Coping with Infertility? You CAN get pregnant!
Infertility is a fairly common issue that affects almost 15% of all US couples at some point of their life. A lot of these couples are able to conceive naturally with mere lifestyle modification, while some may require treatment in the form of supplements and medications.
In still a small percentage, different assisted fertilization techniques are needed.
What Causes Infertility?
Infertility has multiple causes, which can usually be determined with your doctor:
Hormonal (imbalance of certain reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormone or other endocrine hormones that affect the integrity of reproductive system like insulin and thyroid hormone)
Physical (that deals with systemic issues like pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic adhesions, abnormalities of the uterus or fallopian tubes and other factors that interferes with the motility of egg or sperm across female genital tract)
Environmental that includes exogenous or endogenous toxins that destroy or damage the DNA of sensitive sperm or egg or zygote leading to infertility. These factors include cigarette smoke, alcohol, chemical exposure, radiations or other environmental agents.
What If All My Tests Come Back Saying I'm Healthy and Fertile?
There is also the prognosis of "indeterminate infertility", which means you and your partner are both fertile, and your doctor doesn't have a clue why you're not getting pregnant.
If this is the case, you should try holistic methods such as diet, nutrition, hormonal balance through herbal suppliments, acupuncture and acupressure. All these methods can help you get pregnant naturally.
There are two aspects of using pharmacological interventions for the treatment of infertility. One deals with treatment of the underlying pathology or systemic issue that is interfering with conception. The other deals with enhancing the chances of conception by promoting natural processes like ovulation, fertilization and implantation.
Depending upon the primary cause of infertility, special hormonal supplements can also be prescribed like:
Follicular Stimulating hormone (Bravelle)
Human chorionic gonadotropin (Ovidrel, Pregnyl)
Your healthcare provider will prescribe one or more of these medications depending upon your hormonal tests and bloodwork.
Apart from these medications that treat the primary hormonal deficiencies, other medications are the supplements that help to provide a better environment for the` stability of sperms and eggs.
These supplements include Folate, Calcium, Multi-vitamins, Zinc, Magnesium and others.
Assisted reproductive techniques:
If none of the above techniques are successful for a period of 2 years, you always have an option of utilizing assisted reproductive techniques such as:
This is a technique that is employed when the semen contains morphologically abnormal or unhealthy sperms. The semen samples are collected and are artificially concentrated to allow re-introduction within female genital tract. This process enables the delivery of more healthy sperms that are more capable of fertilizing the egg.
The procedure deals with introduction of a zygote (already fertilized egg and sperm in blastocyst stage) inside maternal womb. This is perhaps one of the most popular and widely used methods with very high success rate. IVF is employed in female partners, who are unable to conceive as a result of previous pelvic surgery, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometeriosis and other similar issues that limit the passage of sperm through female genital tract.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection:
This is another popular procedure that deals with direct injection of a healthy sperm into maternal ovum. Resulting product of Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is transported to maternal uterus for a healthy pregnancy.
The success rate of each procedure varies according to the maternal health, expertise of the healthcare provider and caution taken after the procedure.