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The Future Is Fertile
A slew of new insights points to major changes in the fertility world!
November 30, 2020
We’ve come a long way in the fertility world, both in medicine and visibility. In recent years we’ve come to speak openly about our fertility concerns, leading to an increase in options for those struggling. Where there was once no solution for infertility other than adoption, we now have the ability to have biological children of our own. But what if we didn’t have to go through fertility treatments at all? Not possible, right? Well, think again. Here’s what’s on the horizon for fertility advancements.
Reasons For Infertility
When trying to have a baby, it doesn’t always work the first time. Some of us go into the conception process already having insight into contributing challenges. Still, sometimes, we don’t know until we try.
We know that for women, in particular, time is of the essence. When we start to get into our later thirties, the quantity and quality of eggs begin to decline. Still, that fate isn’t the same for everyone. Plenty of women do have children later on. However, if you’re having difficulties, this could be why.
Ovulation is usually the time of the month when those wanting to conceive aim for, but not everyone has the easiest time.
Conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Hypothalamic Dysfunction cause hormonal imbalances that impede the reproductive system’s natural cycle.
Depending on the severity of the illness, it could be healed through pharmacological intervention or lifestyle changes. Other times, though, it causes infertility.
Often a painful disease, endometriosis mimics uterine lining. It builds up and sheds itself. The thing is, endometriosis grows outside the uterus. And because of that, what’s expelled has nowhere to go, causing inflammation and scar tissue to grow. Not all endometriosis cases equate to infertility, but it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.
Other causes include--
Fallopian tube damage
Low sperm count
The Current State Of Fertility Treatment
As it stands, there have already been some profound advancements when it comes to fertility options. In the past, infertility was a devastating and, unfortunately, final circumstance--but not anymore!
Couples and others who previously couldn’t have children have achieved their parental dreams through fertility treatments.
What does that look like?
Many women have trouble conceiving due to pelvic growths and abnormalities. Depending on the severity, women wanting to have children might consider looking into surgery. Because women who go this route only need to do so once, it’s appealing to many.
During surgery, doctors identify and correct conditions like Endometriosis, removing fibroids, scar tissue, and damaged fallopian tubes. The one is an excellent option because it takes away pain that inhibits daily living and heals infertility in one fell swoop.
This procedure is used to gain insight into what might be causing fertility issues. By using a small camera, doctors are able to take out polyps, fibroids, and other things inhibiting conception. They’re also noting whether there are congenital abnormalities like a differently shaped uterus.
Hysteroscopies require sedation but aren’t as invasive as laparoscopies. Women who opt for this procedure can go home the same day and resume their usual activity level in a matter of days.
Here, surgeons go within layers of muscle inside the uterus to collect fibroids and non-cancerous growths that contribute to infertility.
Depending on the size and location of the growths, doctors may use conventional open surgery or laparoscopic techniques--that means variance in recovery time.
In Vitro Fertilization
If you’ve struggled with infertility, chances are you’ve heard of this option. But what does it entail?
Well for starters, you’ll get a comprehensive fertility exam. Doctors will then have you take synthetic hormones to help stimulate the ovaries and produce mature eggs. After that, practitioners will collect those follicles, along with fertile sperm to create embryos.
Once they prove to be viable, the fertilized eggs are inserted into the womb. Sounds great, right?
It is. But the process isn’t yet one hundred percent effective. When an embryo is implanted, it doesn’t necessarily equate to pregnancy or one that will stick.
Still, it’s the best option available to the public for assisted conception and has changed lives and made countless new ones possible.
Personalized Paths To Parenthood
Even if you don’t know too much about the inner-workings of IVF and other surgical options, chances are, you know of them. The options available are profound and impactful, giving couples and individuals alike the opportunity to conceive. Still, they aren’t foolproof.
New insights and their following methods and technology have already shown promise on that front.
Researchers have begun making connections between our genes and fertility. In other words, our success with conception might be predetermined. Using what’s called precision medicine, scientists believe they can use a woman’s genetics and biology to develop individualized fertility treatments.
But wait, there’s more!
Germline engineering (editing genes in reproductive cells) has the potential to correct diseases before they materialize in the womb. Additionally, same-sex couples can have children genetically connected to both parents--that’s already happening.
At the moment, the only things standing in the way of these magnificent methods and options are funding and time, but rest-assured where there’s potential, creation will follow. We would see it’s exciting, but that’s an understatement!
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