Infertility refers to the inability to naturally conceive a child. It is a problem where a couple faces problems in conceiving, after a year of regular sexual intercourse without using any birth control methods. This problem may be in either man or woman, or both. It also refers to a condition of a woman when she is unable to carry a pregnancy to its full term.
Causes of Infertility
In a normal reproduction process proper interaction between the female and male reproductive system is required. Following are the causes of infertility (both men and women):
ICSI + Testicular Biopsy
It is a medical procedure in which a sperm is injected directly into the egg. This surgery is often times part of the in-vitro fertilization (IVF). In the case of testicular biopsy a small sample of sperm is removed for IVF-ICSI.
In vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is a treatment in which the mature eggs collected from the ovaries are fertilized outside the body. During the procedure, the eggs are fertilized by sperm in a lab and the embryo is implanted in the uterus.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
It is a medical treatment which involves the placement of sperm inside a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. It is done to facilitate fertilization and to increase the number of sperms that meet the fallopian tubes.
IVF / ICSI + Donor sperms
This medical treatment is opted when the couple’s gametes cannot be used for IVF/ICSI. In this case, donor sperm from a known or anonymous donor is inseminated into an egg.
IVF + ICSI
IVF with ICSI is used together in order to maximize the chances of fertilization with the use of micromanipulation equipment and tools. IVF, in vitro fertilization, is used for male infertility while ICSI is used for female infertility. The specialist will remove sperms from the male body and will choose one healthy sperm for conception.
IVF + ICSI with Optical Spindle view
IVF and ICSI with optical spindle view is a medical treatment in which a special technique is used to select a healthy embryo for fertilization. Both the procedures, IVF and ICSI are used to fertilize a sperm and an egg outside the body to develop an embryo which will be planted in the female womb. The optical spindle view helps the doctor to place the embryo effectively.
IVF with Egg Donation
This infertility treatment is opted by childless couples. The donated eggs are fertilized with sperms in a laboratory with the help of IVF or ICSI. The developed embryo is then placed in the uterus.
IVF with Laser Assisted Hatching
IVF with laser assisted hatching is a way to help the embryo to hatch from the zona pellucida, the protective outer shell. This is done to promote implantation in the uterine wall after the embryo transfer.
Our body is blessed with a variety of cells, stem cells are the one which provides new cells for the body as it grows. Stem cells are the superheroes of the human body which have the unique ability to develop into different cell types. Along with that, stem cells can divide over and over again to produce new cells and change into other types of cells from muscle cells to brain cells.
There are mainly three types of stem cells:
Embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are considered pluripotent, which means they can change into any cell in the body. These cells supply new cells for embryos that are 3-5 days old. A major highlight of these cells is that they can be used to repair diseased tissue and organs.
Adult stem cells. These cells are considered multipotent which means they can only change into a few cells in the body such as skin stem cells, blood stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in most adult tissues and are efficient enough to replace cells that get damaged.
Induced pluripotent stem cells. These are the cells that doctors make in the laboratory and are adult cells taken to reprogram into stem cells. iPS cells are pluripotent, which means they can change into any cell in the body.
Stem cells in therapy
Stem cells in therapy can be one way of generating new cells and helping the damaged cells, tissues or organs heal. It can also be a great way to regenerative medicine. Doctors and researchers believe that stem cells in therapy can cure diseases that have been left untreated for a long time. In some tissues, stem cells play an important role by switching the damaged cells with new cells.
A good example of stem cells in therapy is where a person’s heart with damaged tissues. The doctors may diagnose the issue and transplant healthy tissue in the person’s heart. There are good no. of chances that the stimulation may lead the heart tissue to renew itself. The research showed that a 40% reduction in the size of the damaged heart tissue with the replacement procedure. However, there can be cases in which the heart tissue doest heal. The doctors have been carrying out various tests as to come to one conclusion and to understand if stem cells are the next big thing leading towards a cure for many diseases.
Stem Cells Therapy in India
Stem cell therapy has been doing wonders for the treatment of diseases. With every passing day, there is a certain increase in research work as to how stem cell therapy can help patients combat acute and chronic diseases. Which is why it is not wrong to believe that India and the world could move a step towards replacing the ineffective, expensive and protracted therapies with stem cell therapy.