Infertility is a disorder of the reproductive system, where a woman is unable to conceive after 12 months of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, below the age of 35 years. For women above 35 years, it is diagnosed after 6 months of unprotected intercourse.
Conception is a complex process that takes into consideration many factors, like
- The production of healthy sperm by the man
- Healthy eggs produced by the woman
- Unblocked fallopian tubes that allow the sperm to reach the egg
- The sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg when they meet
- The ability of the fertilized egg to become implanted in the woman’s uterus
- The growth of implanted embryos
Ultimately, for the pregnancy to grow to full term the embryo must be healthy, and the woman’s hormonal environment should complement the pregnancy. If any of these factors are impaired, then infertility can result.
Yes, infertility is a worldwide problem affecting 10-15 percent of the average population aged between 20-45 years. Every 1 in 6 couples is facing the problem of infertility.
Well, previously it was a belief that infertility is related to only women. But science has proved that infertility essentially may not be a woman’s problem always, as it has been observed that one-third infertility issues are due to female factors, and the other one-third is due to male factors. The remaining cases are because of both or due to unknown factors. Male factors are on rise nowadays and almost 50% problem is because of male factor
The majority of the male infertility cases more than 90% are due to low sperm counts, poor sperm quality, or both. The other remaining cases are due to anatomical problems, hormonal imbalances, and genetic defects.
Some of the most common problems with female fertility comprise of ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or issues with the cervix. Age can add to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility also tends to decrease naturally.
Yes. There are lots of factors that can affect fertility in both men and women. Some of them are outlined below.
- Weight, being overweight or underweight can affect male and female fertility.
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD) has an impact on both men and women that can cause infertility
- Smoking not only affects your general health but also adversely affects your fertility.
- Various occupational and environmental factors like exposing yourself to pesticides, metals and solvents can affect fertility in both men and women
- Stress has also been known as a contributor of infertility where due to stress a female experiences imbalance in her ovulation and a man is affected by limited sperm production
In about 15% of cases, a fertility specialist is unable to identify the reason for infertility, even after standard diagnosis and tests have been carried out. However, many treatment options are still available for couples struggling with unexplained infertility.
As already mentioned couples are recommended to take medical help if they are unable to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse. The doctor generally conducts a physical examination of the couple and speaks to them regarding their sexual habits in order to determine whether intercourse is taking place properly for conception. If no cause is identified, the doctor may probe into the case by conducting some hormonal tests, ovulation study , x-ray of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and Hystero-laparoscopy for women and semen analysis for men to understand the cause.
Modern medical facilities offer more treatment options for men and women trying to conceive. From lifestyle modifications, hormonal treatments, ovulation induction and Intrauterine insemination to more advanced technologies like in vitro fertilization, ICSI to surrogacy, egg/sperm donation and even embryo donation.
Generally, it depends on case to case. As the degree of infertility varies so does the cost. It entirely depends on what kind of treatment and tests that one goes through. But it is definitely way too less when compared with UK and US. It is highly recommended to consult your doctor regarding the treatment cost rather than believing on rumours about the infertility treatment cost.