Giving Hope To Infertile Couples

Infertility is a topic that’s uncomfortable for many to discuss, but is far more common than most people realize. Often, the situation is viewed as a woman’s problem. In truth, all genders can equally contribute with difficulty conceiving. Research shows a third of infertility cases are solely linked to issues with a woman, another third exclusively with men, and the final third being a combination of problems with the couple. As a result, assisted reproductive therapy (ART) is sometimes the only solution that can overcome medical or biological issues that would otherwise prevent successful conception and gestation.


Treating male infertility

While society pushes the idea that fertility is a solely female issue, factors such as poor sperm quality can also influence how easily a couple can conceive. In heterosexual couples, factors such as low sperm count, poor motility, and even chromosomal abnormalities can all reduce conception odds. Procedures can help boost conception odds. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves injecting sperm directly into the uterus. Meanwhile, gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) can premix egg and sperm outside of the body before inserting directly in a woman’s fallopian tubes, potentially bypassing failure rates from slow-moving sperm.

When egg quality is questioned

Most people are familiar with in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is a common treatment that involves boosting ovulation, egg retrieval, fertilization outside of the body, and then embryo transfer to a woman’s uterus to ideally boost pregnancy odds. The procedure is usually associated with female infertility although in heterosexual couples, both partners may struggle with issues. IVF is the most well-known and successful ART method, but can include variations depending on concerns a fertility specialist or couple may have.

IVF with assisted hatching

Traditional IVF requires the embryo to do all the work of attaching to the uterus wall once embryo transfer occurs. In assisted hatching, shortly after the fertilization process in a laboratory, specialists will use tools to essentially crack the surface of the embryo. By doing so, the belief is that the embryo will have less difficulty implanting or attaching to the uterine wall creating an easier pathway for sperm to enter and fertilize the egg. The process takes place very quickly and shortly after, the embryo transfer takes place.

Working around poor donor quality

Both eggs and sperm can be of poor quality. When such a situation arises, the couple has the option to use a donor. Whether from an egg or a sperm donor, the material has been tested and screened for the most common genetic conditions and found to be of sufficient quality for use. Couples can select a suitable sample based on a variety of criteria, including race or ethnicity.

Creating opportunities for families

Infertility can be a very isolating diagnosis, regardless of gender. For many, having children is a benchmark goal. Thankfully, advanced reproductive therapy has restored hope in countless women and couples to realize the dream of starting a family. With such a diverse portfolio of treatment solutions available, couples no longer have to forego the dream of becoming parents.