Infertility - A ray of hope
This is the first time we’ve solved all the problems at once. We’re at the end of the beginning ? not the beginning of the end. These were the words of Sir Patrick Steptoe in 1978 at the announcement of the birth of Louise brown, the world’s first IVF (test tube) baby. It was an important milestone along the way to what is now an important and internationally recognized treatment option for some infertile couples.
Normal fertility is usually defined as achieving a pregnancy within 1 year, by regular coital exposure. It is estimated that 85-90% of couples achieve pregnancy in 2 years and the 10-15% experience some form of infertility. The range of patients who are suitable for treatment by assisted conception is continually increasing. We encourage both the partners to attend the primary consultation together and thoroughly investigate them as a unit. About 50% of the couples that get expert help for this achieve pregnancy within 2 yrs of treatment. At present about 40-45% of couples attending the center have a problem of male factor. There is now a comprehensive series of sperm function tests, which are designed to find defects in sperms. On the female side laproscopy, IUI (intrauterine insemination), embryo donation, IVF, ICSI etc. have given hope to many couples who previously had none.
Female Infertility ? Risk Factors.
- AGE- At the age of 25, there is a 75 % chance of getting pregnant in the first 6 months. At 4o yrs it is only 22%.
- WEIGHT- Excess of estrogen (female hormone) is secreted by the fat cells. This can alter the reproductive process and cause infertility.
- EMOTIONAL FACTORS ? stress, depression is directly known to hamper the fertility.
Causes of Female Infertility.
Causes can be found in 70-80 % of the cases, the rest have normal investigations, yet cannot conceive.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease ? This includes a variety of infections of the uterus, tubes and ovaries leading to scarring, abcesses, beaded and non-functioning tubes or blockage of tubes. If Tuberculosis is suspected, it should be treated. Normally, infected and damaged tubes do not respond to treatment.