if you are above 44 years of age
Advantages of ICSI Treatment:
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection gives you a chance to conceive a child genetically when most other options are exhausted. Males may be unable to ejaculate on the day the eggs are collected due to anxiety. ICSI proves to be advantageous because sperm may also be surgically extracted for this process. It is extremely helpful for those couples who suffer from unexplained infertility. However, one of the most important factors is that ICSI treatment does not affect your child's physical or mental health.