What is infertility?
Inability to conceive, after one year of regular sexual union without contraceptives, or to continue pregnancy till term is called as infertility. It may be either due to problems in the woman or the husband. In 50%, no cause of infertility is found.
What are the causes of infertility?
The cause of infertility can be in either of the partners or both. In the males, there may be complete absence of sperms (azoospermia), or inadequate sperms in the seminal fluid (oligospermia) or some abnormality in the movement of the sperms. In the woman it may be due to absence of the egg, hormonal imbalance, defects such as absence of the uterus or ovaries, non-patency of the fallopian tubes (tubes that carry eggs from ovary to uterus) or diseases such as tuberculosis, obesity. Psychological factors such as depression and anxiety also have a role. In some couples, cause of infertility cannot be established.
What is the treatment of infertility?
The treatment consists of the proper counseling of both the partners, and in treating the causative factor. In males, hormone therapy for low sperm count can be given. In females with hormonal imbalance, hormonal therapy is used. Diseases such as tuberculosis and obesity need to be treated if present. Also proper sex education and ways to deal with depression and anxiety is ensured. In selected cases, fertilization is achieved by methods like artificial insemination (the sperms from the male are isolated and introduced artificially into the uterus during the menstrual cycle when the ovum is released from the ovary) and in vitro fertilization where the male sperm and female sperm are incubated together in the test tube and then the growing bud is then inserted in the uterus (test tube baby).
created on 6-12-2004
Last updated on 31-01-2008