What is infertility? Primary, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year. Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to term following the birth of one or more biological children. There can be many causes of infertility, including poor nutrition, emotional stress, sexually transmitted diseases, thyroid disorders, candida, medical conditions, eating disorders, excessive exercise, obesity, and hormonal problems.
Diabetes mellitus. A review of type 1 diabetes came to the result that, despite modern treatment, women with diabetes are at increased risk of female infertility, such as reflected by delayed puberty and menarche, menstrual irregularities (especially oligomenorrhoea), mild hyperandrogenism, polycystic ovarian syndrome, fewer live born children and possibly earlier menopause. Animal models indicate that abnormalities on the molecular level caused by diabetes include defective leptin, insulin and kisspeptin signalling.
Women who never have pregnancies have an increased risk of ovarian tumors, so it may be related to the underlying problem rather than the treatment. Since success rates are typically higher in the first few treatment cycles, re-evaluating medication use every few months and concentrating on the treatments that have the most success appear to be appropriate.
In certain patients, blastocyst culturing allows optimal selection of embryos for transfer and an increased implant rate. However, this technology may not necessarily increase your chance for pregnancy. The main advantage is that fewer embryos may be transferred to eliminate the possibility of triplet and quadruplet pregnancies, while maintaining a high pregnancy rate.
The procedure overcomes many barriers to fertilization and allows couples with little hope of pregnancy to obtain fertilized embryos. The procedure was first used at UCSF Medical Center in 1994 and the first successful birth with ICSI assistance was in February 1995. UCSF Medical Center was the first San Francisco Bay Area program to achieve a pregnancy and birth with this procedure.
Treating or preventing existing diseases. Identifying and controlling chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism increases fertility prospects. Lifelong practice of safer sex reduces the likelihood that sexually transmitted diseases will impair fertility; obtaining prompt treatment for sexually transmitted diseases reduces the likelihood that such infections will do significant damage. Regular physical examinations (including pap smears) help detect early signs of infections or abnormalities.
Clomiphene, taken as a pill, and FSH and LH hormone injections are the main treatment for women with ovulation disorders. Women with no clear cause of their infertility might also use these drugs. Pills like clomiphene or aromatase inhibitors (letrozole, used off-label) increases LH to induce ovulation. Injections of GnRH, LH, or FSH help mature eggs and induce ovulation. Sometimes doctors use drug treatment with intrauterine insemination (IUI), when sperm are released into the uterus through a catheter (a thin flexible tube) inserted through the vagina. IUI is done at the time of ovulation.
Embryo co-culturing was initiated in the IVF lab at UCSF Medical Center in 1999 to improve the quality of embryos prior to transfer into the womb. This technique has been used since 1996 in other centers. It involves using a buffalo rat liver cell line to secrete nutritional products that help growing embryos improve their chances for survival. This technique is only recommended to patients who have had unsuccessful IVF cycles with poor embryo quality.
There are several possible biological causes of infertility for a woman, including lack of ovulation, premature ovarian insufficiency, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothalamic dysfunction, too much prolactin, damaged fallopian tubes and endometriosis. (15) However, sometimes a cause of infertility just is not found, but it corrects itself over time, which is even more likely if you try natural infertility treatment at home.
In addition to keeping stress levels low, getting adequate sleep is vitally important at improving fertility. The average woman (30 to 60 years old) gets only six hours and 41 minutes of sleep during the work week, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Research has shown that not clocking enough hours of sleep each night can negatively impact your ability to conceive.