Males and Females need to have an excellent reproductive system to have a healthy sexual life and to become pregnant. Reproductive health issues are the roadblocks that occur in males and females both and lead to concern while having a baby. This is where reproductive medicine helps.
Reproductive medicine aids in curing a variety of reproductive conditions, their prevention, and assessment, as well as their subsequent treatment and prognosis.
Common Reproductive Health Concerns for Women
The reproductive system has a central role in women's health. Reproductive diseases can negatively affect reproductive organs function and interfere with a woman's quality of life. Some common reproductive conditions include -
Female Sexual Dysfunction - Persistent, recurrent problems with sexual response, desire, orgasm or pain
Endometriosis - Endometriosis affects a woman’s uterus. It is a condition when the tissue that normally is present in the uterus, grows somewhere else. It can grow behind the uterus, on the ovaries, bowels, or on the bladder.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - It is a condition that affects a woman’s hormone levels, in their childbearing years (ages 15-44). There are cysts in the ovaries, high levels of male hormones or women might have irregular or skipped periods in PCOS. Symptoms may include infertility; pelvic pain; excess hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, thumbs, or toes; baldness or thinning hair; acne, oily skin, or dandruff; patches of thickened dark brown or black skin. There are different types of reproductive medicines for ovulation induction and are recommended as the first option for improving fertility in women with PCOS who are infertile and do not ovulate.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) - If you are under the age of 40, POI can cause your ovaries to not work as they should. Symptoms include hot flashes, cranky mood, trouble concentrating, and/or painful sex.
Uterine Fibroids - They are noncancerous growths on your uterus. They are the most common condition found in women which shows no symptoms. Symptoms of Uterine fibroids include heavy menstrual bleeding, menstrual periods lasting more than a week, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation, backache or leg pains, can cause heavy periods, abortion, preterm deliveries and even PPH during deliveries
Interstitial Cystitis (IC) - It is a chronic condition causing bladder pressure, bladder pain, and sometimes pelvic pain. Usually, when the bladder is full, it signals the brain that there is a need for urinating. With interstitial cystitis, these signals get mixed up. You feel an intense urge to urinate but only a small volume of urine passes.
Gynecologic Cancer - This category includes the type of cancers occurring in a woman’s reproductive organs.
- Cervical cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Uterine cancer
- Vaginal cancer
- Vulvar cancer
If you've been unable to conceive for a long time, seek help from your doctor for evaluation and treatment of infertility. Narayana Health is one of the best hospitals for infertility and other reproductive health issues.
Diagnosis for Reproductive Health Issues
Ovulation testing - This test is used to determine your fertile days so you can maximize your efforts in trying to conceive. It detects a surge in the luteinizing hormone (LH), which occurs a day or two before ovulation.
Hysterosalpingography - This test evaluates the shape of the uterus and checks how much the fallopian tubes are open. It is also used to investigate miscarriages due to problems in the uterus. If abnormalities are found, there are treatments that can improve fertility, possibly by flushing out and opening the fallopian tubes.
Ovarian reserve testing - This test helps determine the quality and quantity of eggs available for ovulation.
Imaging tests - With an ultrasound, the uterine or fallopian tube diseases are examined. Sometimes a sonohysterogram also called a saline infusion sonogram, is used to do a detailed analysis of the uterus which can't be seen on a regular ultrasound.
Common Reproductive Health Concerns for Men
- Male infertility
- Erectile dysfunction
- Testosterone deficiency
- Undescended testicle
- Varicocele or dilated veins around the testicle
- Hydrocele or fluid around the testicle
- Prostate cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Enlarged prostate or BPH
It is a health issue where the fertility rate becomes very low and further lowers the chances of his female partner getting pregnant. It is the most common reproductive issue among males. Symptoms include sexual dysfunctionality; pain, swelling or lump in the testicle area; recurrent respiratory infections; abnormal breast growth (Gynecomastia); chromosomal or hormonal abnormality leading to decreased facial or body hair, etc.; and lower than normal sperm count. The most common problems are with making and growing sperm. The sperm may -
- Not grow fully
- Be oddly shaped
- Not move the right way
- Be made in very low numbers (Oligospermia)
- Not be able to produce at all (Azoospermia)
Visit a doctor at Narayana Health, if you have been unable to get pregnant and conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse. Speak to a Urologist sooner if you have any of the following:
- Erection or ejaculation problems
- Low sex drive
- Other problems with sexual function
- Pain, discomfort, a lump or swelling in the testicle area
- History of testicle, prostate or sexual problems
- Groin, testicle, penis or scrotum surgery
Why Narayana Health?
