Infertility is when a married couple cannot conceive a child due to female infertility factors and dysfunctions of male reproductive health. As infertility poses many challenges, it can affect relationships and emotional health. Indeed, the best treatment is determined by a healthcare provider to help identify the cause and succeed in expanding the family.
In general, there are two types of infertility, which are:
- Primary infertility. It is found in couples who have never been able to conceive a child.
- Secondary infertility. It is found in couples who have difficulty conceiving a child after having already created a child (either carried the pregnancy to the term or had a miscarriage).
What Are The Possible Infertility Risk Factors?
Below are factors that increase the risk of infertility in all genders:
- Age (over age 40 for men or over 35 for women)
- Eating disorders, which include bulimia and anorexia nervosa
- Exposure to environmental toxins like lead and pesticides
- Excessive alcohol use
- Radiation therapy or other cancer treatments
- STD or Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Substance abuse
- Weight problems (obesity or underweight)
What Are Types Of Infertility In Males?
Infertility among men comes from physical examinations and test results, which are instrumental in determining male infertility. Nonetheless, here are the most common types of male infertility.
The deficiency occurs when there is a shortage of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) from the pituitary gland. These hormones control testicular functions, and their deficiency may result in shortages of sperm. However, this type of infertility can be addressed through the inoculation of hormone preparations and rarely affects about 1% of infertile men.
Also known as obstructive azoospermia, this infertility type means a lack of sperm within the semen due to a blockage. This occurs when a genital pathway is blocked, which impedes the transit of sperm between the testicles and the penis. This blockage of the genital pathway can be subject to any of these three causes:
- Improper development of the epididymis, vas, and seminal vesicles.
- Scarring of the genital pathway due to inflammation.
- Vasectomy permanently cuts the tubes transporting sperm from the testicles to the individual’s penis.
This infertility type is also a case of a lack of sperm within the semen. However, not due to a blockage of a genital pathway but rather because no sperm was produced at all by the sperm-producing cells. This can occur due to the sperm-producing cells not developing fully because of genetic disorders or inflammation of the testicles.
Sperm Antibodies/Immunological Factors
Sperm antibodies develop in men who have undergone vasectomies and may remain active and hinder fertility after the vasectomy reversal. These antibodies impede sperm production, thereby decreasing the number of sperm and also lessening sperm mobility.
Some ejaculation disorders, like premature ejaculation (the male ejaculates before copulation), can lead to infertility. Retrograde ejaculation, whereby the semen is ejaculated in the reverse direction, also can disrupt the proper transit of sperm into the vagina.
What Are The Types Of Infertility In Females?
This disorder can be caused by the disequilibrium of female sex hormones, progesterone, estrogen, luteinizing hormone, and the pituitary gland’s stimulating follicle hormone. These hormones are responsible for releasing the egg from the ovary at the appropriate time and the growth and development thereof. Hence, if there is an imbalance of these hormones, ovulation disorders may occur, which is the leading cause of such infertility in females.
Uterus and Cervical Disorders
There can be interference with the embryo’s attachment to the uterus if there are malignant growths on the uterine walls, leading to infertility. In addition, irregularities in the general shape of the female cervix can hinder the sperm’s transit to the uterus.
Sperm Antibodies/Immunological factors
Sperm antibodies in the female’s vagina and cervix can lead to infertility. These antibodies are hostile to the sperm; hence, the sperm cannot make their way to fertilize the eggs.
The ovaries are the housing for the eggs, and any dis-functionality on their part will lead to infertility. Failure of the ovaries can occur due to previous treatment, including chemotherapy and treatment for ovarian tumors.
What Are Treatments Of Male Infertility?
The following are some common treatments to treat the male infertility factor, and these are:
- ICSI. A process where a fertility expert will directly insert a single mature and healthy sperm into each woman’s egg, helping the couple conceive.
- Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT). The fertilization occurs naturally, and the fertility expert directly places the best-selected sperm inside the woman’s fallopian tubes.
- Hormonal treatment. The fertility expert will first recommend men undergo hormone replacement before they suggest any surgery to them. With the help of hormone replacement treatment, fertility experts can treat the condition of male infertility, which high or low levels of hormones have caused.
- Surgery. The fertility experts will recommend surgery as the last option when non-surgical treatments fail, and they extract the sperms using the thin fine needle from the testicle, known as Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA) or Epididymis, known as percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). If the fertility expert cannot retrieve enough sperm through these two techniques, they will use another advanced technology, testicular sperm extraction TESE. Once the sperm is retrieved, the fertility expert will mix them with the woman’s egg to form an embryo, and once the embryo is developed, the same will be placed into the female partner’s uterus.
What Are The Treatments Of Female Infertility?
The following are some common treatments to treat the female infertility factor, and these are:
- IVF. A procedure where a fertility expert collects the eggs from the woman’s ovaries and mixes them with the husband’s sperm to facilitate fertilization. Once fertilization occurs, the resulting embryo will be placed into the intended mother’s uterus.
- IVF with Egg Donor. The process involves borrowing eggs from healthy, fertile young women under the age of 28 years. They will fertilize their eggs with the sperm of the intended father to facilitate fertilization. Once fertilization occurs, the fertility expert will place the resulting embryo into the intended mother’s uterus and continue to monitor the fetus’s growth and development.
- IVF with Surrogacy. This procedure is for women who cannot carry a pregnancy in their wombs due to medical illness. With the help of IVF with Surrogacy, the fertility expert will fertilize the eggs of the surrogate mother together with the sperm of the intended father. Then, the resulting embryo will be placed into the surrogate mother’s uterus, who will carry the baby until full term, and once the baby is born, the baby will be handed to the intended parents.
The Bottom Line
Infertility can happen to some people, and more facilities now are to detect an infertility factor and suggest an efficient treatment plan. Key Wellness, PLLC offers Infertility Treatments, which have helped thousands of babies. Furthermore, they pride themselves on having compassion, knowledge, and experience and have provided care to couples for two decades spanning across the region.