Infertility is one of the major health issues that has been growing rapidly in the past few decades. Both men and women alike have some kind of infertility issue that makes it difficult for them to get pregnant naturally.
So, if you find it difficult to get pregnant or feel like you might have some infertility issues, don’t worry; you are not the only one suffering from infertility.
The main question that every person with infertility issues ask their doctor is, “Is infertility curable? Are there any treatments available for infertility?” let’s look into the answers to these questions in this article.
Is Infertility Curable?
Whether your infertility can be cured depends on your specific cause of infertility and how it is affecting your body. Almost 80–90% of infertility cases can be cured through medication or surgeries.
Your doctor will try to improve your fertility by prescribing certain medications if you have minor infertility problems. If the issue is a bit serious, you can choose to undergo advanced fertility treatments like IUI, ICSI, or IMSI to become pregnant.
However, there are some serious infertility issues that can’t be treated no matter what treatments you undergo. In such cases, you would have to use donor eggs or sperm or choose a surrogate to carry your baby till childbirth.
When Should You Consult A Specialist For Infertility Treatment?
Remember that infertility is not something you can delay, and choose to visit a doctor when the issue becomes severe. Your fertility determines your ability to have a child in the future.
So, if you feel like you have an infertility issue, don’t delay and immediately visit a fertility doctor. Here are some signs men and women can look out for to know when they should visit a fertility doctor.
Men should visit an infertility specialist when
- They are over the age of 40,
- They suffer from premature ejaculation,
- They have trouble forming and maintaining an erection (this issue is commonly called erectile dysfunction),
- They feel discomfort or pain in and around their testicle during erection and ejaculation,
- They have had a history of prostate, testicle, or other sexual health problems, and
- They have had previous vasectomies.
Women should visit an infertility specialist when
- They are less than 35 years old and can’t get pregnant after a year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse,
- They are between 35 and 40 years old and can’t get pregnant after six months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse,
- They are over 40 and can’t get pregnant after less than six months of trying,
- They have issues with their menstrual cycle (irregular, heavy, or no periods).
What Are The Treatments For Male And Female Infertility?
There are several treatment options that can be undergone to treat infertility. The type of treatment you undergo depends on your infertility issue and your body condition.
Below is the list of fertility treatment options for men and women. We will also discuss some of the advanced fertility treatment options that are available for both men and women.
Infertility treatments for men
For some men, the issue will be with their mind and not their body. They can go for counseling sessions to overcome their mental barrier. They can come solo or with their partner for the sessions.
Medications are usually suggested for men who have minor fertility issues and only need a little push to improve their fertility. Their doctor will prescribe certain medications that can treat their issue and help them make their partner pregnant.
Surgeries are usually recommended when men have serious infertility issues that can only be treated through surgical intervention. Men with hydroceles, varicoceles, or previous vasectomies must undergo surgeries to treat their issues and improve fertility.
Infertility treatments for women
Depression is one of the main reasons for being unable to get pregnant. Even if you have no infertility issues, being depressed can affect your hormone levels and make it difficult to ovulate and get pregnant.
In such cases, you can undergo counseling sessions to talk about your issues and develop a positive mindset.
Also called ovulation induction, your doctor will prescribe you hormonal medications if you have ovulation disorders. This option is chosen if you don’t have any other infertility issues and only need a small push to ovulate and produce mature eggs for fertilization.
Most issues with the reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries) require surgical procedures to treat them. Women can undergo laparoscopy or hysteroscopy to diagnose their infertility issue and treat it.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs)
The above treatment options are chosen for men and women with minor infertility issues. They can mostly try to get pregnant naturally after the treatment procedures.
But what happens if one or both couples have major infertility issues? This is where assisted reproductive technologies come in. These are advanced procedures that can help couples get pregnant when they can’t conceive naturally.
Below are some of the major ART procedures followed by infertility specialists.
1. IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
IUI is a procedure where the sperm is collected from the male partner and injected into the female partner’s uterus. The sperm will then swim to the fallopian tubes and fertilize the eggs.
2. IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
In IVF, both sperm and eggs are collected from the male and female partners. They are then placed together in a dish and fertilized in a laboratory. The developed embryo is transferred into the uterus to result in pregnancy.
3. ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
ICSI is a type of IVF where, instead of making the sperm swim to the egg for fertilization, a single, high-quality sperm is injected into a high-quality egg for fertilization. This method is chosen if the sperm cannot reach the egg by itself.
4. Third-party ART
In case none of the above fertility treatments help you get pregnant, your fertility doctor will suggest you undergo third-party fertility treatments.
Here, fertilization and pregnancy happen with the help of donor eggs/sperm/embryos or hiring a surrogate mother to carry your baby till childbirth.
How To Choose A Fertility Specialist
Always remember that the fertility doctor you choose has a major part in determining the success rate of your fertility treatments. So, ensure you choose the best fertility doctor for your infertility treatments.
Here are some factors you should look into while choosing a fertility specialist.
- Look into their qualifications and experience
- Check their success rate in fertility treatments
- Go into their or their hospital’s website and look into past patient reviews and ratings
- Check if they have experience handling cases similar to yours
- Check if their hospital has advanced technology equipment
- Check the price they offer for their infertility treatments
Use these points as a reference, do thorough research, and choose the fertility doctor who suits your condition.
Infertility might seem like a serious issue, but it can be treated if you diagnose the root cause early and treat it. The main thing to note here is that you should follow your doctor’s instructions and take the medication they prescribe without fail.
Most times, men can receive infertility treatments and overcome their infertility. If their infertility cannot be cured, they can choose assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF or IUI to make their partner pregnant. They can consult with their doctor and select the best fertility treatment for them.
Yes, depending on the cause of infertility, certain infertility issues can be treated permanently.
Below are some procedures fertility doctors follow to identify male infertility issues.
- Semen analysis
- Specialized sperm function tests
- DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI)