Fertility problems: what should the diagnosis be and what treatments are available?

Nowadays, more than 15% of couples who wish to become parents will have difficulties in achieving their goal. Delayed childbearing, the increase of different diseases in women that interfere with their fertility (endometriosis, myomas…), a decrease in seminal quality due to factors such as stress or smoking and many other factors mean that couples are increasingly seeking support from specialized fertility clinics.

What fertility tests are necessary before any process?

The basic fertility study most of the time is usually simple, and with easy and painless tests. Carefully taking a medical history, a gynecological ultrasound, some hormonal blood tests and a spermogram can provide very useful information to find a problem, and thus establish a prognosis and treatment in couples who want to become parents.

In 40% of couples the problem will be found in the woman, in 40% in the man and in up to 20% some type of problem can be detected in both spouses. In up to 10% of couples, in spite of various studies, no responsible factor can be found, which is called idiopathic or unexplained infertility.

What are the main fertility problems affecting women?

The main problems that can be found in women are alterations in ovulation, either by a disease of the ovary itself (polycystic ovary syndrome, low ovarian reserve) or by secondary causes, such as nutrition or excessive exercise, among others.

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Some pathologies that can affect the fallopian tubes or salpinges will impede the union of the egg with the sperm or even the transport of the embryo to the uterine cavity… Endometriosis and salpingitis are some examples. Finally, problems in the uterine cavity due to myomas or polyps, or diseases that affect the implantation of the embryo, are another group of disorders that we encounter more and more frequently in Assisted Reproduction consultations.

What fertility problems affect men?

Men can also see their reproductive capacity affected by an infinite number of problems. From environmental toxins to different types of negative stimuli encountered in their daily work (radiation, chemicals, fertilizers, long hours of driving), and even smoking, alcohol and drugs. All of the above can cause alterations in seminal quality.

There are testicular problems such as varicocele, which may be responsible for up to one third of the cases of men who fail to become fathers and which requires a proper diagnosis and treatment, in addition to reproductive counseling by a specialist in the field.

What fertility treatments will be applied to couples who cannot conceive?

The treatments for couples who want to become fathers are very diverse, and can range from diagnostic tests (such as hysterosalpingography), which often has the beneficial effect of freeing some tubal obstruction, to general measures related to weight, such as exercise or nutritional measures. Antioxidants in the male improve seminal quality, obtaining positive results in many couples.

Other alternatives in the treatment of the couple can be the induction of ovulation with oral or injected medications, always recommending a serial ultrasound monitoring or intrauterine insemination, which is an outpatient treatment, painless and performed in the same office with good pregnancy rates if there is an adequate indication for such treatment.

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When neither ovulation inducers by themselves, nor intrauterine insemination, nor general measures have worked, there is the possibility of performing some type of reproductive surgery (laparoscopy or hysteroscopy), which can help us diagnose and treat fertility problems.

What Assisted Reproduction techniques will be recommended?

Finally we have assisted reproductive techniques such as In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), or the use of gamete donation (Ovodonation or insemination with donor sample) to achieve pregnancy in those couples in which, with previous treatments, this end has not been achieved.

It is important that couples who have fertility problems do not feel pressured, since the anxiety caused by this type of problem can be a negative factor that worsens their personal situation. Our advice is always to seek help in time and with people specialized in the subject. Clínica Imar has a specialist in Psychology, with experience in it.

Clínica Imar has 15 years of history in the city of Murcia, has specialists in reproduction with training and experience in leading clinics worldwide, and with extensive experience in the field. In addition to helping to achieve a positive result in these couples, it performs a proper follow-up throughout the pregnancy and helps the birth of the baby in renowned hospitals in the city.

Clínica Imar also has a multidisciplinary team with more than 20 specialists in different fields of medicine that can help to give an adequate response to each problem that arises in families. All together, working with care, love and passion to make people who come every day to our offices feel special.