How to Address Infertility? Understanding Your Treatment Options

How to Address Infertility? Understanding Your Treatment Options
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Has it been months and years you have been trying for a baby, thinking, why is it taking so long when others around you are getting pregnant? Maybe, "We are not just ready yet" Is this the lie you believe when the truth is you are desperately waiting to have a baby of your own?Time to understand that your side of the story is more than just a negative pregnancy test. 

Are You Experiencing the Below Signs?

  • Unable to conceive even after a year of trying 
  • Unable to conceive after six months of trying (for couples <35 years of age)
  • Irregular/Absent Periods (PCOD/PCOS)
  • Extremely painful periods
  • Decreased libido
  • Men experiencing changes in hair growth and sexual function 
  • Ejaculatory problems 
  • Recurrent miscarriages 
 If Yes? Believe it or not, it could be-'Infertility.'

What Defines Infertility? 

The couple is said to be infertile when the process of natural conception takes longer than a year despite frequent unprotected sex. 

Are we the only ones struggling with infertility? 

No, infertility is more common than you think! Approximately 48 million couples worldwide struggle with infertility. If we talk about India, one in every six couples struggles to conceive naturally. Although the definite cause of infertility is difficult to determine, it may include a variety of male and female factors, such as hormonal imbalances, lifestyle changes, medical reasons, structural problems, or genetic disorders. 

Causes of Infertility Affecting Males and Females Are:

  • Low or no sperm count
  • Abnormal sperm quality 
  • Ejaculation problems
  • Ovulation problems (PCOS/ PCOD)
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Polyps or fibroids
  • Prior surgical sterilization 

How do I Know I Am at The Increased Risk of Infertility?

Below are the risk factors you need to watch out for:
  • More than 35 years of age.
  • Obesity/ being underweight.
  • Addiction (alcohol, smoking, drug abuse, etc.)
  • Over Exercising/Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Extreme emotional and physical stress.
  • Exposure to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

How to Address Infertility? 

Worried about what steps you need to take? Here are some pointers that can be helpful. 
  1. Go for a fertility check-up 
  2. This will help determine any problems in the sperms, uterus, fallopian tubes eggs or anything else due to which natural pregnancy is not possible
  3. Your fertility doctor will study your case and suggest the required treatment plan.
  4. Don't worry, not everyone needs surgeries or heavy treatment plans. Sometimes medicines, minor treatments and observations are all you need.
  5. But, in complicated cases you might need help with advanced fertility treatmentslike IUI, IVF or advanced IVF procedures.
Educating yourself, seeking emotional support, supporting your partner, and practicing self-care are equally important to consider when addressing infertility. 

When Should a Couple Seek Help from a Doctor?

If you have been trying to conceive for over a year, it's time to seek help from a fertility specialist. But for couples over 35 years, it is advised that you seek help after six months of trying.Also, if a couple has other problems like - history of irregular or extremely painful periods, condition of menopause, problems like PCOD/PCOS, or problems with erection, smaller erection time, small volumes of semen ejaculated, swelling in the testicular/genital area, decreased libido, earlier tubal ligation procedures or vasectomy, it is advised that you seek fertility help at the earliest.  

Infertility- Is It OK To Visit a Gynaecologist?

Couples should visit a fertility doctor in the first place. While a gynecologist may be able to perform initial tests to determine if there is a problem with ovulation or any structural issues, a fertility specialist is better equipped to handle even the most complex fertility issues with ease. Male infertility is one of the many types of infertility that fertility specialists are qualified to detect and treat. They also provide treatment options, from lifestyle changes to cutting-edge reproductive technologies.

Is IVF the Only Treatment for Infertility?

Relax! Not everyone needs heavy fertility treatments like IVF. Sometimes a couple might require a simple IUI treatment or some minor surgeries, or even just medications can help you conceive. The treatment type only depends on your specific fertility needs. 

Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent Infertility?

While infertility is beyond a couple's control, there are certain steps that can be taken to lower the risk of infertility.A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, following a balanced diet, cutting down on junk, and abstaining from any drug abuse and excessive smoking or alcohol can definitely help maintain your fertility.Additionally, it's important to follow safe sex practices to avoid any chances of STDs that cause infertility. 

What Questions Should I Ask My Fertility Doctor?

Your first experience at a fertility clinic gives you an opportunity to understand what and clear any doubts you may have regarding your situation. Asking the right questions can help calm your nerves by preparing for what is coming ahead.
  • Know the clinic's success rates as a whole for patients like you.
  • What is the clinic's treatment approach and potential timeline for your case?
  • How long can you try conceiving naturally before opting for IVF treatment?
  • What are the other fertility treatment options suitable for our condition?
  • Will you have to start the IVF procedure immediately?
  • Are there any possible risks or side effects to be worried about?
  • Know if you can connect with the doctor for immediate future concerns.
  • Know your financial and emotional aspects.

The Bottom Line:

In conclusion, infertility can be an emotionally and physically challenging experience. However, with an early diagnosis, and treatment plan, you with your fertility doctor can plan and increase your chances of successful conception and healthy pregnancy. Don't be afraid to seek help if you are struggling to conceive. Addressing infertility can improve your quality of life and help you live your dream of starting a family of your own.Remember, infertility is a condition, not a disease.