Infertility – Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is infertility?
Infertility is defined as inability to conceive after 1 year of unprotected intercourse. But when the woman is more than 35 years it is better to investigate after 6 months.
Q2. How Common is this problem?
About 15% of patients who attend a Gynecologist’s outpatient has this problem.
Q3. Who is at fault, Male of Female?
In about 40% cases male & another 40% female are at fault. About 20% cases either both are at fault or there is no reason at all. (What we call as unexplained infertility).
Q4. Do this condition have treatment?
Yes, Of Course. The couple should contact the family doctor who can refer them to specialists who practice in this field.
Q5. What problems in women cause infertility?
- Uterine defects like adhesions in the cavity of uterus, fibroids, some birth defects like Septate uterus can cause infertility. One important Cause in India is TUBERCULOSIS which can damage the uterine lining and fallopian tubes.
- Fallopian tubes may be blocked or may not function due to infections, endometriosis or prior surgery of pelvis.
- Ovaries may not ovulate or may have infrequent ovulation.
- Cervical mucus defects might lead to prevention of sperms from swimming through it to the cavity of uterus.
Q6. What causes Male infertility?
- Impotence – Inability to consummate the sexual intercourse.
- Premature Ejaculation – wherein the male partner is unable to deposit the semen high up in the vagina.
- Low Sperm Count- (Less than 20 million per ml), low sperm motility, infections in semen (oligo- asthenospermia).
- Total absence of sperm called Azoospermia.
Q7. Do we have a Solution for all these problems?
Most of them can be treated. Initial investigations in some of these conditions are expensive and once the cause is found, Solution is there.
Q8. If the fallopian tubes are badly damaged, what can be done?
We do a Laparoscopy to find out the extend of damage whether it can be repaired. If it is an irreversible damage as in the case of tuberculosis we have to resort to TEST TUBE PREGNANCY.
Q9. If the Male has Azoospermia, then what?
- There are facilities for donor insemination program.
- In some cases ART Might help.