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Infertility is not the end! Understand why IVF can be a boon

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A lot many couples have questions about infertility and IVF procedure. They should understand that Infertility is not the end. IVF can be a boon to these people.

They hesitate in discussing the issues with their family and friends. But in today’s world, where a new IVF center is being opened almost every month in India, things are changing.

If you have any such doubts about your failing pregnancy attempts and if you are thinking whether to consult doctor or not, the following post may be helpful to answer all your questions.

We face many questions!

People say, having a baby is the ultimate happiness!! Every couple wants to have their own little one in arms. After marriage, just after a year or two everybody starts asking only one question, ‘’ when are you going to plan your baby?


“Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.” ~ Dr. Robert Anthony

This is very normal in Indian society. Some years after marriage when couples think about to plan a baby, they are many times confused what exactly to do? When is the good time to get conceived? Does age matter? What should be done if trying to get pregnant and not getting conceived? When to seek a doctor’s help?

What are the possible causes of infertility?

Most couples achieve pregnancy within one year of trying, with the greatest likelihood of conception occurring during the earlier months. Some couples may conceive in second year, so it is recommended to seek help of a doctor after two years of trying. But in some cases, it is advisable to seek help earlier.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle:

 In regular menstrual period, regular cycles occur every 21 to 35 days. Ovulation of egg occurs approximately 2 weeks before start of the next cycle.  If the interval of cycles is more than 35 days then the woman is not ovulating the egg predictably, or even at all. Ovulation of egg is essential for pregnancy. Some ovulation disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome hinders conception.

Increased Age:

In case where the female age is 35 or older the conception seems to get difficult. As the women gets older, the number of eggs decreases. Therefore, the quality of eggs  also decreases or there is a likelihood of an egg being genetically abnormal,  

Therefore, fertility evaluation is necessary if the female’s age is 35 or more.

Infections:

In case of some sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea, can cause inflammation and permanent scarring of the fallopian tubes.

Structural and other abnormalities

Tubal blockage is also a cause of infertility.  Fallopian tubes are part of female reproductive system. The presence of open tubes is essential as the sperm travels the tube in order to reach and fertilize the ovulated egg.

Uterine fibroids or endometrial polyps are some causes that hinders the process of conception. Endometriosis is a condition which causes infertility as well as pain during intercourse/ menstruation. Male factors such as semen abnormalities also hinders the process of conception. 

Other factors such as cigarette smoking, alcoholism, exposure to radiation, tobacco, anabolic steroids can cause infertility. Genetic defects and exposure to high temperatures such hot tub or steam baths are also known to affect fertility in males.

What is the cure for infertility?

Infertility risk factors: adapted from : Very well

Like any other disease, infertility also has remedies. There are several treatments for infertility that helps in ending all complexities and help in conceiving through natural process. For incurable cause for infertility, there are methods like IVF treatment.

So, what exactly is IVF treatment and when to decide to go for the treatment?

We have written the IVF process in detail in a separate article. You can read it here.

The technique of IVF is in-vitro fertilization, in-vitro means in-laboratory and fertilization is where egg meets sperm to form an embryo. Fertilization is a natural process but in some cases this natural process does not happen due to some reasons then the couple can go for IVF treatment to get conceived, it is an alternative method of conceiving.

After trying for natural conception for 2 years, if the couple is not able to conceive, they must see a fertility doctor for IVF treatment. Reasons may be sexual compatibility or sterility in male or female. In the process of IVF, the eggs and sperms from woman and the man are extracted and artificially combined in a laboratory to form an embryo. The embryo is then inseminated or transferred in the woman’s uterus where it develops, and the woman gets pregnant.

Before this the couple should get screened for what exact is the reason because of which they are not getting conceived naturally, the reason for infertility should be scrutinised.

Strategy of IVF if the women have problem in conceiving.

As mentioned earlier, woman can have many infertility issues such as low egg count, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome or weak uterus which is not capable of holding pregnancy.

For low quality eggs the woman can be treated with medication, likewise for polycystic ovarian syndrome. But if the uterus of woman is weak to keep pregnancy or endometriosis then the couple may go for surrogacy. The eggs can be extracted from the woman and combined to man’s sperms. Then it is inseminated into a surrogate mother. Surrogate mother is one who carries the baby till delivery. As the eggs extracted are from the intended woman then she only remains the biological mother of the baby.

What if the male partner is the reason for infertility?

Nowadays, male infertility issues are increasing due to lifestyle and habits like smoking and alcoholism, it affects the sperm count and motility. With medication this can be cured, but the couples in which the man has very poor quality of sperm or azoospermia (the case in which the male has no sperm count (nil) in semen), they can go for sperm donor either from their acquaintances or sperm bank. In case of azoospermia the male can be checked for spermatogenesis (the process of sperm formation) is there or not, they can go for surgery, to look for the sperms if formed.

What about the mother and baby, will it be normal and healthy?

IVF is just an alternative treatment for having a baby, rest of the process of pregnancy and childbirth is just normal. And the child born by IVF treatment is normal and as healthy as a normal born child. When the embryo is formed it can be checked for any genetic defect or any disorder.  IVF has corrective treatments that involve medication to restore the health of woman by supplementing the deficient nutrients and bringing hormonal balance. The pregnant woman by IVF is constantly under observation till the birth of child, to same sure for healthy pregnancy.

What about the cost of treatment success rate?

The IVF treatment cost is a little expensive, but it also depends on the doctor. Average cost of one IVF cycle can go from 50,000 INR to few lakhs. So, choose wisely. And the success rate of IVF treatment is 30% to 35%.

IVF treatment is ray of hope for couples who fails to conceive naturally.

Infertility is a major cause of concern nowadays with working women, improper lifestyle and unhealthy habits of both males and females. While many corrections can easily be made by medicines, sometimes advance support in form of IVF becomes necessary.

It is necessary to understand your health and decide what could be the problem?

Do not delay consultation with a doctor if you have any problems mentioned above. Sometimes, unnecessary delays can make your permanently incapable for conceiving.

If you have any question regarding the infertility or IVF, you can contact Dr. Shalaka or submit your question in the contact form.

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Shalaka Patil

She is a Genetic counselor with expertise in infertility counselling. She is a health care and social services professional helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. She can be reached at Shalaka.patil1989@gmail.com

View all posts by Shalaka Patil →

2 thoughts on “Infertility is not the end! Understand why IVF can be a boon

  1. Respectfully, I think this may be overly optimistic. IVF is not a “cure” for fertility, it only bypasses some of the barriers that people with fertility issues have when attempting traditional conception. It’s important for patients to understand that when they suffer from infertility, that IVF may fail, and they may still experience infertility after the process. I understand and appreciate this article on the basis of bringing a possible taboo subject to conversation, but people should know that they won’t be “cured” of fertility issues because they are going through IVF.

    1. Hi Brittany,
      Indeed you are right. IVF is not a cure bur an aid. It why we this article mentions the success rate to 30-35% only…in India, going for IVF is still considered a socially and morally degrading process. It must be same in other developing nations too. This article is intended to help them understand and break the barriers which could help them.
      Thanks for giving your suggestions. In future we would try to be more neutral. But our both articles clearly mention the low success rates.

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