What causes of infertility can IVF treat?
IVF as noted above, is one of the best fertility treatment options available and can be a viable solution for males & females suffering from a wide range of infertility or reproductive ailments. In several cases, IVF is considered a last resort option when all others have been exhausted or have failed to deliver the expected results.
Some of the infertility ailments wherein IVF is frequently used as an effective treatment option includes:
Endometriosis: A common disorder in women wherein tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus starts growing outside your uterus. A painful condition normally involves the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis. Although the endometrial tissue never usually spreads beyond the pelvic organs. The main complication of endometriosis is impaired fertility. Approximately one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant.
Low Sperm Count: A low sperm count is also called oligospermia while a complete absence of sperm is called azoospermia. The sperm count is considered lower than normal if the patient has fewer than 15 million sperm per millilitre of semen produced. Having a low sperm count decreases the odds of the sperm being able to fertilize the female’s egg, thereby reducing the chances of conception and pregnancy.
Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes: Several problems with the uterus – which is the womb, and the fallopian tubes – which is the passage for the eggs to travel into the uterus – can also result in difficulties with conception. These could be blockages, inhospitable uterus, anatomical or hormonal problems, etc., which can lead to either complete or partial infertility of the female.
Problems with ovulation: Ovulation problems can result from either problem with the part of the brain and the glands that control ovulation or from malfunctioning of the ovaries. To get pregnant, your ovaries must produce and release an egg, a process known as ovulation. Ovulation disorders, meaning you ovulate infrequently or not at all these are either a result of the challenges in the regulation of reproductive hormones by the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland, or problems in the ovaries themselves. PCOS – is a common ovarian disorder associated with ovulation disorders.
Antibody problems that harm sperm or eggs: Semen can cause an immune system response in either the man’s or woman’s body wherein the antibodies can damage or kill sperm. In case a higher number of sperm antibodies come into contact with a man’s sperm, it may become difficult for the sperm to fertilize the egg, and thereby resulting in infertility.
The inability of sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus: Cervical mucus is secreted by glands in the cervix which is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Just before ovulation, the mucus becomes clear and elastic, which allows the sperm to move through the mucus into the uterus to the fallopian tubes, where fertilization can take place. However, due to hormone problems, this change may not happen and thereby creating the barrier for the sperm to penetrate or survive in the cervical mucus, leading to infertility.
Poor egg quality: Good quality of eggs is one of the most important factors of conception and fertility for a woman. Especially, this becomes an even more important factor when the pregnancy is being attempted at a later stage of the reproductive life – say, beyond the age of 35 years. Getting pregnant after age 40 is a challenge for women that may have no other impediment to conception. As a woman’s ovary ages, she will have increasing numbers of aneuploid eggs which contain too few or too many chromosomes and thereby making it difficult to conceive.
The genetic disease of mother or father: Genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis gene mutation, chromosomal abnormalities are a common form of infertility that can be treated with IVF. In general, genetic diseases caused by chromosomal abnormalities are not inherited but usually occur as random events during the formation of sperm, eggs, and embryos.
An unexplained fertility problem: Despite the best efforts to underline a cause for fertility, in some cases, it may yet remain unexplained. There may not be an appropriate cause associated but the challenges of conception and pregnancy remain just as valid for such couples. In such cases, IVF remains a viable path to pregnancy and parenthood.