How can infertility be treated?
Just to broadly understand, there are four leading causes of infertility:
- Ovulation defects
- Tubal factor infertility
- Male factor infertility
- Unexplained infertility
Ovulation defects or anovulation can be dealt with by going ahead with ovulation induction. Ovulation induction involves using pills such as Clomid (clomiphene) or using gonadotropin injections, such as Menopur or Gonal-F. Along with these, we also recommend follicle tracking so that we can get the right treatment for yourself.
Tubal Factor Infertility
As regards, tubal factor infertility, moderate to severe tubal disease which can lead to bilateral tubal blockage or a removal of the tubes which is also referred as a salpingectomy is usually dealt with by an IVF treatment.
However if you have a unilateral tubal disease and have not yet tried to conceive, then in this case just keep trying to conceive for around a year or two. You would only need treatment if you failed to conceive. The majority of women with a mild tubal disease which is one-sided should be able to conceive naturally.
Male Factor Infertility
With regards to managing male infertility several treatments can be done:
- psychosexual counselling for erectile dysfunction
- certain medications
- intracytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI)
- artificial insemination
Psychosexual counselling and insemination are mainly used in cases of erectile dysfunction whereas ICSI would be recommended if the semen analysis shows low sperm count, low morphology or low motility where we think that there are significant reasons and a need for help.
With regards to unexplained infertility is usually where we group all the reasons where we have not identified any reason. Usually, if couples have been trying to conceive for two years and more we would recommend in this case doing an IVF treatment along with intracytoplasmic insemination (ICSI).
The reason we recommend ICSI is because sometimes there is a reason that the sperm does not attach to the egg. We do not have any diagnostic tests to pick up that problem, and it will only show up as a failed fertilisation if the couple were only to go through an IVF.
So infertility can be treated in various ways. Ovulation induction or performing IVF or performing insemination or artificial insemination, or doing intracytoplasmic sperm insemination (ICSI).