When you really want a child, it's not easy to get the diagnosis of infertility. But the good news is that today infertility can be overcome by modern techniques. Artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization are two of the most common procedures that help couples wishing to become parents. But are they the only ones?
To find out the treatment solutions when it comes to couple infertility, I talked to Andreas Vythoulkas, a obstetrician-gynecologist specialist with over-specialization in infertility.
The causes of infertility in the couple, the most common, are dysfunctions of the ovaries and fallopian tubes. But also problems of the cervix or uterus, but also dysfunctions of the sperm. Treatment needs to be tailored to each problem. Once the couple receives a correct diagnosis, then it is established and what the fertility treatment will be best suited to their problem.
In vitro fertilization does not solve all problems related to infertility
Not all infertility problems are solvable through in vitro fertilization. Some can be resolved with medical treatment, with laparoscopic surgery, but everything depends on the diagnosis.
The endometrium is the mucosa lining the cavity of the uterus. The condition called endometriosis is the development of endometrial cells outside the uterus. One of the main methods for detecting the disease, but also for removing it is laparoscopy. It is an easy, minimally invasive intervention, and it can help with lesions or cysts discovered. Endometriosis is inherited and has a recurrence rate of nearly 40%. After the surgical removal of the condition, the chances of a natural pregnancy are greater than 50% for younger patients who have not yet had ovarian cancer. If endometriosis is advanced, it is recommended to initiate medical investigations for the in vitro fertilization procedure.
Cause: dysfunction of the fallopian tubes
Nearly 40% of cases of infertility cause blockage of fallopian tubes or hydrosalpinx, as the condition is known. The clogging of the tubes or their damage makes it impossible for the sperm to meet with the egg and then the fertilization can not take place. Diagnosis is done with the ultrasound. Before initiating an in vitro fertilization procedure, it is advisable to surgically remove hydrosalpinx, which may be a source of failure for the future procedure.
Cause: Polycystic ovaries
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is commonplace as a cause of infertility. Can be recognized after irregular menstrual periods, high hairiness, acne, extra pounds. Untreated can lead to infertility or the inability to carry a term task. The main cause of this syndrome is insulin resistance of the body, which leads to the occurrence of a hormonal imbalance. Excess insulin causes the ovaries to produce more male hormones (testosterone) that prevent ovulation. In a first step, the treatment is medicinal and it is intended to induce ovulation to get a natural pregnancy.
Cause: Problems with sperm
When the partner is healthy but the male has minor sperm problems, artificial insemination is the first treatment for infertility. The procedure is not painful and consists of inserting the sperm collected in the uterine cavity with a very fine catheter and then treated in the specialized lab. If after 2-3 inseminations the treatment did not come to fruition, the next step is in vitro fertilization.
If a man has major sperm problems, such as low sperm motility or lack of sperm, call for intracytoplasmic sperm injection into the egg, known as the ICSI technique. This is a microscopic surgery in the egg. Using a very powerful microscope, a spermatozoid is captured with the micro-pipette. It is introduced into the egg by performing an orifice in the outer membrane protecting the egg, more precisely in its transparent, pellucid area. This membrane protects the newly formed ovum and embryo in its first days of life. Usually, 2-3 days after the embryo transfer, the pellucid dissolves and the embryo left free can be attached to the endometrium.