Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive regular sexual intercourse without using contraception for 2 years. Cumulative probability of pregnancy in general population: 84% 1st year, 92% 2nd year and 93% 3rd year
Causes of infertility in women are tubal blockage and/or peritoneal factors, irregular or abnormal ovulation or endometriosis.Causes in men are poor sperm quality or quantity. For some couples no specific cause of infertility can be identified.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an ovulation disorder. PCOS affects around 4-6% of all women in the reproductive age. We do not exactly know what causes the disease, but genetic factors and environmental factors may contribute to the disease. The main symptoms are irregular or nomenstrual cycle, hirsutism, acne and obesity. To increase the chances ofpregnancy, treatment is focused on regulating ovulation.
Infections caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea can lead to damages of the tubes. Other causes include septic abortion, ruptured appendix, tubal surgery or tubal pregnancy.
CF is a severe disease, which causes thickening and reduced clearance of mucous secretions in various organs. The result is recurrent pulmonary infections, pulmonary and pancreatic insufficiency and finally infertility for the majority of the male patients. These men can only reproduce by means of IVF/ICSI using surgically obtained sperm cells. For CF gene to be present in the patient, both parents must have had it. In the case of IVF/ICSI treatment of a CF patient we advise the female partner also be tested for CFgenes. If she has one abnormal gene, the couple has a 50% chance of CF in their offspring. The absence of abnormalities in the female reduces the risk of having a child with CF to a very low level.
Endometriosis is the occurrence of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. It is estimated that 3-10% of women in the reproductive age have endometriosis. The major symptoms of Endometriosis are abdominal pain, especially during menstruation and during coitus. While there are many theories to the causes, we still do not know exactly what causes endometriosis or how it affects fertility.
Infertility among women increases with age. Below the age of 31 the pregnancy rate over one year is 74%. This decreases to 62% at ages 31 to 35 and to 54% for women older than 35. It is very difficult to predict the chance of pregnancy for an individual, but research shows that fertility decreases with age due to declining quantity and quality of the woman’s eggs.
The incidence of pregnancy loss among all women is about 15%. Recurrent miscarriage affects 1% of all women. Approximately 70% of all early spontaneous miscarriages are associated with fatal chromosomal abnormalities. In most cases, the parents are chromosomally normal and the fatal chromosomal abnormality is a random event.
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