In-Vitro Fertilization(IVF) or fertility treatment refers to the medication followed to help those having problems in conceiving a child. So, artificial medical assistance aids them in the process. This kind of artificial medical assistance to support reproductive functions is increasingly becoming popular day by day.
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Causes of Infertility
Following are the causes of infertility in men and women:
- Sperm transport disorders
- Disturbance of oocyte maturation
- Disturbances of sperm maturation
- Tubal factor
- Abnormalities of ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the uterus
Basic Fertility Tests
Specific fertility tests for Men includes:
- Semen Analysis: Semen analysis, also called a sperm count test, analyzes the viability and health of a man’s sperm. A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health including the number of sperm, the shape of the sperm, and sperm motility.
- Doppler of Scrotum: In certain cases, Doppler ultrasound may help identify blood flow inside the scrotum. This medical procedure is helpful in cases of testicular torsion as blood flow to the twisted testicle may be reduced.
Specific fertility tests for Women includes:
- Ultrasound Scan: An Ultrasound scan provides information on the ovaries, endometrial lining, and uterus. Specialized ultrasounds are used to evaluate ovarian reserves, assess the uterine shape in more detail, and check whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked.
- Follicular Study: A Follicular Study is a series of scans helping you to know when you are ovulating. Usually, these scans will begin around the ninth day of your cycle and continue till ovulation occurs. The doctor examines the follicle development occurring in your ovaries for calculation of the exact time when the egg will be released.
- Hormone Blood Tests: When a woman is undergoing a fertility workup, day 3 of the menstrual cycle is the day she has blood work performed to check the levels of three important levels: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone(FSH), Luteinizing Hormone(LH) and Estradiol (E2).
- FSH Blood Test: The FSH blood test helps to diagnose problems with menstruation, and fertility. It can be used to diagnose or examine polycystic ovary disease, ovarian cysts, irregular vaginal bleeding, and infertility.
- LH Blood Test: The LH blood test measures the amount of luteinizing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. In women, LH levels rise at mid-cycle. LH levels higher than normal levels indicate several disorders including ovarian failure and polycystic ovary disease.
- Estradiol: Estradiol is primarily made in and released from the ovaries, adrenal cortex, and the placenta. It is responsible for the growth of the breasts, uterus, outer genitals, vagina, and fallopian tubes.
Fertility Treatment Procedures
Some of the fertility-related surgeries available are:
- Hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is performed to find the cause of abnormal bleeding, remove uterine growths like polyps and small fibroids, and examine the uterus to see if there is a problem with its shape or size that is preventing pregnancy or causing repeated miscarriages. A hysteroscopy is both diagnostic and therapeutic in nature.
- In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In-Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology commonly referred to as IVF. It is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then combining an egg and sperm manually. The embryo is then transferred to the uterus.
- Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): This involves directly injecting the sperm into eggs obtained from In Vitro Fertilization(IVF). Once the ICSI procedure is completed and fertilization is successful, the embryo transfer procedure is performed to physically place the embryo in the woman’s uterus.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): IUI is a fertility treatment involving sperm placement inside a woman’s uterus facilitating fertilization. IUI increases the number of sperm that reaches the fallopian tubes subsequently increasing the chance of fertilization. Low sperm count or reduced sperm mobility are the most common reasons for IUI.
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