Consultation concerns the procedure followed in order to investigate subfertility, the diagnosis of its exact?? causes, as well as the steps to be followed so as to achieve a couple’s final goal, namely, having a child.
What do we mean with the term “subfertility”?
Subfertility is the non-achievement of pregnancy after a couple’s free, unprotected sexual contact for at least one year. This length of time has not been selected arbitrarily. It is based on the observation that the likelihood of a couple achieving pregnancy is approximately 17%-19% a month, while after 23 months of sexual contact approximately 80% of couples do achieve pregnancy. It is, therefore concluded that humans present low rates of natural fertility.
Subfertility appears in approximately 15% of couples at increasingly higher rates. In Greece there are approximately 250,000 subfertile couples.
What might be the reasons for subfertility in couples and what are the indications for in vitro fertilisation?
First of all, subfertility concerns both partners, while there is a small percentage of “inexplicable” subfertility.
The causes may be anatomical or functional, while there may also be environmental, psychological or socio-economic causes.
An important role is played by the age of the woman; this means a significant decrease in achieving pregnancy after the age of 35, and an even greater decrease after the age of 40.
The usual indications that lead us to in vitro fertilisation are:
- Damaged fallopian tubes
- Ovulation disorders
- Problems in sperm count, motility or morphology
- Inexplicable subfertility
In order to investigate and verify all of the above, certain haematological, genetic and x-ray tests are carried out, the most common of which are presented below: