Treating infertility resulting in a successful pregnancy is not difficult anymore. The couples have the luxury to choose among several available options such as in vitro fertilization, fertility medication, and surrogacy, depending upon the severity of being infertile. The techniques that assist in such treatment procedures are called the Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART).
While there are various known Assisted Reproduction Techniques available, the cause of infertility is the deciding factor for the type of technique that should be used during the treatment.
Causes of infertility among couples-
The causes of infertility are sometimes readily determined in some couples while in some others it remains a mystery. Obtaining a thorough physical examination is crucial in evaluating the couple and understanding the possible cause of infertility. Male factor testing and ovulatory function testing are often recommended to detect the cause of infertility and determine which assisted reproduction technique can be most suitable.
Assisted Reproduction Techniques-
- In vitro fertilisation: In vitro fertilisation, commonly known as IVF, is the process of fertilising single or multiple eggs outside the body. This treatment can be performed by either using your own egg and sperm or using donated egg or sperm or sometimes both. The resulting sperms and eggs are evaluated for quality and then one or more of them are positioned properly in the uterus through the cervix. IVF is regarded as one of the most commonly opted treatment plans, and it accounts for more than 99% of assisted reproductive technology processes.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This is one of the primary assisted reproduction techniques, which involve the collection of the sperm, followed by preparation of the sperm in the laboratory, which is then inserted it into the uterus of the willing-to-be mother. Before the process takes place, doctors recommend undergoing tests of tubal patency. One can undergo a cycle of IUI with or without fertility drugs for the woman, depending on individual health. One of the most prominent reasons for undergoing this procedure is when a male produces low sperm count or have very low motility of sperms. Presence of hostile cervical mucus is inappropriate for becoming pregnant. It can occur due to the substance abuse where the adverse effects of drug consumption are prevalent such as infertility producing drugs, imbalance of hormones and other infections. Hostile mucus can be acidic, contain inflammatory cells or antibodies that can cause harm to sperms and maybe excessively thick, dry or sticky in physical appearance. This is another reason for undergoing this procedure. Also, painful sexual intercourse due to complications such as the dryness of the vagina, cysts in ovaries and endometriosis (where a female experiences severe pain and cramps during menstruation or ovulation), unusually tight hymen, any cancerous tissue, etc. can be the reasons that make it nearly impossible for her to get pregnant. And this procedure can be utilized.
- In Vitro Maturation (IVM): In this process, the immature eggs are collected from the ovary of a woman during the natural and unstimulated menstrual cycle. Then the eggs are fertilized in the laboratory, and after attaining sufficient maturity, multiple embryos are created for development. IVM can be done in stimulated cycles as well.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: The Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or the ICSI method involves the selection of a single sperm, which is eventually injected into the egg. It is an invasive process, and the selection of the sperm plays a pivotal role in the success of the process.
It is essential to consult with IVF specialist to determine the assisted reproduction process that is best suited for you.
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