If you have been trying for a baby for over a year but with no success, you need medical help.
Infertility or the inability to conceive can be due to either male or female causes and the treatment thus depends on the underlying reason.
We will deal with female infertility here.
Common causes of female infertility are:
- Advancing Age
- Blocked Tubes
- Premature ovarian failure
- Genital Tuberculosis
- Uterine fibroids/adhesions/masses
- Ovarian cysts and masses
- Overindulgence in alcohol, tobacco or drugs
- Overuse of certain contraceptive drugs/devices
- Unknown causes
Sometimes, a session of counseling and education about the process of conception and pregnancy does wonders for the couple.
Following certain basic tips can help one become pregnant if there is no underlying cause. However, in other cases, based on the cause involved, 3 basic types of infertility treatments can be done-
- Medications: For stimulating ovulation or healthy egg production as well as for treating hormonal/thyroid problems, various medications are prescribed. Also, certain fertility supplements can be given to improve one’s fertility. Menstrual irregularities mainly due to hormonal imbalance can also, be corrected by medications. Mild to moderate pelvic infections also, need antibiotics to restore health along with other fertility drugs.
- Surgery: Surgeries of the fallopian tubes to remove blockage/adhesions, draining out the fluid from the tubes may be done for the various conditions affecting the tubes. In certain advanced cases, one or both the tubes may be removed or a new tubal opening may be created.
Other surgeries such as removal of fibroids/polyps/cysts or tumors of the ovaries or uterus, etc may be needed to facilitate conception.
- Assisted Reproductive Technology: When the cause of infertility is untreatable by medication or surgeries or the above-mentioned treatment options do not prove fruitful, these assisted methods may still help in achieving a pregnancy.
- In-vitro Fertilization (IVF): The Most common and most successful technique, IVF involves the collection of the healthy eggs and sperm of the couple to incubate and fertilize them in a dish. The resultant fused embryo is then, implanted into the female’s uterus for continuing the pregnancy.
- Surrogates or Gestational carrier: In case the female uterus is not healthy enough to carry the pregnancy, the embryo can be implanted into a gestational carrier or the sperm of the male is fused with the egg of another female acting as a surrogate.
- Egg donor: For females who cannot produce healthy eggs, an egg donation may be sought. In the case, the egg from the donor is fertilized with the sperm of the male partner and the fertilized embryo is implanted into the female partner for further development.
Though medical science is very advanced and helpful in treating infertility, prevention is always better than cure.
Take the following precautions to boost your fertility:
- Maintain proper body weight
- Avoid sex with multiple partners
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, caffeine, and drugs
- Have a balanced diet rich in iron, folic acid, vitamins and minerals
- Maintain proper hygiene
Relax…..Preserve health…And Reproduce!!
Author: Dr. Shah Dupesh
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