In waking life, procreation is practical and the results are seen either in your home, family or when you move out. In the real sense, I, you and the others are a result of this natural ‘God-given’ mechanism. At our IVF centre, we see several couples come in complaining about the inability of getting pregnant or what is termed as infertility. Good enough, we have seen many of these couples who walked in with pain, doubt, and fear, go out there with bundles of joy “children”, healthy and with a bright future ahead of them.
How Was Procreation Meant To Be? – The Natural Cycle
From a mere look, natural conception may seem a walkover, but a complex cycle with several strings attached to it. The entire system is guided by hormones, facts and not myths. Any malfunction or defect at a point can result in infertility.
Hormones as a pivot. A woman’s reproductive system is controlled by several hormones that include oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone. These hormones are produced in regulated levels. Other hormones are produced by a small gland, known as the pituitary gland, located in the brain. These hormones or substances are known as Luteinising hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). These substances play a vital role during a woman’s menstrual cycle, conception, and during the 9 months of pregnancy.
For pregnancy to occur, a couple will engage in intercourse. The released sperm will pass through the cervix to the Fallopian tubes where it meets the already released egg. This is where fertilization occurs. The fertilized egg will then slope to the uterus where the uterus lining is already prepared by the progesterone hormone for implantation to occur. Once implantation occurs, a woman is deemed pregnant.
Assisted Conception: Infertility, How It Occurs & The IVF Role!
The inability to conceive after a year or more is termed as infertility. This is what takes people to IVF centres with a major aim of finding out the actual cause and how it can be undone to facilitate conception.
According to surveys, 83% of couples are able to conceive naturally within a year of trying. But today, an escalating failure to conceive within a year or two is registered in India and around the world. Ideally, 1 in 6 couples finds trouble conceiving. Infertility causes are generally categorized as male infertility factors, female factors, or a combination. They can precisely be noted as;
Male Infertility Factors
- Genetic problems
- Chromosomal disorders
- Undescended Testes
- Mumps infection in childhood
- Exposure to chemicals
- Blockages in the reproductive system
- Recurrent infection
- Nicotine (Smoking)
- Testicular tissue
- Past sterilization
Generally, male infertility causes surround sperm quality, production, and passage. Several factors as mentioned above can result in an impaired sperm production and abnormalities. The sperm count, quality and morphology can also be affected in a long run. Other factors like painful intercourse and premature ejaculation can result in male infertility.
Female Infertility Factors
- Blocked Fallopian tubes
- Pelvic infection
- Ovulation disorders
- Premature ovarian failure
- Endometrial polyps
- Scar formation in the uterus
- Age advancement
- Emotional stress
- Chronic diseases
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
- Hormonal imbalances
Female infertility causes can inhibit the embryo from implanting itself in the uterus, hinder the egg from meeting the sperm (blockages), or trigger a miscarriage.
The IVF Role
The IVF treatment is an assisted form of conception and it aims at overpowering every type of infertility. Fertility drugs are usually given to a woman to correct ovulation problems and the provided eggs are surgically harvested and taken to a laboratory. The male sperms may be surgically corrected, or otherwise, after which they are combined with the female eggs in a lab.
The formed embryo is transferred to the woman’s womb for implantation. Normally, a fertility expert will take several precautions to facilitate implantation in case a woman has uterine problems.