Infertility is a relatively common condition affecting one in 6 couples. Despite this, it remains a taboo. It affects the couple psychologically, economically and socially. They avoid meeting people as “children” will be a topic of conversation. Everybody you meet wants to suggest options. Seeing an infertility clinic is one of them. With the word “infertility clinic” many couples freak out.
They feel that it’s not such a big problem “yet” that they should visit our infertility specialist. Its the last resort left! Why should they go for an IVF procedure? They will try for a few more years and get pregnant naturally, but how much are a few more years?
Evaluation and Treatment of Infertility
85% of the couples conceive within the first year of regular intercourse, another 5% conceive within the next 2 years. So, its better to see a fertility expert after one year of unprotected intercourse and get yourself evaluated. All you need to get pregnant is a good sperm capable fertilizing an egg and forming a healthy embryo. The quality and quantity of sperm/eggs also decrease with advancing male/female age.
There are various services which are catered to at an infertility clinic. It’s a misconception that IVF treatment is the only one. In fact, it is just one of the multiple treatment services offered at the clinic. I have listed a few other services.
There is an infertility specialist in the clinic. They will analyze the reason for infertility by taking a detailed history, perform a few blood tests and scans. The male partner must also be evaluated as in 50%, there is a male factor contributing to infertility. Semen analysis is an important and initial test performed. According to the cause of infertility, there are various treatment options available.
Along with urbanization comes the burden of lack of time. This applies to the day-to-day activities which our ancestors did not have to think about, to dedicate their time to. It happened naturally! Hence, sometimes a simple timing of intercourse in the cycle may help you conceive. Your infertility specialist at the clinic can help you with this.
There are certain fertility enhancing surgeries which increase the chances of conception. They may range from being painless procedures not requiring anesthesia to daycare procedures to laparoscopic surgeries requiring 2-3 days admission.
If you are not ovulating, medications can help you ovulate. This is known as ovulation induction. This starts at the beginning of your cycle; ideally day 2-5. It can be combined with timed intercourse. The infertility specialist can help you figure out the time of ovulation by ultrasound scans and blood tests, if necessary. Some women may also need medication in the later half of their cycles to help them conceive if they have a condition called luteal phase defect.
If there is a mild problem in the sperm, be it in the form of decreased number, motility or quality, an Intrauterine Insemination (popularly called IUI) may help you get pregnant. In this procedure, your infertility specialist will monitor your ovulation. At a time when eggs are available for fertilization in the female genital tract, the processed semen is inserted directly into the uterine cavity. This enhances your chances of conception.
Thus, next time when somebody says the word “infertility clinic” it’s not just IVF.