Center for Reproductive and Fetal Medicine

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FERTILITY PROBLEMS AND CORRESPONDING TREATMENTS

Hands of a scientist in the laboratory with a test tube and a microscope.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FERTILITY PROBLEMS AND CORRESPONDING TREATMENTS

Medicine is rapidly evolving along with advances in technology and science and has made impressive advances in assisted reproductive therapies. One of the greatest examples of this medical progress is evident in in vitro fertilization (IVF). In vitro fertilization is a process that allows the fertilization of an egg by bringing it in contact with sperm outside the human body. Simply put, this process actually involves removing the egg from the woman's body, fertilizing it with the help of sperm and then placing the fertilized egg back in the womb.

Assisted reproduction therapies allow women to increase their fertility rate and fight infertility caused by fallopian tube problems. They also help eliminate male infertility due to low sperm quality by using Intracellular Sperm Infusion (ICSI). This technique enhances the chances of fertilization by injecting the sperm directly into the egg. Recent studies show that its use ICSI has effectively increased the chances of fertility. This technique can only be effective when both the eggs and the sperm are healthy. Therefore, it is necessary to rule out the possibility of genetic disorders through it Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

Other common techniques used in in vitro fertilization or infertility treatments are Transvaginal Egg Recovery (TVOR) and Embryo Transfer. During the technical process TVOR, the Reproductive Medicine Specialist guides a needle through the vaginal wall and enters the ovaries to receive eggs. This whole procedure is done with the help of ultrasound. In the process of embryo transfer one or more embryos are placed inside the female uterus in order to increase the level of fertility and the chances of fertilization.

In addition, there are other options, such as egg donation, sperm donation and surrogacy, which can also eliminate infertility problems.

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FREQUENT QUESTIONS

The association of IVF drugs with cancer risk is a major concern for women enrolled in these programs. But the plethora of bibliographic reports collected from credible scientific studies and published in reputable medical journals worldwide are reassuring and do not confirm this concern.

Of course not. In about a third of cases, infertility is due to the woman (female factor), while in a third of cases, it is due to the man (male factor). The remaining one-third is due to both (both men and women) or even to unknown factors.

The quantity and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his health and lifestyle. Some factors that can reduce the quantity and / or quality of sperm are:

  • the alcohol
  • drugs
  • environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
  • smoking
  • health problems
  • medicines
  • radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • the age

Success rates vary at each IVF Center. Very important factors are also the age of the woman, the levels of her hormones and of course the sperm of the husband. Rates generally range from 45% or slightly higher for women up to 35 years old.

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year (or 6 months, if it is a woman over 35) with normal, regular sexual intercourse. In other words, when a year passes without the woman becoming pregnant, the couple should consult their doctor to determine the cause of the pregnancy and then treat it. We must all, however, be aware and not forget that the age factor is the most critical for female fertility and that the individualized approach of each couple is the "golden key" that solves the problem.

The number of treatment cycles a woman can undergo is not specified. It is certain that in our country there are high level obstetricians-gynecologists and organized infertility treatment centers, which offer impeccable medical services at this level. If there are correct indications (eg ovaries that respond to stimulation therapy, good quality endometrium, etc.) the success rate -especially with the use of newer techniques and biotechnological drugs, which show increased bioactivity compared to conventional drugs from urine- totals approximately 65%-70% after 4 cycles of treatment.

At the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Dr. Traianos we offer egg / sperm cryopreservation services for those who have a personal or medical reason and need this service. We use the most modern vitrification technique in the freezing of sperm and eggs.

The collection of eggs takes 10-15 minutes, it is not painful, it is done under intoxication and after the end of the process you return to your activities.

In general, experts agree that the fact that a couple has already had a child can be considered evidence that there is no infertility problem in the first place. It is like a small test that has been done and proves that they "succeeded" at least once. On the other hand, we need to know that in the meantime things may have changed and a problem may have arisen (eg the man may have had some inflammation that affects the quality of his sperm or has mediated something that affects female fertility: an inflammation, a gynecological surgery, an abortion, etc.). In any case, if a reasonable period of time (one year) passes and a couple can not achieve a pregnancy, then he should with the help of his doctor investigate if there has been a problem that causes infertility.