Mohit and Richa got married four years ago and it was a year earlier that they started trying for a baby. They had never even imagined that this was the beginning of a nightmare for them; as they failed month after month, the terrible truth dawned on them that they might never be able to have a family of their own. They talked to doctors and gynecologists, had a number of tests and were diagnosed to be suffering from “combined infertility”. But soon they decided that it was high time that they approach a specialist clinic for help and finally when they did, they came to know that this was not mission impossible!
Combined infertility is a condition when both the male as well as female is suffering from some kind of infertility issues and this is the reason why they are coming across conception problems. Studies have shown that nearly 20% of couples suffer from combined infertility; in the remaining 80% of them, the problems with each gender are responsible equally. Complicated as it sounds, treating combined infertility is not necessarily so because the problems may be so minor that little treatment can yield fast and effective results. Awareness can go a long way in helping the couple combat combined infertility with an open mind and get the problem resolved at the earliest.
Understanding Combined Infertility
Before delving deeper into the topic of combined infertility, it is essential to understand all about infertility first. When a couple fails to conceive despite having unprotected intercourse for a period of 6 months or so, they would be regarded as infertile. For couples with women younger than 35 years, a period of one year will be regarded as the threshold for infertility.
When the couple first decides to get evaluated from a specialist, they are recommended to take a battery of diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of infertility. The results may turn up a problem with one or both the partners, the latter being the case of combined infertility. The reason of infertility is not the parameter of vital importance here, but the fact that both the partners are infertile is the key issue while understanding combined infertility.
The presence of small and major issues in men and women leads to combined infertility in couples. Some common infertility issues are discussed as follows:
Common Male Infertility Factors
Some of the most common issues which could lead to male factor infertility are:
- Testicular trauma
- An obstruction in the vas deferens
- Sperm count/motility issues
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Testicular infections
- Endocrine problems
- Psychological causes
- Genetic conditions
- Alcohol or drug abuse related health issues
Common Female Infertility Factors
Female infertility can be caused by some of the following conditions in most cases:
- Ovarian abnormalities
- Infections, abnormalities or adhesions in reproductive organs such as the vagina, cervix or uterus
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOD)
- Cervical mucus hostility
- Tubal blockage
- Hormonal problems
- Genetic conditions
- Psychological factors
- Maternal age
The presence of infertility issues in both the partners, however minor they may be, often gives rise to unexplained infertility and can make the case a complicated one. Choosing between a number of permutations and combinations of male/female fertility issues and diagnosing the exact one can be a challenge for the doctor. For this reason, combined infertility, easily treatable as it may be, is seen as a reason of worry by many. But the fact is that an experienced fertility specialist can definitely help the couple resolve the problem.
The fertility specialist will have to devise a plan of action for the treatment according to the problems diagnosed in the couple. In less serious cases, simple solutions such as managing the timing and frequency of the attempts of conception can make all the difference. Sometimes, when drug/alcohol abuse is the root of infertility in either or both of the partners, simply abstaining from them can help. Here, it is vital for the couple to be open with their specialist so that he/she can help them out, without having to straightaway recommend a battery of expensive diagnostic tests.
When both the male as well as female partner is treated, pregnancy ensues in most cases unless the issue is grave; in such cases, an assisted reproductive technique such as IVF may have to be used for successful conception. Combined infertility is nothing to panic about as it might necessarily not be as serious as it may seem to be. Finding the right clinic and right doctor is the best bet for the couples to have the issue resolved fast and effectively.
Gaudium IVF Centre
Gaudium IVF is a renowned infertility clinic which provides comprehensive treatment for all kinds of reproductive problems in men and women. Visit here for a free second opinion from the award-winning fertility specialist Dr Manika Khanna.