Infertility is a condition where the woman is unable to get pregnant due to pressing problems persisting in her reproductive organs. This includes her inability to ovulate due to conditions such as polycystic ovaries that causes irregular menstruation, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, or a condition called endometriosis due to which an extra tissue develops outside the uterus. (This condition can be cured through surgery). Defects related to reproduction equally exist in men and this happens when the man has low or poor sperm-count.
Though there are treatments available for both men and women, the couple has to make sure that they do not procrastinate, as post 35, a woman gradually loses her ability of becoming pregnant. Treatment for women includes the consumption of fertility drugs which induce ovulation. Artificial Insemination is another process and in some cases surgeries are also recommended for women before conception.
Costlier treatments are available for those who do not obtain success from the regular methods. The umbrella term under which such procedures are constituted is called Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). In vitro fertilization is the most common type of ART. Techniques that constitute in vitro fertilization include Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, assisted hatching and surrogacy.
Infertile men may be asked to alter their life-style to stimulate a surge in sperm-count; some might have to undergo a surgery while for others sperm-count stimulating medicines might work. In such cases where the level of sperm found in the ejaculated fluid is zero, a technique called sperm retrieval can be implemented where sperm is retrieved from the testis through surgery.
Modern methods do encourage the process of reproduction but neither of them vouches for the fact that the woman will get pregnant. However, in recent times improved technology has caused inflation in the rates of success.
Reproduction is a major component in the entire spectrum of a human life and the inability to procreate often takes a toll on a person’s emotional health. But there are lots of treatments that a couple can consider to overcome infertility.
Fertility drugs that might come in the form of injection shots or pills are the most common measures that help a woman to reproduce. These medicines encourage egg production and make the uterus fit for the artificial placing of embryo. In many cases these drugs are enough to make a woman pregnant. They are cheaper in price when compared to other reproduction-inducing treatments.
Artificial Insemination or Intrauterine Insemination is another process that goes hand in hand with the consumption of fertility pills. Washed or purified sperms are injected into the woman’s uterus via a catheter. It is best for those women whose partners suffer from low-density sperm count. It is also a good option for those women whose cervical mucus is too dense or acidic to allow sperm to travel. In most cases pregnancy occurs after the sixth cycle of treatment.
Other formats of fertility treatments where the physiological (reproductive) samples of either of the parents or both are replaced by samples of someone other than the biological parent(s) include Donor Eggs, Donor Sperm, Donor Embryos and Surrogacy. These are best for those who suffer from unexplained infertility or anomalies that they do not wish to pass on to the children.
In vitro fertilization is the most talked-about and expensive among all the fertility treatments. In this the egg of a woman is retrieved and it is practically incubated in a lab with the help of a healthy sperm. Once it develops into an embryo it is placed in either the uterus or the fallopian tubes.
A woman who suffers from the inability to become pregnant after a couple of trials is fit for undergoing fertility treatments. Similarly a man who is affected by low-density sperm count, owing to which his partner fails to conceive, might consider fertility treatment.
Women post the age of 35 are usually dissuaded from undergoing fertility treatments as with age women lose the ability to become pregnant. Despite the existence of various methods cases of unexplained infertility are not uncommon. For these people nothing might work. Those women who are disinclined toward conceiving multiple babies shall not go for fertility treatments, as, multiple birth is a common side effect of these treatments.
The most common side effect of infertility treatments is multiple births resulting in premature delivery. Other factors include fatigue, nausea, bloating and development of ovarian cysts that could result from the intake of fertility drugs. Insertion of developed embryos into the fallopian tubes could be a risky process and recovery time might be longer than usual. Processes like surrogacy, donor embryo and donor eggs entail a lot of legal miscellanies, not to mention the personal stress. Apart from that these treatments often come with a rigorous regimen that patients need to follow in order to attain success. Moreover, fertility treatments do not warrants positive result. In some cases they just fail to work.
Women undergoing fertility treatments face higher chances of giving birth to premature babies. In such cases the baby needs to be kept under special care, often, under the guidance of the obstetrician for quite a few days before it is handed over to the parents. Even the mother can face certain problems after undergoing fertility treatments, like she can develop ovarian cysts or unexplained bloating. To combat these conditions dosages of medicines might continue for long even after pregnancy. To get proper post-pregnancy guidelines the concerned doctor(s) who have performed the fertility treatment need to be consulted.
Women who undergo such treatments where the embryo or embryos are placed in the fallopian tubes utilizing laparoscopic surgery have higher chances of facing assisted medical problems and often the recovery time in such cases become longer than usual. In many cases fertility treatments just do not work. In a circumstance like that recovery in terms of getting back ones psychological integrity and stability become more of a challenge than recovering health-wise. Therefore, couples must look in to both the advantages and downsides of fertility treatments before stepping out.
The cost of In Vitro Fertilization starts from Rs. 65,000 and can go up to Rs. 3, 00000 based on the kind of facility and the reputation of the facility. Artificial Reproductive Technologies are often assisted by the prescription of fertility drugs which can be as low as 415 Rupees or as high as 6000 Rupees depending upon the requirement of the patient. Procedures such as surrogacy, donor sperm, embryo eggs etc could be of any range and is subject to the demands of the donor.
