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:4/14/2015)... April 14, 2015  HYPR Corp. today announced ... ® ) Alliance tm , an industry consortium ... commit to share technology and collaborate to deliver ... interoperable, more secure and private, and easier to ... verification that protects sensitive user information and eliminates ...
(Date:4/13/2015)... April 13, 2015 According ... "Global Biometrics Market Forecast & Opportunities, 2020", the global ... of around 14% till 2020. The biometrics market ... scale implementation and review of biometric management systems. ... new products with greater efficiency, are resulting in ...
(Date:4/10/2015)... , April 10, 2015 Research ... of the "Security Competitive Profiles - NEC" ... , NEC will continue to supply a ... the market, with a company focus on the development ... Winning opportunities in the Asia-Pacific ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):HYPR Corp. Joins the FIDO Alliance 2HYPR Corp. Joins the FIDO Alliance 3Global Biometrics Market to Cross US$ 21 Billion by 2020: TechSci Research 2NEC Security Competitive Profile 2015 2
... of Technology have built a very simple nanoantenna that ... though the antenna is smaller than the wavelength of ... Nature Communications this week can lead ... concentrations of gases or biomolecules. A structure that ...
... Mirko Gojic, a researcher at the University of Zagreb in ... to lower the price of ,smart metals,: a type of ... the pre-deformed shape by heating a property that makes ... there, but problems quickly aroused from lack of money and ...
... September 22, 2011Innovation in the design of vaccines is rapidly ... therapeutic interventions. The enormous potential of OMICS sciences for global ... 21st Century and Vaccinomics," a special issue of OMICS: ... by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc . The issue is ...
Cached Biology News:Bimetallic nanoantenna separates colors of light 2Shape memory materials ready for mass production 2Shape memory materials ready for mass production 321st century vaccines -- innovation in design and rational use 221st century vaccines -- innovation in design and rational use 3
Other biology definitionOther Tags