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IVF is today especially indicated for female patients with damaged tubes: Expert

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Friday, March 3, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is today especially indicated for female patients with damaged tubes, according to experts.

They further say that different conditions need different solutions, and IVF is one of the many treatments available. A fertility specialist has to deal with several standard and critical fertility problems, including ovulation problems, hormonal disorders, weight or age-related Infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, and abnormal sperm production, as well as fertility-related to specific genetic conditions. 

According to Dr Robert Fischer, Member of the EXCEMED Scientific Committee and founder medical director, Fertility Center Hamburg (FCH), “IVF is also an option in case of blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis, low sperm count or other sperm impairments, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or other ovarian conditions, uterine fibroids, problems with uterus, risk of passing on a genetic disease or disorder, unexplained infertility and using an egg donor or a gestational surrogate.”

The FCH is one of the largest and leading German IVF centers. Prior to this (1983-1998) he was the medical director of the first outpatient IVF unit in Hamburg.

One should consider proper examination of the couple, which will include monitoring the women's menstrual cycle, confirming ovulation (release of an egg from the ovary) and assessing the uterus and the patency (normal functioning) of the tubes as well as sperm analysis for the male. In case of damaged tubes or severe male Infertility, IVF is indicated. Still, if simple fertility treatment like ovarian stimulation and timing intercourse or artificial insemination does not work, IVF treatment can also be considered.

If a couple is having unprotected intercourse for around 12 months and in advance, maternal age (>38 years) for six months, then the couple should consult the fertility specialist to undergo diagnostics examinations that might lead to an IVF treatment if necessary.

IVF is a complex process that involves retrieving eggs and combining them with sperm in a lab for fertilization. People choose IVF for multiple reasons, including infertility issues or when one partner has an existing health condition. In addition, some people will try IVF after other fertility methods have failed or if they’re at an advanced maternal age.

Still, it can further be used for male subfertility by introducing sperm microinjection into the oocyte (ICSI) and can use testicular sperm extraction in cases of no sperm found in ejaculation in the male partner. IVF can also be used in cases where no reason (idiopathic Infertility) has been found for Infertility despite other treatments, and the patient did not conceive.

A visit to a gynaecologist is usually the first step in the journey of fertility. Although they perform the initial checks regarding fertility and direct the patients according to the diagnosis, they mainly deal with issues related to female reproductive organs.

Whereas an IVF specialist will deal with infertility issues in both males and females and develop treatment plans, they will have specialized training for infertility treatment. For example, IVF specialists are trained in endocrinology, andrology, controlled ovarian stimulation, oocyte pick up, and embryo transfer which an average gynaecologist won’t undergo.

One of the main things that hopeful parents should be aware of is the delay in conception, combined with advanced age, especially for females. As advances, maternal age plays an essential role in impacting one’s fertility as there is a reduction in the ovarian reserve and oocyte quality, leading to difficulties during conception and live births.


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