Narayana Health offers a comprehensive range of reproductive services so that your journey to parenthood is stress-free as possible.
Having a baby is one of the wonders of creation. But some couples have difficulty in fulfilling this dream; this is where the scientific knowledge and application of the medical fraternity brings joy to millions of couples by assisting them to conceive through IVF.
What is IVF?
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is the advanced scientific technology for assisted conception for which Prof. Robert G Edwards was aptly conferred the prestigious Noble Prize. With the birth of the first IVF baby Lousie Brown in 1978 and millions born subsequently IVF has established itself as time tested method for achieving pregnancy. Commonly termed as test-tube baby, IVF involves fertilization of the egg and sperm outside the body (in vitro).
IVF comprises of-
- Stimulation and monitoring of the development of follicles (eggs) in the female
- Retrieval of these eggs under ultrasound guidance
- Procurement of sperms from the male
- Fertilization of the egg with sperm in the lab
- Culturing the embryo for a few days
- Transfer of the embryo back into the uterus of the female partner
- Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - A variation of the procedure involves injecting the sperm into the egg
Why is the procedure required?
IVF is done to help a woman become pregnant. It is used to treat many causes of infertility, including-
- Damaged or blocked Fallopian tubes (can be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or prior reproductive surgery)
- Male factor infertility, including decreased sperm count and blockage
- Unexplained infertility
- Advanced age of the woman
Reproductive Medicine FAQs
IVF, also known as In Vitro Fertilization, is an assisted reproductive technology. It’s the process of fertilization where eggs are extracted, and sperm samples are retrieved; they are then combined in a laboratory dish. Once the embryo begins to form, they are then transferred to the uterus. Other forms of assisted reproductive technology include gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). If you want to go through IVF, ensure that you select a reputed hospital.
IVF is used as a fertility option in patients if they are experiencing-
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
- Male factor infertility, which includes decreased sperm count or sperm mortality
- Women with ovulation disorders like a premature ovarian failure and uterine fibroids.
- Women who had to have their fallopian tubes removed
- Patients who are suffering from a genetic disorder
- Unexplained fertility
If you notice any of the issues mentioned above, then ensure that you take an appointment from a reputed IVF hospital.
Five basic steps are involved in the IVF and embryo transfer:
Step 1- this is where fertility medications are prescribed to stimulate egg production. The doctor will need multiple eggs because some may not develop or fertilize after retrieval.
Step 2- Eggs are retrieved through a surgical process that uses ultrasound imaging and guides the needle to remove the eggs; the surgery is a minor process.
Step 3- The male is asked to produce sperm samples, which is prepared so that it is combined with eggs.
Step 4- This process is called insemination, the sperm and eggs are mixed and they are stored in a lab dish to encourage the fertilization process.
Step 5- The embryos are usually transferred into the woman’s uterus three to five days after egg retrieval and fertilization.
The success rate depends on many factors which include reproductive history, maternal age, infertility causes, and lifestyle factors. If you want to check on the scope of IVF then you have to consult with doctors and get the best reproductive medicine for you. You also have to understand that pregnancy rates are not the same as live birth rates.
You may need to take it easy after the procedure, also you should consult your doctor before taking on the procedure and get the process done at the best infertility hospital. Here are some of the common side effects that women suffer from after IVF treatments-
Passing minimal amounts of fluid, like clear or blood-tinged once the procedure is done
- Mild cramping
- Mild bloating
- Breast tenderness
If you experience any of the following symptoms then contact your doctor immediately:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Pelvic pain
- Blood while passing urine
- High fever
Side effects of the hormonal medications include:
- Mood swings
- Abdominal pain
- Hot flashes
- Abdominal bloating