Infertility Causes & Treatments : A Complete Guide

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  • 31 Mar, 2017

There are many forms of IVF treatment that are currently helping families achieve their dreams of having children. The variety of available treatment is growing rapidly as the field of medicine itself. Some treatments are more popular than others, but all of these have helped countless families add children to their lives. It gives hope to those who otherwise may not have hope of having their own biological children. Some of the most popular forms of IVF treatment will be discussed in this piece.

Popular Infertility Treatments:

Many people have asked it: What Is Infertility Treatment? Infertility treatments are a series of treatments such as Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISCI), IVF treatment, or Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) that help couples that are otherwise having trouble conceiving children have the opportunity to become more fertile. These are included as forms of Natural Treatment For Infertility For Females, as well as males who have low sperm counts or poorly sperm that are unable to properly fertilize the female’s egg.

1) Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISCI):
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISCI) is largely used for cases where there are questions about the sperm’s ability to fertilize an egg to help the woman conceive. ISCI is a better option than IVF in cases such as these. ICSI fertilizes both the egg and the sperm in the laboratory by direct injection of a single sperm into each egg. Then the eggs, which were retrieved in the same way they would have been for IVF, are left in the laboratory for three days before being placed in the uterus without requiring surgery. ICSI means that sperm previously too weak or few to penetrate the egg via IVF treatment can now penetrate the egg, and can be much more fertile.

If the woman has adequate eggs, the success of the fertilization rate is about 99% in total. This helps males who may have severely low sperm count help his spouse have the same chance of conceiving children. ISCI can inject almost otherwise “dead” sperm into a woman’s egg and create a high chance of fertility being possible. The procedure has led to the birth of over 1,000,000 babies so far.

The children born to these couples are turning out to be perfectly healthy and happy no matter how poorly the sperm of the father was. ISCI often costs about the same as the other forms of IVF treatment. Testicle biopsies can be used to retrieve sperm when sperm is present even in the state of ejaculation. Even a few dead or poorly sperm are enough to inject into the egg to get the female to be pregnant.

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2) In-Vitro IVF:
IVF is the most common and well-known type of infertility treatment. Sperm and eggs are fixed together in a petri dish, before the fertilized eggs are implanted into the uterus. Assisted hatching is a procedure also known as micromanipulation. This process alters the wall of an IVF egg to favor better implantation into the uterus. This is usually recommended to couples whose eggs are insufficient to complete the hatching process.
3) Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):
IUI involves a laboratory procedure to separate fast-moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm. It can be done with a partner or a donor’s sperm. IUI is offered when

  • you are using donated sperm in your treatment,
  • you are unable to have vaginal intercourse due to physical disability or psychosexual problems,&
  • you have a specific condition which means you require help to conceive. IUI is usually reserved for exceptional cases. IUI can only begin once it is determined the fallopian tubes are indeed open and healthy. This is determined by the tubal patency test as part of your assessment at the fertility clinic. This test is done via laparoscopy or a hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography (HyCoSy).

Common Female Infertility Treatment has it that if you are not using fertility drugs your IUI will be performed between day 12 and 16 of your monthly cycle. Blood and urine tests will be used to identity when you will begin ovulating. If you use fertility drugs, ultrasounds can determine the development of your eggs. Soon as an egg is mature you are given a hormone injection to stimulate the release. The sperm will be inserted 36-40 hours later. This process takes only a few minutes and is relatively painless. Doctors will have you rested for a short time before you may go home.

Common Male Infertility Treatment will have you share a sperm sample on the same day the treatment occurs. Sperm will be washed to remove fluid surrounding them, and then the rapidly-moving sperm will be separated from slower sperm. The rapidly-moving sperm will be placed in a catheter to be inserted into the woman’s womb. If using donated or frozen sperm it will be removed from frozen storage, thawed, prepared, and injected into the womb the same way.

Possible Causes Of Infertility:

1) Tubal Obstruction:
Fallopian tubes are thin tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. When these tubes get blocked, the fertilized egg is not able to get transplanted into the uterus. The most common reasons a woman has blocked fallopian tubes are from past infections. Most of these infections are sexually transmitted bacterial infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Consequences of these conditions can be pelvic inflammatory diseases which eventually cause tubal blockage. Other rarer causes of these conditions can include previous abdominal surgeries, previous ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages, and abortions.

2) Premature Ovarian Failure:
In this condition, the ovaries are unable to produce good eggs. This results in the inability to conceive. The hallmark lab finding in this condition is the high levels, if Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is found in the blood. With properly functioning ovaries, these levels are low after ovulation. This, finding at a young age, is indicative of insufficient eggs. If such a failure in the functioning of the ovaries is observed in woman aged 35 and over, it indicates that the quality of the person’s eggs are decreasing and not functioning at their ultimately prime levels.

3) Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS):
A common condition over the past decade PCOS is known to be one of the main causes of infertility in women. In this condition, women secrete a higher level than normal of male hormones, which results in irregular menstrual cycles.

4) Endometriosis:
This is a condition in which the uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. The causes for this condition are unknown. This results in cyclic abdominal pain during menses. Infertility can result from scarring of the ovaries or fallopian tubes, because of the abnormal endometrial tissue deposited on the structures. Distorted anatomy and inflammation of the pelvic structure can occur, as this uterine tissue is abnormally located.

5) Uterine Fibroids:
Fibroids are abnormal tissue growths from the uterus. They can either grow in the wall of the uterus or in the abdominal cavity. These are the more frequent causes of infertility. The reasons that lead to the formation of fibroids are highly unknown. However, many factors contribute of their growth like family history, age (over 30), multiple pregnancies, and being grossly obese.

6) Ovarian Cysts:
There are various kinds of cysts. Endometriosis and PCOS are the major causes for cyst formation and can also independently lead to infertility. There are other kinds of cysts that form from different layers of the ovaries. Unless these cysts grow extremely large as they are not directly linked with infertility.

7) Low Sperm Count:
While investigating causes in women, doctors will also conduct a semen analysis. The content of the semen is ideally checked, mainly checking for the number of sperm released per ejaculation.


IVF treatments have come a long way in the last several decades, and it will continue to advance as medical treatment advances in the future. IVF treatment may be costly, but it has helped many people achieve their dreams of having biological children. It will help many more families in the future.

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