Your Guide to Fertility treatment
Fertility treatment, its course, success, and duration will all depend upon the cause of infertility.
In order to ascertain the cause of infertility, a doctor will perform thorough tests for both partners.
Fertility tests- the first step to Fertility treatment
Initially, fertility tests will be quite simple and general. Know About Infertility. It will include both partners.
The doctor will start the treatment by asking you about your medical history, to understand the general state of your health, your age, past medical history including any surgeries or long term medication use.
It is important to understand both the partner’s lifestyle. Use of tobacco and smoking, alcohol use or use of any illicit drugs.
The doctor will also question you about your sex life- how many times you have sex, birth control use, any problems in having sex or history of any sexually transmitted diseases.
For women, questions regarding ovulation such as regularity of periods, any missed or irregular periods, spotting, changes in blood flow or presence of clots. These tests help create a base for Fertility treatment.
Fertility tests for women
The first step to test fertility in women for determining the future course of Fertility treatment is generally a Pap smear test.
This involves the collection and testing of cells from the cervix to detect abnormal behavior of the cells present in cervical cancer cases.
Further, ovulation tests to check the LH or Luteinizing hormone determine if the ovulation is regular. This is one of the crucial tests for any Fertility treatment. Another test is the FSH or the Follicle Stimulating Hormone. High FSH means lower fertility in women.
Blood tests help to test hormones such as Progesterone and Thyroid as these are important hormones that regulate fertility and reproduction in a woman.
A tubogram or Ultrasound helps to ascertain the physical conditions of the uterus, such as structure and placement. They also help to unleash blockages in Fallopian tubes if any. It also detects problems such as endometriosis or fibroids which hinder pregnancy. Fertility treatment in such cases generally commences with a surgery.
Fertility tests for Men
A Urologist performs the initial physical test to check the fertility. Here the doctor thoroughly checks the patient externally for any anomalies and also for ‘varicocele’, that is the presence of protruding varicose veins which prevent the blood from flowing.
The next crucial step in Fertility treatment is a ‘semen analysis’. This test is done by collecting the semen sample in a clean container, preferably at the doctor’s clinic itself so that temperature differences do not destroy the sperms. This sample is then checked for quality (health), motility (forward-moving capacity), and quantity (number of sperms in the sample).
The results of these tests help decide Fertility treatment.
Common Fertility treatment
- Surgery – In the case of varicocele or the tubes that carry sperms for men and in the case of endometriosis or fibroids in the case of women.
- Hormonal treatment- To manage and control hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, LH, FSH or thyroid. In the case of ovulation problems fertility drugs such as Clomid, help cure such issues.
- Antibiotics- to cure infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea which affect sperm quality and health.
- Medications- To cure sperm health and ejaculation problems in men.
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) – The common techniques are IUI or Intra Uterine Insemination and IVF or In Vitro Fertilization.
IUI or IVF?
Both involve the collection of Sperm and separation of good quality sperms from the sample. In an IUI, the doctor injects and places the sperms close to the uterus.
Whereas in an IVF, ovaries are stimulated to produce several eggs, these are then retrieved from the woman, the eggs are fertilized in a laboratory and the resulting embryos are transferred back in the female patient.
The decision of whether to go for an IUI or an IVF depends on the doctor as well as the patient. Generally, there is never a one size fits all Fertility treatment.
The course of action would depend upon the cause of infertility, the age of both partners, the health of the sperms and other medical conditions.
Today, there are many new studies and research done on Fertility treatment. Today, Home IUI helps you perform an IUI in the comfort of your home.
This reduces the need for medications and unnecessary tests.
Ultimately, the choice of Fertility treatment depends on the couple who are trying to have a baby.