Infertility is simply defined as the inability to conceive within 12 months despite regular, adequate and unprotected sexual intercourse. Having children and a family to raise is the desire of every couple hence the reason, it is an issue of concern in most homes. Over 25% of Nigerians experience infertility.
Infertility can be primary, that is the inability to become pregnant after at least 1year of unprotected sex or secondary, that is the inability to become pregnant after being pregnant for once. There are various factors responsible and it can either be a male or female factor as well as unknown(unidentified).
There is a different approach to Infertility which improves the couples' chances of getting pregnant, however, the choice of approach is based on the cause of Infertility as well as the different investigation results.
Below are some identified approaches apart from IVF (In vitro fertilization):
Ovulation induction: This involves the use of medications to stimulate the ovaries to release eggs. Ovulation which is the release of eggs is essential in the conception process. There has to be an egg available for the sperm to fertilise which results in a baby after several stages of development. The medications acts on a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which is essential in stimulating the ovary to grow and release an egg.
Intrauterine insemination: This is a process by which sperm is washed and prepared for placement in the uterus, therefore bypassing the cervix and bringing a higher concentration of motile sperm closer to the tubes and ovulated egg. It is used in cases of hostile cervical mucus, male fertility problems or unexplained infertility. The chances of success are dependent on ovulation which should be monitored and also a well-prepared sperm.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: This is a process by which semen is washed and prepared for direct injection of one sperm into each egg collected during the IVF process. This process bypasses the normal fertilization process, which may be compromised due to poor sperm function.
Third party reproduction: This involves the provision of sperm or eggs by another person or where another woman acts as a gestational surrogate, with the purpose of helping a couple have a child. It can be sperm donation, egg donation, embryo donation or gestational surrogacy.
It’s important that you are aware of the various Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) and speak to your doctor about which method will best address your fertility problems. Knowledge has a large place to play in fighting fertility.