If the fertility treatment works and everything goes fine with the health of the baby secured, the result will have permanency. However, in some scenarios it has been observed that children born out of fertility treatments have developed anomalies in their later lives. But the argument has no valid ground as this can occur in anyone, naturally born or otherwise.
To be precise, the result of fertility treatments could be either positive and enduring, or negative, bringing about no result at all.
There are many alternatives that may work to ease up the process of pregnancy; however, they are not foolproof methods assuring a positive result. Acupuncture is a very popular therapy and it can produce positive result when assisted with IVF treatment. Popular singer Celine Dion sought the help of acupuncture beside undergoing IVF treatment after a failed pregnancy and she gave birth to twin healthy babies as a result of it.
Rs . 2000 - Rs 2,50,000
In vitro fertilization or IVF technology assists millions of infertile women and couples worldwide to have babies of their own. fertility problems can be of various types and origins can be congenital, acquired or accidental. However, they come as a great deterrent and source of unhappiness in the lives of people. To overcome that deficit, assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) were developed.
IVF is one of the most popular, with one of the highest success rates, and here are 4 of its primary benefits:
• It Provides Couples Relief from Infertility
There are a lot of couples who are unable to conceive and start a family of their own due to problems in either the man or the woman’s body. As a result of disease or injury, fallopian tubes may be blocked, sperm count may be low or uteruses may be damaged. IVF helps couples bypass these difficulties smoothly.
• It Provides Great Support to Single Mothers
There is a lot of social stigmas associated with single motherhood, and the question of conceiving just adds to their troubles. There are many reasons a woman may choose to embark on single motherhood. She may have been constrained financially or emotionally, too much for taking on a partner, or she may just choose to live a life that way. Society doesn’t empathise, but IVF makes their job of conception much easier and absolves them of the need to find a male.
• High Chances of Achieving Objectives
Translated to simpler language, this means high success rates. In fact, the success rates of IVF procedures are the highest among all ARTs. Granted, it does not work in all cases and some people routinely report failure. To fix this, the therapist and the patients themselves have to ensure the entire cycle is completed and is carried out under textbook conditions.
• The Ability to Pick and Choose, and a Cheaper Option
This is a medical procedure which actually gives one the option to pick and choose future children. Tests are run to determine whether life-threatening conditions like genetic anomalies are present in the embryo the couple has conceived. If any are detected, they are immediately arrested and a healthier embryo is set up for growth. Moreover, in many cases, your health insurance will pay for your IVF, making it incredibly cheap.
IVF is a much-needed boost to the medical industry in the form of helping infertile couples to give birth to healthy babies. It takes place in a laboratory under controlled conditions and has a host of benefits even above and beyond helping people conceive.
Egg Freezing, which is also known as mature oocyte cryopreservation, refers to the method through which reproductive potential is restored among women. Eggs get harvested from the ovaries, frozen and in an unfertilized manner and are stored for purpose of using them later on. The egg freezing procedure is recommended for those women, who would like to delay conceiving baby due to various kinds of reasons.
Before the freezing of eggs, it is important to first retrieve the eggs. Let us look at how the eggs are retrieved, followed by the procedure of egg freezing through two different ways.
Retrieval of Egg
Egg Retrieval takes place just like it is done in case of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women would need to be put under medication for hormones or through injections, which shall lead to the stimulation of ovaries, leading to more eggs getting matured. After this women would receive the necessary medication to stimulate ovulation and then the extraction of eggs takes place through the use of a needle. Specialists perform this whole procedure by putting women under the effect of anesthesia and are also guided by ultrasounds. Once the extraction is completed, the freezing takes place.
There are two different techniques involved in the egg freezing process. They include:
Slow Egg Freezing Method
A substance called cryoprotectant is used in order to protect the biological tissues from getting damaged out of freezing. This slow freezing method of getting eggs freezed relies on low initial concentrations of crytoprotectant. The cryoprotectant in low concentration is introduced when the egg is at a relatively warm temperature and still continues to experience the usual functions of a living cell. Then the cryptoprotectant would spread all throughtout thus fill the egg, hence replacing most of the water inside the egg. The egg is then inserted into a small container made of plastic and ultimately get placed inside a cooling chamber. The lowering of temperature, to around -6 degree centigrade, takes place through injecting very tiny amounts of liquid nitrogen into the cooling chamber. The cooling process is controlled by a computer.
The main purpose of these techniques is to avoid ice crystals from getting formed in the egg. During the spreading of the cryoprotectant, if the ice crystals are still present, they can cause damage to the egg and hence the egg may not survive the process of thawing. Then the temperature is lowered further to around -32 degree centigrade. By this time, the egg’s metabolic rate become slow. The container where the egg was placed, is then dipped inside the liquid nitrogen, forming a solid.
