Navigation Links
Infertility


Infertility is the inability to naturally conceive, carry or deliver a healthy child. There are many reasons why a couple may not be able to conceive, or may not be able to conceive without medical assistance .

Contents

Definition

The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID) considers a couple to be infertile if:

  • they have not conceived after a year of unprotected intercourse, or after six months in women over 35;
  • there is incapability to carry a pregnancy to term.

Causes

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the U.S., equivalent to ten percent of the reproductive age population. Female infertility accounts for one third of infertility cases, male infertility for another third, combined male and female infertility for another 15%, and the remainder of cases are "unexplained"2.

A Robertsonian translocation in either partner may cause recurrent abortions or complete infertility.

Female infertility

Factors relating to female infertility are:

Male infertility

Factors relating to male infertility include3:

Some causes of male infertility can be determined by analysis of the ejaculate, which contains the sperm. The analysis includes counting the number of sperm and measuring their motility under a microscope:

  • Producing few sperm, oligospermia , or no sperm, azoospermia .
  • A sample of sperm that is normal in number but shows poor motility, or asthenozoospermia .

Combined infertility

In some cases, both the man and woman may be infertile or sub-fertile, and the couple's infertility arises from the combination of these conditions. In other cases, the cause is suspected to be immunological or genetic; it may be that each partner is independently fertile but the couple cannot conceive together without assistance.

Treatment

There are various treatments for infertility, depending what the problem is. These treatments include:

  • Fertility medication which stimulates the ovaries to "ripen" and release eggs (e.g. clomifene citrate, which stimulates ovulation)
  • Surgery to restore patency of obstructed fallopian tubes
  • Donor insemination which involves the woman being artificially inseminated with donor sperm.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF) in which eggs are removed from the woman, fertilized and then placed in the woman's uterus, bypassing the fallopian tubes. Variations on IVF include:
    • Use of donor eggs and/or sperm in IVF. This happens when a couple's eggs and/or sperm are unusable, or to avoid passing on a genetic disease.
    • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg; the fertilized egg is then placed in the woman's uterus as in IVF.
    • Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) in which eggs are removed from the woman, fertilized and then placed in the woman's fallopian tubes rather than the uterus.
    • Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) in which eggs are removed from the woman, and placed in one of the fallopian tubes, along with the man's sperm. This allows fertilization to take place inside the woman's body.
  • Use of a surrogate mother to carry the child.

Ethics

There are many ethical issues associated with infertility and its treatment.

  • High-cost treatments are out of financial reach for some couples.
  • Health insurance and infertility treatment.
  • The status of embryos fertilized in vitro and not transfered in vivo.
  • IVF and other fertility treatments have resulted in an increase in multiple births, provoking ethical analysis because of the link between multiple pregnancies, premature birth, and a host of health problems.
  • Religious leaders' instructions on fertility treatments.

Psychological impact

Infertility may have a profound psychological affects. Partners may become more anxious to conceive, paradoxically increasing sexual dysfunction. Marital discord often develops in infertile couples, especially when they are under pressure to make medical decisions. Women trying to conceive often have clinical depression rates similar to women who have cancer4.

If infertility treatment is unsuccessful after several attempts, the most difficult decision a couple faces is whether to keep trying this or another treatment, or to discontinue treatment.

Social impact

In many cultures, inability to conceive bears a stigma. In closed social groups, a degree of rejection (or a sense of being rejected by the couple) may cause considerable anxiety and disappointment.

Notes

External links


'"/>


(Date:12/5/2014)... 2014 Increased emphasis on product quality, ... testing and inspection technologies. The convergence of industries ... range of innovative test solutions. This trend is ... which is generally more inclined towards communication, media ... strategies of test equipment vendors will cater to ...
(Date:11/21/2014)... , November 18, 2014 According ... Market by Systems (Video, RFID, Access Control, Intrusion Detection, ... Hotels, Banks, Government), Component Service Geography - Global Forecasts ... Market is projected to be around $25 Billion in ... 2020, growing at a CAGR of 8.69%. ...
(Date:11/18/2014)... 2014  The Secure Identity & Biometrics Association ... announce the formation of The Airport Entry and ... Identity and Biometric Entry and Exit Solutions Framework ... support from BORDERPOL, the international non-profit organization that ... expertise regarding border security, traveler and migration systems. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Emerging Technologies Enable Smarter Monitoring of Assets, Push Industrial Testing, Inspection and Monitoring Market 2Emerging Technologies Enable Smarter Monitoring of Assets, Push Industrial Testing, Inspection and Monitoring Market 3Emerging Technologies Enable Smarter Monitoring of Assets, Push Industrial Testing, Inspection and Monitoring Market 4Industrial Security Systems Market Worth $38 Billion by 2020 2Industrial Security Systems Market Worth $38 Billion by 2020 3Identity Management, Document Authentication and Biometric Companies Form "The Airport Entry and Exit Working Group", Releasing the Framework to Help Guide the Department of Homeland Security and Congress Towards Solutions 2Identity Management, Document Authentication and Biometric Companies Form "The Airport Entry and Exit Working Group", Releasing the Framework to Help Guide the Department of Homeland Security and Congress Towards Solutions 3
... progress toward elucidating key genetic events associated with the ... malignancy that is the second most common cancer of ... of Cancer Cell, provide new genetic and biological insights ... therapeutics that can be targeted to specific MM patients ...
... Medicine researchers have new data showing chloride ions are critical ... a chemical used to keep barnacles off boats might disrupt ... data are the first to directly show that chloride ions ... Santos-Sacchi, professor in the Departments of Surgery and Neurobiology and ...
... Fish kills, foul odors and closed beaches hit Rhode ... culprit was hypoxia, or oxygen depletion, which literally suffocates ... could be seen on the bay's surface, Brown University ... , In a survey of nine mussel reefs located ...
Cached Biology News:Genome changes tracked during multiple myeloma initiation, progression and treatment 2'Dead zone' summer killed billions of ocean state mussels 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags