Hope Reimagined: Innovative Infertility Solutions for Both Genders

When the aspiration of parenthood propels you forward, discovering that you or your partner are contending with a medical condition that hampers conception can be disheartening. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to bear in mind that receiving a diagnosis constitutes a fundamental stride towards surmounting your fertility obstacles.

 

Regardless of whether it’s male infertility, female infertility, or a combination of both that is impeding your path to parenthood, rest assured that there exist treatment possibilities aimed at enhancing your prospects of achieving pregnancy.

Male Infertility

If you’re a male who is concerned about your fertility following a year of unsuccessful attempts at natural conception, the initial course of action is to undergo a medical assessment of your fertility status.

 

To initiate this process, your healthcare provider will inquire about your medical history. During this conversation, it’s crucial to be open and forthright, sharing details about any prior injuries to your penis or testicles, as well as any past illnesses you might have experienced.

 

Additionally, your doctor might investigate potential hormone deficiencies, perform a physical examination, and/or request a semen sample from you. Although this procedure might elicit some discomfort, it plays a vital role in identifying any underlying causes contributing to infertility.

 

Depending on the results of your doctor’s evaluation and the diagnosis of an underlying cause, your treatment options can include[1]:

 

  • Lifestyle Changes

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and quitting substances like smoking can have a large, positive impact on fertility.

 

  • Medication

Medication is often used to regulate hormone levels in the case of a hormonal deficiency or imbalance, or erectile dysfunction.

 

  • Sperm Extraction

Sperm extraction is a surgical procedure to open the testicle and extract sperm. It can be an effective treatment for men whose ejaculate lacks sperm.

 

  • Varicocele Repair

Varicocele Repair is a microsurgical procedure suitable for men whose varicose veins surrounding the testicle become enlarged, trapping blood around the testicle and damaging sperm through heat.

 

  • Transurethral Resection of Ejaculatory Duct (TURED)

TURED involves the insertion of a small camera through the urethra to identify any obstructions in the semen’s path to exit the body. This is an appropriate treatment for men who have a blockage in the prostate of the ejaculatory duct. 

 

Female Infertility

If you are a female concerned about your fertility, your doctor may medically advise you to evaluate your fertility condition through[2]:

 

  • Ovulation Testing

At home ovulation kits can be used to determine when you are ovulating, identify if you have an irregular ovulation cycle, and if you have correctly estimated your fertility window. If you need more information, you can read about the importance of utilizing your fertility window here  , even if you have an irregular cycle.  

 

  • Ovarian Reserve Testing

There are a number of tests available to determine the quality and quantity of eggs available for ovulation, including hormone tests like the AMH and FSH tests, as well as imaging tests such as the antral follicle count during a transvaginal ultrasound.

 

  • Hormone Tests

Hormonal imbalances can cause difficulty getting pregnant due to the important roles a variety of hormones play in the conception process. These tests are also a helpful indicator of fertility-related conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premature Ovarian Failure.

 

  • Imaging Tests

There are a number of imaging tests that can identify underlying causes for female infertility, including hysterosalpingography, pelvic ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasound and saline infusion sonogram.

 

  • Genetic Testing

Genetic testing is used to determine if there may be any characteristics in your genes that may be causing or contributing to your infertility.

 

  • Laparoscopy

This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a thin viewing device into your body to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus.

Depending on the findings from these tests, your doctor may:

  • Prescribe fertility medication that regulates or stimulates ovulation
  • Suggest a surgical procedure to correct problems with the uterine anatomy and remove obstructions or adhesions

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

You may also consider Assisted Reproductive Technologies to boost your chances of getting pregnant. Two of the most effective ARTs are IVF and IUI procedures.

 

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

 

IVF is a treatment that involves the fertilization of eggs by sperm in a laboratory and the transfer of one or more embryos into the uterus. Although IVF can be costly, it is considered to be the gold standard of fertility treatments as it has the highest success rates among all the available fertility treatments. Additionally, research suggests that the chances of success continue to increase with more cycles[3].

 

IVF can suitable for couples who have not found success with other treatments, who need to screen embryos for genetic disorders or struggle with male or female fertility conditions such as fallopian tube blockages, diminished ovarian reserve, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or insurmountable sperm deficiencies.

 

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

 

IUI is a procedure that involves using a thin catheter to place sperm from a male partner into a woman’s uterus during ovulation. IUI has proven to be an effective treatment option, especially when coupled with fertility drugs, with success rates up to 17.6% for women under the age of 30 and 13% for women aged 31-38[4].

 

Intrauterine Insemination can be suitable for couples dealing with male infertility conditions such as low sperm counts or low sperm motility, as well as ovulatory dysfunction of unexplained infertility in women[5].

 

Whether you’re grappling with the repercussions of male infertility, female infertility, or a combination of both, it remains crucial to attune yourself to your body’s signals to maximize your prospects of achieving pregnancy. To gain further insights into the most suitable treatment options for your situation, consider seeking advice from your dedicated healthcare provider or commence by filling out our questionnaire.

References

 

[1] Infertility Treatments in Men. (n.d.). Northwestern Medicine. https://www.nm.org/conditions-and-care-areas/urology/infertility-female-male/treatments

[2] Female infertility – Diagnosis and treatment – Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/female-infertility/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20354313#:%7E:text=Medications%20that%20regulate%20or%20stimulate,LH)%20%E2%80%94%20to%20trigger%20ovulation.

[3] Belloc, S., Cohen-Bacrie, P., Benkhalifa, M., Cohen-Bacrie, M., De Mouzon, J., Hazout, A., & Ménézo, Y. (2008) Effect of maternal and paternal age on pregnancy and miscarriage rates after intrauterine insemination. Reprod Biomed Online, 17(3), 392-7.; Smith, A.D.A.C., Tilling, K., Nelson, S.M., Lawlor, D.A. (2015) Live-birth rate associated with repeat in vitro fertilization treatment cycles. JAMA. 314(24), 2654-2662.

[4] Merviel, P., Heraud, M.H., Grenier, N., Lourdel, E., Sanguinet, P., Copin, H. (2010) Predictive factors for pregnancy after intrauterine insemination (IUI): An analysis of 1038 cycles and a review of the literature. Fertil Steril. 93(1), 79-88.

[5] Starosta, A., Gordon, C.E. & Hornstein, M.D (2020). Predictive factors for intrauterine insemination outcomes: a review. Fertil Res and Pract., 6(23).

 

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