Rapid Egg Freezing Method or Vitrification
At the time of rapid freezing method, there is high concentration of initial cryoprotectant whereas the cell remains at room temperature. The egg is unable to stay for long in this temperature and thus gets poured immediately onto the liquid nitrogen. Cryoprotectant spreads at a rapid rate so as to avoid ice-crystal from getting damaged. Vitrification is a very new method for freeing eggs. Recent research has shown that vitrification of eggs largely improves the possibility for survival after thawing and the rates of pregnancy.
The freezing of sperm and embryos has been recognized for long as way to pursue treatments for fertility later on in life. Nowadays, the new techniques for freezing of eggs have lead to greater success. Due to this reason, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine no longer takes egg freezing as a procedure for experimental purposes.
Ideal Candidates for Egg Freezing
Now, we look into the candidates, who are ideal for going through the process of egg freezing. They include:
Women Who Intend To Put Off Childbearing: Generally fertility tends to decline with the advancement of age in women. Along with that, women who are in their twenties or thirties have less risk of miscarriage taking place and giving birth to babies with defects, in comparison to aged women. This happens mainly because of the increase in the percentage of embryos with abnormalities in chromosome, which occurs with advancement of age. Due to the problems that are associated with reproductive aging, a lot of women have preferred to use donor eggs, in order to increase their possibilities of bearing a child. Though this is an extremely effective method, yet the choice becomes hard to make as it involves the greatest amount of sacrifice.
Egg Freezing for Cancer Patients: Egg Freezing can be an extremely useful proposition for those who are diagnosed with cancer. The health data from 2001 onwards in the United States shows that around 8% of women who have been diagnosed with cancer, were aged below 40 years. The year 2007, saw an estimated 180,000 women getting diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Around 5% of all those women who were aged below 40 years during the time of diagnosis, have never had the chance of becoming pregnant. Most of these women have stayed single. Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, 81% of those young women, who would go through treatments in the form of chemotherapy and radiation will remain alive and be free of ailments after a period of 5 years.
An unfortunate thing for all these women, who are in the childbearing age, chemotherapy and radiation would cause serious damage to the follicles which are in the process of getting matured in the ovaries.
Now, if a woman who has been diagnosed with cancer, looks to get involved with a male partner to conceive but still not ready to go for pregnancy, the ideal option would to create embryos through In Vitro Fertilization or IVF and go on to freeze the embryos. Embryo Cryptopreservation has gone on for year in a successful manner and is now known as the gold standard in preserving fertility.
Egg Freezing for Soldiers: Soldiers are also possible candidates, who could be ideal for egg freezing but unfortunately they tend to get overlooked. These people are often vulnerable towards getting pelvic injuries, which cause damage to their reproductive systems. Military records have shown that since the year 2003, well in excess of 1800 members, most of whom were Army troops, in Afghanistan and Iraq have gone on to suffer such injuries. There are cases when these injuries might well make a soldier incapable of bearing children.
The In-vitro-Fertilization method has revolutionized reproductive technology and has made natural conception possible for so many expectant families. Despite its popularity, many individuals still fail to see to their well-being during treatment. Not only does it affect the probability and success of conception, it can also lead to further mental stress that can only be destructive towards your psychological health and perhaps your upcoming pregnancy. Here are a few ideas on how you can best take care of yourself during the treatment period:
1. Proper Sleep
A sufficient amount of sleep every night goes a long way to ensuring a peaceful state of mind. As you are anticipating conception, you should schedule your timings such that you can sleep for at least 8 hours every night. Additionally, adopt a nightly ritual so you can ease yourself into bed at a regular time every night. This allows your body clock to be standardized through the treatment period and provide you with optimal energy for the day.
2. Keep Hydrating
Fluids are ideal for flushing out the negative toxins from your body. As a result of the treatment, your body is going through a number of chemical and biological changes. Thus water and other fluids like vegetable and fruit juices help your body maintain a healthy count of blood cells and ward off side effects that may arise during the IVF treatment.
Clinical tests have proven that certain acupuncture procedures strengthen the flow of blood into the uterus and the ovaries. Most specialists recommend that you undergo a session of acupuncture the day of the embryo transfer so that you do not activate your stress hormones. As IVF treatments often become quite trying for the couple in question, you might want to try this method to release anxiety.
4. Take Walks
Though it is not recommended that you exert yourself too much physically, engaging in light walks should only help you ease into your IVF cycle. Not only will it maintain your balance and coordination, it can also improve your mood and help you maintain an appropriate weight for conception.
Even if you may not realize it at the time, this period could turn out to be one of the most significant periods of your life. Becoming a mother is a complex challenge yet a wonderful privilege and you might want to document your experiences while you are going through the treatment. Not only is it incredibly soothing, it might help you prepare for your upcoming journey by letting you recognize and accept your emotions.
Andrology is the male equivalent of gynecology, which refers to the study of the female reproductive system and sexual health. Unlike its female counterpart, andrology is not very widely used. Urology is a more popular known specialty for male urinary and reproductive issues.
Read on to understand some of the common issues and procedures that come under the purview of andrology.
These are the major conditions encountered by andrologists. This specialty has gained popularity over the last few decades and is only set to get more popular in the coming years.