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Diagnosing infertility does not start without certain preliminary requirements. The doctor would need to understand the sexual habits of the couple and then make appropriate recommendations. No specific cause of infertility is found within some couples and is known as unexplained infertility.

What are the available tests?

Fertility tests of men include:

Semen analysis - Semen is obtained by interrupting intercourse or masturbating and collected in a clean container. The semen specimen is analyzed. It might even be tested for urine.

Sperm DNA Fragmentation test – The test measures the susceptibility of the DNA of the sperms to denaturation when exposed to acids or heat.

Hormone testing - There might be a blood test to test the level of testosterone and other hormones.

Testicular biopsy - A testicular biopsy might be performed to find out the abnormalities that contribute to infertility. It could even be used to retrieve sperms.

Genetic testing - Genetic testing might be done to find out if there is a genetic defect that is causing infertility.

Imaging - Imaging techniques like transrectal or scrotal ultrasound or a test of the vas deferens like vasography might be performed.

 

Fertility tests of women include:

Hysterosalpingography - The condition of the fallopian tubes and the uterus is tested. The uterus is injected with X-ray contrast and the X-ray is taken to determine if the cavity is fine and ensure that the fluid spills out of the fallopian tubes.

Ovulation testing - The blood test would measure the hormone levels to figure if you are ovulating.

Ovarian reserve testing - The quality and quantity of the eggs available for ovulation are tested. This approach is often preceded by hormone testing.

Imaging tests - The uterine and fallopian tube diseases can be identified through pelvic ultrasound.

 

What are the treatments available?

 

The treatment facilities for men include:

Medications - The sperm count can be improved through certain medications. The testicular functions are improved through such medication.

Altering lifestyle factors - Behavioral factors and lifestyle needs to be improved to achieve pregnancy. This might involve avoiding certain medications, eliminating harmful substances, taking part in regular physical exercise. improving the frequency and timing of intercourse and optimising certain other factors.

Sperm retrieval - If there is a problem in ejaculation or there is no sperm present in the ejaculated fluid, then such techniques are used. They can also be used in assisted reproductive techniques.

Surgery - Surgery can be used to reverse the sperm blockage or repair a varicocele and increase the chances of pregnancy.

The treatment facilities for women include:

Using fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation - Fertility drugs form the primary treatment for women for ovulation disorders. These medications induce or regulate ovulation.

Intrauterine insemination - Though this is not a way to treat infertility, it can help those cases where the fertility problems lie with the males. The healthy sperms are placed directly in the uterus at a time when the ovary releases egg(s) for fertilisation. The timing can be coordinated with the normal cycle or along with medications depending on the reasons of infertility.

Surgery - Uterine septum, endometrial polyps or intrauterine scar tissues are uterine problems that can be treated with a hysteroscopic surgery.

These are some of the ways to treat infertility problems.

Authored by "Dr.Saravanan Lakshmanan" and "Dr.Mahalakshmi Saravanan"