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Infertility: How Best to Treat It?

Reviewed by
Dr. Radhika Kandula 93% (118 ratings)
MBBS, DNB (Obstetrics and Gyneacology), FNB Reproductive Medicine
Gynaecologist, Kolkata  •  18 years experience
Infertility: How Best to Treat It?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. For women aged 35 and older, inability to conceive after 6 months is generally considered infertility. Repeated pregnancy loss (2 or more spontaneous pregnancy losses) can also be considered infertility. Recent estimates indicate infertility affects 10-15 percent of the population in their childbearing years.

If you experience recurrent pregnancy loss, or if you have not been able to become pregnant within a year (six months if the woman’s age is over 35, 2-3 months if over 40), then you may benefit from assessment and treatment by a reproductive endocrinologist - a doctor with a special interest, training and expertise in the area of infertility. It’s a state that results in the abnormal functioning of the male or female reproductive system.

The causes for infertility could be:

  1. Male factor - erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, problems with quality, count and quantity of semen

  2. Female factor - tubal factor, ovulatory problems, abnormality of uterus, hormonal imbalance 

  3. Antisperm antibodies

The prime symptom is very obvious i.e. unable to have baby despite of having sex without any contraceptives.

Factors affecting fertility:

  1. Age: Female fertility gradually declines in the 30s, particularly after age 35. Each month that she tries, a healthy, fertile 30-year-old woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant.

  2. Smoking: It increases risk of getting infertile and reduces the chances of treatment.

  3. Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol is said to lower the sperm count in men.

  4. Obesity: An overweight person has a higher chances of having sperm abnormality.

  5. Workout: Less or very heavy work out is said to increase the chances of infertility.

  6. Mental Stress: Studies suggests that ovulation and sperm production may be affected by mental stress. If at least one partner is stressed it is possible that the frequency of sexual intercourse is less, resulting in a lower chance of conception.

  7. Sexually Transmitted Infections can also adversely affect the fertility of a person.

When to take further advice and course of action?

In case the women trying to conceive is less than 35 years of age, then 12 months and if more than 35 years, then in 6 months itself one needs to get in touch with the Specialist/Reproductive Endocrinologist/Gynaecologist or a Urologist for a complete diagnosis.

Many cases of apparent infertility are treatable. Infertility may have a single cause in one of the partners, or it could be the result of a combination of factors in both men and women.

There are many treatments available that improve the chances of having a baby. Such treatments include:

  1. Hormones Treatment

  2. Drugs for fertility

  3. Surgery in some cases

Also one the oldest form of medications such as Ayurveda as well as Homeopathy is said to have a wonderful treatment of Infertility. With the developments in medical sciences, there are lot of treatments available; however, such treatments sometimes become the victim of their own success causing multiple births – Two, Three or may be more.

Some Assisted Treatments are:

  1. Intrauterine insemination

  2. In Vitro Fertilization

  3. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection

  4. Donation of Sperm or Egg

  5. Assisted Hatching

  6. Electric or Vibratory Stimulation to achieve ejaculation

  7. Surgical Sperm Aspiration

It is important to understand the complete treatment before going ahead and be aware of the possible outcomes and be psychologically ready.

Please do not keep it to yourself and consult an expert. Never go for self medication!

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