Although the terms “infertility” and “subfertility” are frequently used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings. Subfertility in women is frequently characterized by menstrual cycle disorders, such as the absence of menstruation for three or more cycles. A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is made after the testing fails to reveal any abnormality.
How do you define subfertility?
Subfertility is defined as a delay in becoming pregnant. Infertility, on the other hand, is defined as the inability to conceive after a year of trying.
There is still a chance of conceiving naturally in subfertility, though it may take longer than “normal.” Subfertility means that you and your partner are less fertile than other couples your age. It does not imply that you are unable to conceive. Based on the measures used to evaluate your fertility, it only indicates that conceiving may be more difficult. The chances of becoming pregnant without medical assistance are extremely slim in cases of infertility.
What are the causes of subfertility?
Although the exact reasons for subfertility are unknown, here are some probable causes:
A variety of conditions can hinder ovulation. These are some examples:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause ovulation to stop or be irregular.
- A woman’s ovarian reserve is reduced when her egg count decreases due to aging or other factors, such as a health condition or previous ovarian surgery.
- Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) occurs when the ovaries cease to function before the age of 40 due to a medical condition or treatment such as chemotherapy.
Blockage in the fallopian tube
Obstruction of the fallopian tubes can prevent the egg from contacting the sperm.
It could be caused by:
- Inflammation of the pelvis
- A history of sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia
- Scar tissue from a previous surgery (e.g. ectopic pregnancy surgery)
Because the baby develops in the uterus (womb), any defects or abnormalities in the womb can interfere with your ability to conceive. These include congenital uterine conditions (inherited) as well as issues that arise later in life.
The following are some examples of uterine conditions:
Septate uterus, in which a membrane (septum) separates the womb into two sections, double uterus, in which the womb has two cavities, each with its own opening bicornuate uterus, in which the womb has a heart shape.
How is subfertility diagnosed?
A fertility specialist can assist in determining the cause of infertility. Several tests are usually performed as part of a fertility evaluation.
The following tests may be performed on women:
- Ovulation transvaginal ultrasound to examine the female reproductive organs, blood tests to determine hormone levels
- Ovarian reserve testing is used to determine the quantity and quality of eggs.
- Hysterosalpingography to evaluate the womb and fallopian tubes
How to treat subfertility?
Treatment through medications
There are several treatments available to help women regain their fertility. You may only need one or more of these to become pregnant.
Among all the medications, the following are some of them:
- Fertility medications that either control or increase fertility
- Womb surgery to treat womb problems
- IUI is a procedure that involves inserting healthy sperm into the womb.
Treatment through ART
Any fertility procedure or treatment that involves the handling of sperm and eggs is known as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART).
In vitro fertilization is one of the most common ART procedures (IVF). It entails removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and “mixing” them with male sperm. The resulting embryos are then implanted in the uterus.
Other techniques that can be used during IVF to increase the chances of conception include:
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (or ICSI) is a procedure in which a healthy, viable sperm is injected directly into an egg.
- Assisted hatching, which improves implantation by removing the embryo’s outer covering.
- Donor eggs or sperm, which can be used if the sperm or eggs are defective.
- Gestational surrogacy is an excellent option for women who do not have a functioning womb or who have a high chance of developing a high-risk pregnancy.
Improving fertility through lifestyle changes
To improve your chances of conception, our reproductive experts may recommend lifestyle changes and fertility awareness techniques. The following are some lifestyle changes and tips to increase your chances of natural conception:
- Avoid smoking, which can have an impact on both men’s and women’s fertility.
- Avoid consuming alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy weight because being overweight or underweight can impair fertility.
- Healthy, nutritious diets have been linked to increased fertility.
- Caffeine consumption should be reduced because it has been linked to female infertility.
How is Endoworld reliable in treating fertility issues?
If you’ve been trying to conceive for months without success, you’re probably frustrated and worried. Difficulty getting pregnant does not always imply infertility. Some couples require more time to conceive, which is perfectly fine.
Our fertility specialists at Endoworld are here to help you become a parent, whether you are dealing with subfertility or infertility issues. Led by two extensively experienced fertility doctors, Dr. Pandit Palaskar and Dr. Rinku Palaskar have collaboratively handled several complex cases and have helped many infertile couples to conceive through successful IVF, IUI, and ART treatments.
Schedule your appointment to understand more.