09 Feb How Women’s Infertility can be treated with IVF Treatment?
Infertility is no longer a taboo that it once was in India. Although no stats are available for the same, most couples that fail to conceive a child are readily disposed towards fertility treatments. A couple is said to be infertile if they fail to conceive after unprotected sexual intercourse over a 12 month period.
When a couple is said to be infertile, the problem may lie with one or both the individuals. The distribution in terms of infertility is roughly equal for both sexes. However, here we talk about issues that render a woman infertile and which can be treated using IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), popularly known as test tube baby treatment India.
- Different hormonal dysfunctions are one of the top female infertility causes and contribute roughly 1/4th to all infertility cases. One such hormonal disorder, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), can cause inconsistent ovulation or even stop it altogether. Diagnosis for problems related to ovulation is done using ultrasound and blood tests. Once the exact nature of the disorder is identified, proper treatment can be recommended.
- Endometriosis is another notable contributor to female infertility problems. A gynaecological disease, here cells from the uterine lining (which is known as endometrium) proliferate into other areas of the body, chiefly the pelvis and the reproductive system. And although its exact cause is yet to be discovered, moderate to severe endometriosis directly impacts a woman’s fertility. The existence and extent of this disease is determined laparoscopically, after which suitable treatment begins.
- A section of infertile women tend to suffer from fallopian tube blockage, which is caused by various inflammations in the area around the fallopian tubes. Often a dangerous condition, the blockage can have internal causes (polyps, for e.g.) or can be the result of external adhesions. Another possible cause is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like pelvic inflammatory disease. The blockage can hamper the egg’s journey to the uterus via the fallopian tube. Either laparoscopy or hysterosalpingography is used to detect tube blockage.
- Among women younger than 40 and with fertility issues, primary ovarian insufficiency (aka premature ovarian failure) is a known cause. The ovaries might not release eggs and if they do, it’s in inadequate amounts. Low levels of oestrogen (a hormonal type) can also cause this insufficiency. Both can render any infertility treatment ineffective. Blood tests and ultrasound scans help diagnose ovarian failure.
- Problems related to the cervix can also come in the way of conception. Excess secretion of cervical mucous or sperm-destroying antibodies hampers fertility. The problem is diagnosed by conducting a test right after sexual intercourse to confirm the status of sperms in the cervix. Here, both IVF and IUI (Intra-Uterine Insemination) can help in conception.
Most treatments for infertility in women are based on proper, and timely, diagnoses of the above conditions. While these make up the medical causes of infertility, there also exist a few non-medical or external causes.
As a woman ages, especially from her mid-30s, chances of successful conception go down as her eggs see a fall in both quantity and quality. There are also environmental stimuli like weight, smoking and alcohol consumption as well as sexual history that can affect fertility negatively.
Where does IVF come in?
If pregnancy is still not achieved after treatments for the above issues, IVF is the only recourse. Here the eggs from the female and the sperm from the male are harvested separately. This is followed by fertilizing the egg using the sperm in a laboratory before it is placed inside the uterus of the female. IVF treatment bypasses a number of issues including low-quality male sperm or in the context of female infertility issues, blocked fallopian tubes, irregular ovulation, hormonal disturbances or a problematic cervix.
Only rarely is IVF recommended as the first line of treatment for women with fertility problems. However, when all other treatments are exhausted, it is the only reliable go-to option.