Treatment for Infertility

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  • 0:01 What Is Infertility?
  • 0:37 Treating Infertility in Men
  • 2:46 Treating Infertility in Women
  • 3:47 Assisted Reproductive…
  • 5:31 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
There are quite a few different kinds of treatment options for both men and women. They include drugs, surgery, hormone therapy, and more advanced techniques this lesson will describe.

What Is Infertility?

The inability to produce offspring, infertility, is a devastating problem for couples that want to have kids. As the song goes, 'It takes two,' and if one half of the equation or both partners are having trouble, then it'll either be very difficult or impossible to have a child. Luckily, modern science has taken a primary role in helping people fulfill their dreams of having a family. That's why we'll go over the ways both men and women can benefit from such technological advancements as we take a look at treatment options for infertility.

Treating Infertility in Men

There are many reasons why a man may be infertile, ranging from genetic diseases to the need to remove both testicles later in life for medical reasons. One way that infertility can be treated is through the use of hormone replacement therapy; in our lesson's case, it's the use of hormones to stimulate fertility. Hormones are little compounds in your body that are responsible for a lot of things. Don't think they're just for fertility.

Anyways, the hormones necessary to ensure proper male fertility come from the brain. They then travel to the testicles and stimulate them to make the sperm that will fertilize a woman's egg. Sometimes, like depleted engine oil in a car, they need to be replaced so everything runs smoothly. But in other cases of male infertility, the levels of the necessary hormones are just fine. It may be a physical problem that's causing the infertility. In this case, we may need to turn to surgery.

One physical problem that can cause infertility in men is a varicocele, which refers to abnormally large veins inside of the scrotum. They're like varicose veins, but in the place where a man's testicles are located, the scrotum. Essentially, the enlarged veins, filled with lots of warm blood, are like global warming to the testicles. Crops fail when it's too hot and sperm production and quality fails when it's too hot as well. Surgery corrects this all by causing global cooling in the area, if you will, back down to a normal temperature.

Psychological issues can contribute to infertility, but sometimes we have to address the physiological components of issues that also have psychological issues - in our case, erectile dysfunction, a.k.a. impotence in men. Drugs like Viagra (sildenafil) help men increase penile blood flow so they can resume normal sexual activity and thus have children. Viagra forces a man's penis to engorge with blood, like a sponge engorges and expands with water.

Treating Infertility in Women

Women aren't immune from infertility issues and thankfully have treatment options available, some of which are similar to those in men. In women, we can use a fertility drug, such as clomiphene, in order to improve ovulation - that is to say, the chances that an egg will come out of an ovary. This, of course, means that a man's sperm will actually have something to fertilize to make a baby!

But the flipside is there may be more than one egg to fertilize once this treatment is started so the chances of having more than one child are increased. That's something important to note when setting aside money for your sextuplets' college fund. I think the cost will be $1,000,000 per semester, per kid in 18 years' time, if I heard correctly. I kid. Furthermore, just like guys may need surgery, women may also need surgery to remove growths or fix other abnormalities that are contributing to infertility.

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