Having children is the dream of every couple. Unfortunately, some couples have tried to get a child for years with no success due to fertility problems. Such a predicament can be pretty distressing for most couples and those around them. One in eight couples struggles with infertility. In contrast, close to only 60 percent of all couples can conceive within the first six months of trying without medical assistance. The good news is there are lots of solutions for those dealing with infertility which make it easier for them to pursue their dream of building their family and having children of their own. This article explores some of the answers.
Check Your Diet
Eating a balanced diet with the right amount of proteins, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits can help gain nutrients needed to improve human fertility - you should also reduce your caffeine intake and eat fish a few times every week. Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can improve fertility. However, stay away from fish with high mercury levels like tuna, swordfish, and marlin.
A balanced diet offers a healthier alternative to pregnancy multivitamins while improving your overall wellbeing at the same time. However, your daily intake of folic acid should always meet the 400 micrograms threshold. Also, check with your doctor to determine if you have the proper levels of Vitamin D.
Surrogacy refers to a method of assisted reproduction where a couple having a difficult time having a baby works with a gestational surrogate. The surrogate mother carries and cares for the baby until birth. Surrogacy has great results when a couple works with a professional surrogacy agency, for instance, IARC Surrogacy Agency, where intended parents can use their genetic material, but an egg donor may be required. The gestational carriers share no genetic relationship with the children.
Smoking causes both respiratory and reproductive problems. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that damage the genetic makeup of eggs and sperm, which lower the chances of conception. Did you know that smoking makes it harder for the egg to reach and successfully implant the uterine walls? In males, it reduces the sperm count. The few sperms produced often display deformations of different kinds. Additionally, smoking makes it harder for a man to develop and sustain an erection.
Artificial Insemination Technique
Although artificial insemination embraces various techniques, intrauterine insemination is by far the most common. Also known as IUI, artificial insemination can either be an artificial insemination husband (AIH) or artificial insemination donor (AID). Among the two, most people prefer AIH.
As the female approaches ovulation, washed and concentrated semen containing at least a million sperms from a male gets introduced through a polythene catheter into the uterus or vagina. Washing the semen gets rid of prostaglandins and proteins.
For the best results, the semen used should contain more than ten million motile sperms. The fertilizing capacity of healthy sperms ranges between 24 to 48 hours. You can have the process repeated over two to three days. Different centers post different results, but the success rate ranges between 20 to 40 percent. Superovulation and IUI return the best results. In cases where the husband's sperm have defects, AID offers better results. Sperms used in this method come from a semen bank.
Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT)
Ricardo Asch first introduced GIFT in 1984. It is more costly and invasive when compared to in vitro fertilization, but it returns better results. This method involves the transfer of both the unfertilized oocytes and the sperm into the fallopian tubes. Fertilization then happens within the female body.
The method can only work in the presence of standard fallopian tubes. The indications do not differ from those in IVF bar the tubal factor. It offers better results in cases of unexplained fertility, but the results are abysmal in male factor abnormality. It has a success rate of about 27 to 30 percent.
If the fertility problem affects the male, using donor sperm to conceive offers a solution. The number of ways you could use to select a sperm donor has grown dramatically over the years. You can choose to buy from a sperm bank or pick a donor on the internet. Always stick to working with reputable sites and read reviews. Find out how they collect sperm, screen the donors, and how you want your child to relate to the donor.
Using Egg Donation or Donor Embryos
Another option for couples dealing with infertility involves using donor eggs or donor embryos through IVF procedures. Egg donation ranks among the most popular methods used by women aged 40 or older. It is also preferred by couples using surrogate mothers.
Egg donation comes in handy for females with premature ovarian failure, genetic diseases that could pass to the baby, diminished ovarian reserve, or those that have had chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments.
Test Tube Babies
In this case, the fusion of the sperm and ovum happens in a laboratory to form a zygote which then develops into an embryo under the right conditions. A professional then implant the embryo into the uterus, where it undergoes further development to form a fetus that becomes a baby; or a test tube baby. Both the ova from the woman and the sperm from the man get induced to create a zygote under a conducive environment in a laboratory.
Embryo implantation happens in the uterus, where it undergoes further development to form an embryo which forms a baby after full development. You should note that the baby does not develop in a test tube. Although it has a meager success rate, it offers a glimmer of hope to couples struggling with infertility.
Trying for a baby comes with a lot of emotions and stress for couples dealing with infertility. However, you can benefit from several procedures, treatments, and lifestyle changes. Test tube babies offer a solution for couples in such a position. You can also explore artificial insemination, intrafallopian gamete transfer, surrogacy, and sperm donation if the fertility problem lies with the man. Egg donation and using donor embryos offer better results, especially in cases where the female has a problem. Simple lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and maintaining a balanced diet can also help improve fertility and enhance your chances of conceiving.
WRITTEN BYDaria Brown