Management of Infertility

Infertility is described as inability to conceive. Infertility can put a tremendous amount of stress in to a couple’s life. Infertility has become a very important area in field of medicine. As a result, various kinds of diagnostic and treatment methods have been developed recently.

With the advancement of medical technology, most people who were infertile in the past have gained the ability to have children. Therefore, the most appropriate word to describe inability to conceive nowadays would be ‘sub-fertility’. To categorize a person as infertile, the couple should be having regular sexual intercourse for at least one year. Regular sexual intercourse means having intercourse 2-3 times a week. Infertility should need medical attention because some causes of infertility can be treated. Sometimes infertility may reflect an underlying disease process.

When should you look for medical help? Even though the definition states that there should be at least 1 year of regular sexual intercourse to categorize a couple as infertile, the couples should not always wait for one year. The time duration which you should try conceive without medical help depends on several factors. The age of the female partner is one such important factor.

When it comes to fertility, the mother’s age plays a greater role. If the female partner is less than 30 years of age, the couple still have the time to try to get conceive without medical help. If the female partner’s age is more than 30 years, the fertility starts to decline gradually. The risk of chromosomal abnormalities of the fetus also increases with maternal age. With ageing the chances of getting other medical illnesses such as diabetes mellitus and hypertension also increases. These medical illnesses further reduce the ability to conceive. They can also affect the pregnancy negatively. For example, a child of a diabetic mother can get fetal macrosomia, cardiac abnormalities, shoulder dystorcia etc. Therefore, if the female partner is more than 30 years of age, it is better not to wait for 1 year.

If you are having any problems that is directly affecting your fertility, then you should seek medical help as soon as possible. For example, if the frequency of sexual intercourse is significantly reduced as a result of any physical problem such as dysparaunea (pain during intercourse), immediately look for medical help. Dysparaunea can be caused by many physical and psychological illnesses. Physical causes of dysparaunea such as infection can sometimes be the reason for infertility also. Therefore, identification and treatment of the cause is very important.

If you are having another serious medical illness, you should not wait for one year to seek medical help. For example, hypothyroidism is a well known cause for infertility. Hypothyroidism can have negative effect on many parts of your body. Unless treated effectively, your fertility will be significantly reduced.

The main factor that determines the necessity of medical help is the age of the female partner. If the female partner is less than 30 years of age and have no other physical or psychological problem, the couple can try to conceive on their own for one year period. According to available data 80% of couples conceive within one year. You might need early medical attention if you are more than 30 years of age. Other than that, problems in reproductive tract, serious medical illnesses warrant early medical attention.