Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse in women under 35, or after six months in women over 35, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term
Most physicians advise you not to be concerned unless you have been trying to conceive for at least one year. If the female partner is over 30 years old, has a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, painful periods, recurrent miscarriage, or irregular periods, it might be prudent to seek help sooner. If the male partner has a known or suspected low sperm count, then it would also be prudent to seek help sooner than waiting a year.
What is male infertility?
Reproduction (or making a baby) is a simple and natural experience for most couples. However, for some couples it is very difficult to conceive.
A man’s fertility generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm are of a poor quality, it will be difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to cause a pregnancy.
Male infertility is diagnosed when, after testing both partners, reproductive problems have been found in the male.
How common is male infertility?
Infertility is a widespread problem. For about one in five infertile couples the problem lies solely in the male partner.
It is estimated that one in 20 men has some kind of fertility problem with low numbers of sperm in his ejaculate. However, only about one in every 100 men has no sperm in his ejaculate.
What causes male infertility?
Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm production or sperm transport. Through medical testing, the doctor may be able to find the cause of the problem.
About two-thirds of infertile men have a problem with making sperm in the testes. Either low numbers of sperm are made and/or the sperm that are made do not work properly.
Sperm transport problems are found in about one in every five infertile men, including men who have had a vasectomy but now wish to have more children. Blockages (often referred to as obstructions) in the tubes leading sperm away from the testes to the penis can cause a complete lack of sperm in the ejaculated semen.
Other less common causes of infertility include: sexual problems that affect whether semen is able to enter the woman’s vagina for fertilization to take place (one in 100 infertile couples); low levels of hormones made in the pituitary gland that act on the testes (one in 100 infertile men); and sperm antibodies (found in one in 16 infertile men). In most men sperm antibodies will not affect the chance of a pregnancy but in some men sperm antibodies reduce fertility.
Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse.
About 10% of couples in the United States are affected by infertility. Both men and women can be infertile. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1/3 of the time, the diagnosis is due to female infertility, 1/3 of the time it is linked to male infertility, and the remaining cases of infertility are due to a combination of factors from both partner.
Both male and female factors contribute to infertility. Some studies suggest that male and female factors contribute equally. In many cases it may not be possible to definitely explain the reasons for infertility. It is essential that both the male and female partners be evaluated during an infertility work up.
When you have PCOS, it changes the hormonal pathways in your body that produce eggs and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. The three most important reasons why becoming pregnant, or staying pregnant may be more challenging for women with PCOS are:
-Women with PCOS often do not always ovulate.
-Women with PCOS tend to have irregular periods rather than “normal” predictable monthly cycles.
-When and if an egg is released, the endometrium (lining of the uterus) may not be sufficiently prepared to sustain the pregnancy.
Infertility can be treated with medicine, surgery, intra-uterine insemination, or assisted reproductive technology. Many times these treatments are combined. Doctors recommend specific treatments for infertility based on
-The factors contributing to infertility.
-The duration of infertility.
-The age of the female.
-The couple’s treatment preference after counseling about success rates, risks, and benefits of each treatment option.
Secondary infertility is the inability to get pregnant despite frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year in women under age 35 or six months in women age 35 and older , by a couple who have previously had a pregnancy. Secondary infertility shares many of the same causes of primary infertility.
Among the possible causes of secondary infertility are:
-Impaired semen parameters
-Fallopian tube damage, ovulation disorders, endometriosis and uterine conditions in women
-Complications related to prior pregnancies
-Changes in your and your partner’s risk factors, such as age, weight and use of certain medications
Are you concerned about secondary infertility? Take an appointment with our experts on 800900800 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Success rates for IVF depend on a number of factors, including the reason for infertility, where you’re having the procedure done, and your age. Women with top chances of IVF success have per-cycle success rates of 40% or higher, while the majority of women have per-cycle success rates of 20-35%. Having this perspective may help you think about trying more than one cycle, and feel less discouraged if the first one doesn’t work
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a reproductive technology used with an IVF cycle. PGD can be used for diagnosis of a genetic disease in early embryos prior to implantation and pregnancy. In addition, this technology can be utilized in the field of assisted reproduction for aneuploidy screening and diagnosis of unbalanced inheritance of chromosome abnormalities, such as translocations or inversions.
