Diagnosis of Infertility

Overview of Male and Female Diagnosis Of Infertility

One in every eight couples suffer from problems in conceiving a child due to infertility. This could be due to male infertility or female infertility or there could be problems with both the male and female. The major issue that a couple faces when they are coping with infertility is to understand who among them is the reason for their inability to conceive a child. Let us look at both types briefly.

Male Infertility

The measure of a man’s fertility would be in the quality and quantity of the sperm he produces. Usually the sperm count of a man would not impact his other sexual activities, like having erections and enjoying sexual intercourse. Also, the quality of the sperm (as well as the count, or quantity) would need medical examination for correct diagnosis of any problem, and mere physical examination might not give any clues to any problem. Male infertility could be correctly diagnosed by testing of the semen that he discharges, unlike female infertility which has a plethora of possible causes and tests. Very broadly speaking, male infertility can be caused by one or more these factors –

  • Issues with adequate sperm production – there could be physical problems (like testes which didn’t descend at birth for the male, or scrotum that is twisted) or there could be chemical or chromosomal or genetic causes.
  • Sperm Not Being Transmitted Adequately – the sperm quantity and quality could be fine, but that sperm might not be getting transported completely and adequately, due to prostrate related problems or certain infections.
  • Erection and Ejaculation – For proper discharge of semen, an erection and complete ejaculation is needed, and absence of this could lead to male infertility. Inadequate intercourse or erectile dysfunction are the most common reasons, but they could also be due to some injury or earlier surgery.

Female Infertility

As observed from most reported cases, female infertility could be confirmed if one or more of the following symptoms persist :

  1. Earlier history of disturbed pregnancies or earlier miscarriages.
  2. Earlier history of pelvic surgeries.
  3. Irregular menstrual cycles.
  4. Any repeated abnormal discharge from vagina.
  5. Pelvic pain or pelvic infection.

There are a series of tests that can be carried out to correctly diagnose female infertility. Before that, the medical centres usually carry out some basic screening, like a general health examination, general blood test (for regular indicators), PAP Smear, an ultrasound test of the pelvic region etc. Once these basic tests are done, then the medical tests begin, and some or all of these tests could be carried out –
• Test to determine quantity of progesterone in blood
• Test to determine other hormones in blood, to find the remaining quantity of eggs in the body
• Laparoscopy to determine if the fallopian tubes have a blockage. Some doctors also use a radiographic dye followed by an X-ray in order to determine the same.
• Sometimes female infertility could be caused by some physical irregularities in the uterus, and certain tests like sonohysterogram or transvaginal ultrasound give a view of this to the doctors.