Treatment for Infertility
Infertility can be treated in a variety of ways. It can be treated by way of conventional medicine, surgery, assisted reproductive technology (ART) or artificial insemination. Sometimes one treatment will be tried and if it does not prove successful, another will be attempted. In other cases, more than one treatment is combined
for optimum results. Approximately two thirds of all couples that seek help for infertility are able to have a baby at some point in time. In an estimated 80 to 85 percent of cases, infertility is treated by way of surgery or drugs.
A doctor will determine particular treatments for infertility based on a number of different factors which include the results of diagnostic tests, the length of time which a couple has been attempting to conceive, the age of both partners, the overall general health of both partners, and whether or not the partners have a preference for having a boy or a girl baby.
Infertility in men is most often related to sexual problems or too few sperm and therefore treatment is decided according to these problems. A sexual problem could be either impotency or premature ejaculation and in most instances, either medicine or behavioural therapy or both is used to treat these problems. If a lack of sperm is the problem or if the sperm are not good swimmers then surgery can be undertaken to correct this situation. In some cases, physicians can surgically remove sperm from the man's reproductive tract to use for the purposes of impregnating a woman. Sometimes an infection can be to blame for low sperm count and if this is the case then antibiotics can be prescribed to clear up the infection.
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The first step that needs to be taken in regards to tests for women is make sure that ovulation is occurring every month. If it is not then this could explain the problem. There is more than one way to find this out. A woman can check her ovulation at home by using a basal body temperature to make note of any changes that occur in her morning body temperature over a period of several months. Another option is to record the texture of the cervical mucus she has over a period of many months. There are also home ovulation test kits that can be purchased at grocery stores or pharmacies. A physician can also check a female patient's ovulation by way of blood infertility counseling tests and also if necessary, an ultrasound of the ovaries. If the patient is found to be ovulating as she is supposed to be, then other tests will need to be conducted.
The next step would be for common fertility tests to be done such as an endometrial biopsy which tests the health of the uterine lining; hormone tests which measure the balance of female hormones; measurements of how well the thyroid is functioning (a TSH or thyroid stimulating hormone level that lies somewhere between one and two is believed to be right for pregnancy to take place) and a laparoscopy which makes it possible for the doctor to clearly see all of the pelvic organs.
A variety of different treatments are often employed to treat women who are infertile. If ovulation occurs sporadically or not at all then it is essential for the woman to speak with her doctor about both the pros as well as the cons of taking medicine to improve the situation and get her ovulation back to normal. It is extremely important that a woman understands all of the risks and benefits as well as the side effects that could accompany these medications.
Surgery is sometimes a viable method of treating some instances of infertility in women, depending on where the problem lies. If a woman's has a blockage in her fallopian tubes then surgery could be effective and surgery could also be effective if the problem lies with the ovaries or the uterus.
Another type of treatment for infertility is intrauterine insemination (IUI). Intrauterine insemination is more commonly known in lay people's terms as artificial insemination. The way this procedure is done is that a woman is injected with sperm that has been specially prepared in a laboratory. In some cases before artificial insemination is undertaken the female patient is instructed to take medication that is meant to stimulate ovulation. IUI is most often a viable means of treating females who have problems in one way or another with their amount of cervical mucus; when there is a "mild male factor" causing the infertility and for those who have infertility problems that have no apparent cause.
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