What are the benefits of PGD?
-PGD can test for more than 100 different genetic conditions.
-The procedure is performed before implantation thus allowing the couple to decide if they wish to continue with the pregnancy.
-The procedure enables couples to pursue biological children who might not have done so otherwise.
The primary goal of IVF is a successful pregnancy, and when the IVF treatment results in a baby, everyone is happy. However, we do need to remember that the outcome is always uncertain. The reality is, that at least 30 – 40% of the time it will not be successful. After the emotions settle, it is very important that we sit down and review the treatment cycle to try to learn more from the experience.
We need to evaluate the embryonic, immunological and environmental reasons for IVF failures:
1.Embryonic reasons will evaluate any potential problems with the eggs, sperm and/or embryos that might have resulted in the lack of pregnancy or miscarriage. Things such as the protocol (medications and dosages used), number of follicles, estrogen levels, size of follicles at the time that hCG was given, number of eggs obtained, egg maturity, fertilization rate, percentage of embryos that progress to blastocyst (implantation stage, typically day 5 or 6 of embryonic life) and quality of the blastocysts (this can include genetic testing of embryos) will be reviewed. Problems in this area might be due to egg quality or the type of stimulation utilized. Sometimes, adjustments can be made to the stimulation protocol that might ultimately improve embryo quality and pregnancy outcome.
2.Environmental factors are also an important aspect of the failed IVF cycle meeting. This area will include things such as the preparedness of the uterus (endometrial thickness and pattern/structure). If there have been multiple embryo transfers with good quality embryos & no positive pregnancy test, then further evaluation of the endometrium may be warranted. This may include a hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy to evaluate if the endometrial development is in synchronization with the embryo development and if the proper cell adhesion molecules are present to assist with implantation.
3.Immunologic factors can also be tested using parental blood and might include tests such as antiphospholipid antibodies if recurrent pregnancy losses have occurred.
4.The last but often the most important factor -Technical difficulty in the performance of embryo transfer, which is a rate limiting factor. It is an undeniable fact that not all fertility specialists are equally skilled at the performance of this critical step of the IVF process.
These areas will be discussed openly and honestly at your appointment so that any future IVF attempts can be individualized to improve the chances of a successful pregnancy.
How Aster IVF can help?
-Advanced protocols: Each couple will undergo an extensive analysis in order for us to better understand the cause of your infertility.
-A highly dedicated team of ART Clinicians and Embryologists are at your service right from the beginning of your specialized treatment saving your precious time from routine processes of general care
-An unequaled experience of our ART team, led by our Medical Director with 24 years of experience and Laboratory Director with 27 years of experience in this field.
-Consistent high-quality care with best systems & processes in place.
-A one-stop center with all facilities under one roof, to provide our patients with cutting-edge fertility solutions, for all their fertility dilemmas.
-State of the art technology including Time-Lapse Imaging of Embryos, PGS & PGD.
Age is no barrier in achieving many things. But it can reduce the chance of a woman getting pregnant and having a healthy baby. A woman’s age is the single most important factor affecting her fertility. As a woman ages, it takes longer to conceive and the risk of not being able to get pregnant increases. Also, the risk of miscarriage, and complications in pregnancy and childbirth increase.
-This gradual change in fertility is mostly due to a decrease in the number and quality of eggs in your ovaries.
-Non-ovarian pelvic factors. As you get older, you are more likely to have experienced other medical problems – such as endometriosis, fibroids, tubal disease or polyps which can reduce your fertility.
-The women are more prone to have co-existing medical conditions.
If your fertility treatment involves intra-uterine insemination (IUI), typically the process takes about two weeks. During these two weeks, your ovaries will be stimulated to produce follicles, ovulation will occur and thereafter an insemination is performed. In vitro fertilization (IVF), takes a bit longer, lasting anywhere from 4-6 weeks prior to egg retrieval. The embryos are then transferred anywhere from 3-5 days later.
Myth: “Infertility is a women’s problem”
Fact: This is untrue. It surprises most people to learn that infertility is a female problem in 35% of the cases, a male problem in 35% of the cases, a combined problem of the couple in 20% of cases, and unexplained in 10% of cases. It is essential that both the man and the woman be evaluated during an infertility work-up.
Myth: “Men don’t have infertility problems”
Fact: Though it’s commonly believed that infertility is a “women’s problem,” nothing is further from the truth. About 35 percent of all infertility cases treated in the United States are due to a female problem. But 35 percent (an equal number!) can be traced to a male problem, 20 percent to a problem in both partners, and 10 percent to unknown causes.
Myth: “Infertility means you can’t have a child”
Fact: Infertility means that you have been unable to have a child naturally after a year of trying. With the proper treatment, many people go on to have children. In addition, there is a possibility of a couple conceiving without treatment if the woman is ovulating and has one open tube, and the male partner has some sperm in his ejaculate. This rate may be lower than you would hope, but it is not zero. If you’re struggling with infertility, you undoubtedly have many questions of your own — and maybe even a few misconceptions. Schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist and find out where you stand. Thanks to modern medicine, many infertile couples become parents — and that’s no myth
Myth: “Stick to bed rest after embryo transfer”
Fact: There’s no need to put your life on pause after the embryo transfer. Doctors says this idea is an absolute myth. In fact, a study done in Egypt found that women who were on bed rest for 24 hours following a transfer had a lower success rate compared with those who returned to their usual routine. Another study found that even a short period of bed rest (about 10 minutes) isn’t helpful either. Doctors believe that bed rest can actually be detrimental because it prevents normal fluctuations in heart rate and blood flow.
Myth: “Stress lowers IVF success rates”
Fact: A study published in the March 2014 issue of Human Reproduction followed 401 couples who were trying to conceive. Researchers analyzed two stress biomarkers (alpha-amylase and cortisol) in women and discovered that those with high levels of alpha-amylase were twice as likely to be at risk of infertility. Based on the research, scientists believe stress can contribute to infertility, though it’s not necessarily a direct cause; other factors (like low sperm count and quality) could contribute to it.
Myth: “Special diets can boost your chances of getting pregnant”
Fact: There is no evidence that any specific diet (be it eating pineapple every day or never eating gluten) will increase your chances of success. All of our experts recommend following a healthy, balanced diet full of whole grains, lean protein, and fruits and vegetables to maximize your health and the health of the baby you are trying to conceive through IVF. It’s also important to get enough vitamin D each day. A 2014 study of 335 women found that vitamin D deficiency was possibly related to poor IVF outcomes. There is no single food, however, which will make you conceive
Myth: “There is no hurry to get pregnant! Look at all the women in the news having babies well into their 40’s and even 50’s!”
Fact: The vast majority of women who become pregnant after their 43rd birthday have used another women’s egg or even adopted an embryo to achieve conception. In addition, there are significant health risks to both the mother and the baby when she is of advanced reproductive age. These facts should not deter a woman from seeking consultation from her gynecologist or a reproductive specialist about her unique situation and potential for success.
Myth: “Wait a year before seeing a doctor.”
Fact: Regardless of whether you want to start or grow your family today or several years down the road, it’s never too early to begin talking to your doctor about your fertility. Particularly if you and your partner are age 35 or older, if you have frequently irregular periods or conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), if you have had surgery or other conditions that might alter your fertility, or if the male partner has reason to believe he may have a low sperm count, it’s best to talk with your doctor about your options in advance.
IVF LITE or Minimal Stimulation IVF is another method that can be used to help women get pregnant with minimal risks and low cost. IVF LITE is an excellent ART tool, which bridges the gap between Natural Cycle IVF and conventional IVF.
It is most useful for:
-Women with low ovarian reserve (poor responders).
-Women with previous multiple IVF failures.
-Women above the age of 40.
-Women with previous OHSS and PCOS patients (Hyper-responders).
-Women with Endometriosis
What are the advantages of IVF LITE?
IVF LITE advantages over conventional IVF
-A simpler treatment schedule
-Producing fewer eggs but eggs of higher quality
-Patient acceptability of the milder stimulation protocols is better.
-IVF LITE gives pregnancy rates (PRs) comparable with conventional IVF in patients with a normal ovarian reserve.
-IVF LITE gives pregnancy rate much better than conventional IVF in Older patients, patients with previous conventional IVF failures, patients with poor responders and hyper-responders.
-Another advantage of IVF LITE is that it can reduce the multiple pregnancy rate and also cut the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation.