Tag - challenges in infertility treatments

Challenges during infertility treatments

Pregnancy is itself a very complex biological process. Even in this modern age, often all advanced fertility treatments fail to achieve the result.
Let’s discuss the challenges during infertility treatments –For any successful pregnancy three factors are important :
1. A healthy egg

The human egg has a very complex structure. Natural aging lowers the quality of eggs in women. Mostly abnormalities of eggs are observed in women in their 40s. If the egg is normal, you will have a healthy pregnancy but if it’s abnormal, there will be a problem in its fertilization & implantation in the uterus.

2. A healthy sperm

The structure of normal sperm is having an oval head with a long tail. If the sperm is abnormal, it may have wrong shaped head or twisted or curved tail. Due to an abnormal structure of sperm, it can’t reach to woman’s egg & fails in fertilization. In addition, the sperm count, its movement etc are also important factors for fertilization.

3. A uterus capable of nurturing the growth of a baby

Any abnormality of uterus includes – improper shape of the uterus which may cause preterm birth or miscarriage. Apart from that, uterine fibroids, endometriosis etc. can make complications in pregnancy.

With all these important factors in pregnancy, the other things which impact are the availability of all modern lab techniques & the expertise of infertility specialist.

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High Risk Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a challenging phase in a woman’s life. So, it’s essential to go through this phase smoothly. Unfortunately, pregnancy becomes more challenging for some women as it brings other health complications.
Generally, there are some factors which may be risk factors before pregnancy, like –
1. Age of pregnant woman- If the age of a woman is less than 17 or greater than 35, there are some complications like miscarriage & other genetic defects.
2. Other medical conditions – Medical conditions like high BP, kidney or heart problems, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis etc.

Risk factors during pregnancy-
1. Uterine anomalies – Problems related to uterus
2. Premature birth or multiple births
3. Fetal development problems

How to prevent these pregnancy risks?
1. Folic acid & vitamines intake as per the prescription
2. Eating a healthy diet & maintaining a healthy lifestyle
3. Regular checkup & following customized treatment plan if you have other medical conditions.

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Endometrium & Pregnancy

 

A hormone called estrogen plays an important role in a woman’s menstruation & pregnancy. It is responsible to thickening uterine lining each month. When the estrogen level is drop-down, the lining is released from the uterus and you get your period.

Endometrium goes through three phases during the typically 28-day menstrual cycle –

  1. Menstrual phase (days 1-5)

Typical thickness is 1-4mm

     2. Proliferative phase (days 6-14)

Typical thickness is 5-7mm

    3. Secretory phase (days 15-28)

Typical thickness is 7-14mm

Endometrium, the innermost layer of the uterus thus is an important factor during pregnancy. If it is less than 7mm, medical treatment is needed for a successful pregnancy.

In case of the thin uterine lining, conceiving is not a problem but continuation of the pregnancy is sometimes difficult. Fortunately, there are medicines available for increasing the endometrial thickening.

Some medical conditions like cancer, fibroids, and polyps can also cause the uterine walls to thicken.

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What is IUI Treatment?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple procedure of placing sperm into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. It helps healthy sperm get closer to your egg. This procedure is used for couples with unexplained infertility, male infertility issues, and women having cervical mucus problems.

What are the steps?

  1. Before starting the insemination procedure, some medications are given to stimulate ovulation.
  2. Semen is collected from your partner or a donor.
  3. Then a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen is collected.
  4. Then your doctor puts the sperm right into your uterus. Pregnancy happens if sperm fertilizes your egg and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of your uterus.

It is simple and generally less expensive fertility treatments. It increases your chances of pregnancy. Every human body is different. A treatment suitable for one may not work for others. So it is advisable to take an expert’s advice before planning to undergo any medical treatment.

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Why infertility is increasing?

What is infertility?

Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile.

 

Factors-

  • Age

There are many reasons behind the rise. Some are related to changes in our society. A few decades ago, most women had their first child at about 21. Today, that age is closer to 26 or 27. Many couples are waiting longer to start their families – they may want to finish their educations first, or get established in their careers. When people delay having a family, the passing years may include more exposure to environmental toxins and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, the older partners are, the more likely they are to have health problems and to get treated for them.

  • Physical incompetence in Women-

1.     Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

2.     Hormonal Factors

3.     Endometriosis

4.     STIs, other infections

5.     Unhealthy body weight

6.     Other unknown causes

  • Physical incompetence in Men-
  1.  Sperm transport disorder
  2.  Pre-existing genetic conditions 
  3. Hormone disorders 
  4. Injury to the groin area 
  5. Previous surgeries, such as hernia repair or vasectomy 
  6. Previous infections, especially STDs, urinary tract infections or a severe mumps infection after puberty. 
  7. Exposure to poisonous chemicals or radiation (most common in cancer survivors.) 
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