What is infertility and what causes it?

Do you think I am suffering from infertility?

Understanding what defines normal fertility is crucial to answering this question. Most couples (approximately 85%) will achieve pregnancy within one year of trying, with the greatest likelihood of conception occurring during the earlier months. Only an additional 7% of couples generally conceive in the second year.
If you are a couple that have been trying for over a year unsuccessfully, then it is advisable to seek help.

What is a good time frame for a period of trying to get pregnant? At what point should I consider seeking help?

A good time frame that is advised world-over is one year (also discussed in detail in the above question). After a year, we recommend to meeting an ART specialist.

How common is infertility

Infertility, inability to conceive is not an uncommon problem. It affects 15 per cent of couples worldwide.

Is infertility just a woman's problem?

While the causes for infertility might seem more for women, they are just more varied. There is no data to suggest that it is a woman’s problem. Men are equally responsible as well.

If men can also suffer from infertility, what causes infertility in men?

There are several causes for male infertility, however they all cause the sperm in the semen to be unable to fertilize the egg. The general causes are:

  An inherited disorder
  Hormonal imbalance
  Dilated veins around the testicle
  A condition that blocks the passage of sperm

What increases chances of infertility? (Lifestyle and health issues)

Studies have indicated that lifestyle factors can impact on reproductive performance. Habits such as:

  Smoking by women
  High levels of alcohol consumption
  High levels of caffeine consumption
  Obesity for men

However, it is indicated that stress doesn’t cause infertility.

Testing for Infertility

How will doctors find out if a woman and her partner have fertility problems?

The general process begins with a thorough check of your fertility history and then there is a physical examination. At this stage the doctor is likely to ask several questions like

  How long have you been trying to get pregnant?
  How often are you having intercourse?
  Do you have pain with menstrual periods or intercourse?
  Have you been pregnant before? What happened with your prior pregnancies?
  Have you had any sexually transmitted infections or abnormal pap smears?
  How often do you have menstrual cycles?
  Do you have any medical problems or prior surgeries?
  Do you have a family history of medical problems?

The information from all these questions and the physical examination will help us get the right start to resolving the issue.

What kind of tests are we talking about? Are they safe?

The general tests for women at this stage of the process include,

  Laboratory testing – Depending on the results of the evaluation discussed above, we at GTB may request specific blood tests. The most common of these tests include measurements of blood levels of certain hormones which are related to ovarian function and overall egg numbers.

  Transvaginal ultrasound – Ultrasound is an important tool in evaluating the structure of the uterus, tubes, and ovaries. Ultrasound is an effective way to detect uterine abnormalities such as fibroids, polyps and ovarian abnormalities including ovarian cysts.

  Additionally, transvaginal ultrasound affords the opportunity for your physician to assess the relative number of available eggs. This measurement is called the antral follicle count and may correlate with fertility potential.

  Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – This test is vital for evaluating the fallopian tubes, uterine filling defects such as fibroids and polyps, and scarring of the uterine cavity (Asherman syndrome). Many uterine and fallopian tube abnormalities detected by the HSG can be surgically corrected.

At GTB we make sure to conduct the test with the highest amount of care and safety. We always make sure that at no point of time is anything less than the perfect required conditions for testing.

What is the timeline for results? How soon can I know?

The timelines for results vary from person to personas the tests prescribed vary from case to case. We try our best to give results at the earliest but also make sure that there is no room for error.

Can something be done to help me conceive?

There are several processes that can help one conceive. We at GTB offer the latest that artificial reproductive technology permits. Our methods include:

  Medications to induce egg development and ovulation
  Intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI
  In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In vitro means “outside the body.”
  Third party reproduction (sperm donor and oocyte donation programmes)

Treatments and Assistance

How is infertility treated / managed?

The general methods to treat infertility are:

  Medications to induce egg development and ovulation
  Intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI
  In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In vitro means “outside the body.”
  Third party reproduction (sperm donor, surrogacy)

What are the various treatments available for infertility in women?

The general methods apart from the use of IUI and IVF include:

  Taking hormones to address a hormone imbalance, endometriosis, or a short menstrual cycle
  Taking medications to stimulate ovulation
  Using supplements to enhance fertility
  Taking antibiotics to remove an infection
  Having minor surgery to remove blockage or scar tissues from the fallopian tubes, uterus, or pelvic area.

Male infertility is first diagnosed by performing semen analysis and then the following can be considered:

  Surgery
  Treating infections
  Treatments for sexual intercourse problems
  Hormone treatments and medications
  Assisted reproductive technology (ART)

What is IUI? Is it safe?

Intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI, is a process by which sperm is washed and prepared for placement into the uterine cavity, therefore bypassing the cervix and bringing a higher concentration of motile sperm closer to the tubes and ovulated egg. In order to accomplish this, the semen is washed with a solution safe to sperm and eggs, and then centrifuged to separate motile sperm from immotile sperm and other cells. Those motile and viable sperm are then placed in a very small amount of solution, and then very gently and painlessly injected into the uterine cavity using a very thin, soft, and flexible catheter.

IUI is a very safe process and has a success rate of 10 - 15% for conception. Read more about IUI

What is ART? How safe is it?

Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is used to treat infertility. It includes fertility treatments that handle both a woman's egg and a man's sperm. It works by removing eggs from a woman's body. The eggs are then mixed with sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back in the woman's body. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common and effective type of ART.

AT GTB we make sure to conduct IVF procedures with utmost care and ensure that they are the safest possible. Read more about IVF

How often is ART successful?

While younger women have higher chances of ART success, factors that reduce the chances of ART success include being an older woman with fewer eggs and the lower quality of an older woman's eggs. In fact, the live birth IVF success rate for women under 35 who start an ART cycle is 40 percent.

What is the easiest treatment for female infertility?

The best processes to treat infertility are the techniques of IUI (discussed above) and IVF (discussed above). However, we would like to point out that we try our best to give the best suited procedures for every patient and thus treatments often vary from case to case.

What are the things I should be prepared for? Tests, medications etc.

Our patients have to be generally prepared for some medication and a few tests. However, we request our patients to be as honest with us as possible I order for us to treat you in the most effective and efficient way.

What are the things I should be prepared for? Tests, medications etc.

Our patients have to be generally prepared for some medication and a few tests. However, we request our patients to be as honest with us as possible I order for us to treat you in the most effective and efficient way.

Are there any limitations on the number of IVF tries per couple?

We find that most couples will get pregnant within 2 tries. Occasionally, there may be a reason to do a third attempt but that is not common. More than 3 is extremely rare and only happens in extenuating circumstances such as a miscarriage due to a non-recurring reason.

Considering other options / alternatives

It is extremely rare for us at GTB to reach a stage with a patient where all our treatments fail to help you conceive. However, if this were to happen then we have a great counseling team in place to help you cope and figure out other ways like the use of donated oocyte or sperm.

Misc.

How would GTB help me to manage stress and anxiety?

In the last two decades we at GTB have successfully blended the latest of technology with unparalleled personal care. We make it a point to personally perform laparoscopy surgery, embryology and preservation of embryos for every patient. Similarly, we provide extensive counseling and constant support to all our patient families.

By combining the benefits of technology, compassionate care and extensive counseling we have perfected a success-centered approach that we feel is ideal for the miracle of birth!

How does one go about taking an appointment?