Dr RituSethi, Director, the Aura Speciality Clinic, Gurgaon and Senior Consultant- Cloud nine hospital, Gurgaon
Infertility is a common problem affecting both men and women, with approximately one in six couples experiencing difficulties in conceiving. It is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse. There are many reasons why infertility occurs, but fortunately, there are also numerous treatment options available to help couples overcome this challenge.
Reasons for Infertility
Infertility can be caused by a range of factors, including hormonal imbalances, structural problems, genetic abnormalities, lifestyle factors, and certain medical conditions. In women, some of the most common causes of infertility include ovulation disorders, blocked fallopian tubes, and uterine abnormalities. Age can also play a significant role, as a woman’s fertility typically declines after the age of 35. In men, infertility may be caused by low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or structural abnormalities in the reproductive system.
In addition to these physical factors, certain lifestyle choices can also impact fertility. These include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being overweight or obese. Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins and pollutants, may also play a role.
Treatment for Infertility
The treatment for infertility will depend on the underlying cause of the problem. In some cases, lifestyle changes may be enough to improve fertility. For example, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and maintaining a healthy weight can all improve fertility in both men and women.
If infertility is caused by a medical condition, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis, medication may be prescribed to help regulate hormones or improve ovulation. In cases where structural abnormalities are the cause, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged fallopian tubes, remove fibroids or polyps, or address other issues.
Assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), may also be used to help couples conceive. These techniques involve fertilizing eggs with sperm outside of the body and then transferring the resulting embryos back into the uterus. Other ART options include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
In some cases, infertility may be irreversible, and adoption or the use of a surrogate may be considered. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to infertility, and every couple’s situation is unique.