Can A Man Go From Infertile To Fertile?
Yes, with the development of assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) most of the couples who do not become fertile naturally can become fertile. This should be really good news for those of you who are depressed because of the inability to get pregnant for so many years.
There are about 13-14% of couples in the reproductive age group who are infertile. The use of assisted reproductive techniques is relatively rare compared to the rate of infertile couples, although according to CDS’s 2016 Fertility Clinic success rates “1.7% of all infants born in the United States every year are conceived using assisted reproductive techniques.”
When the exact cause of infertility is not known it is called the “idiopathic” or “non-specific” male infertility. A doctor comes to this diagnosis when all of the investigations for known causes are normal or any empiric treatment carried out does not make the couple fertile. Then, the couple is offered assisted reproductive technique in order to become pregnant. There are several types of assisted reproductive techniques & according to the type of infertility your doctor may suggest the following methods.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
This is the most commonly used & the most effective method of assisted reproductive techniques. This is used when there is fallopian tube blockage or the sperm count is low. The ovaries are stimulated by drugs to produce more eggs, then one mature egg from the woman & one sperm from the man is placed in a petri dish for fertilization. The healthy embryo is transferred to the uterus for implantation after 3-5 days. IVF can be done by using the woman’s own eggs or donor eggs, similarly donor sperms also can be used.
The statistical data of IVF success (transfer/live births) rate in the United States for fresh embryos in 2016
Age <35 – 47.5%
Age 35-37 – 39.6%
Age 38-40 – 28%
Age 41-42 – 15.7%
Egg donation 56.8%
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is very similar to IVF, same way a mature egg & a sperm is fertilized in a petri dish in the laboratory. Then, the healthy embryo is transferred to the fallopian tube rather than the uterus.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
A mature egg & a good sperm are selected the same way done for IVF, then the egg & the sperm is placed inside the fallopian tube for fertilization. This was offered to women who wanted IVF, but wanted the fertilization to occur inside her body.
With the success rates & new developments in IVF, ZIFT & GIFT are not done commonly nowadays.
Intracytoplalsmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This is used in males, whose the sperms are low in count & quality, when multiple IVF cycles have failed & in older couples. A single healthy mature sperm is selected & injected directly to the egg in the petri dish. Then, the embryo is transferred to the fallopian tubes or implanted in the uterus.
According to National Library of Medicine ART is defined as “clinical & laboratory techniques used to enhance fertility in humans & animals.” So, according to this definition intrauterine insemination (IUI), ovulation induction (OI) & the above mentioned methods are considers as assisted reproductive techniques. But according to The Society for Assisted Reproduction (SART) “any procedure that requires manipulation of eggs, sperm or embryos in vitro” (outside the body) is consider as assisted reproductive techniques, here IUI & OI is not considered as methods of assisted reproductive techniques.
IUI is done in females with normal fallopian tubes, but for some reason not getting pregnant naturally. A concentrated semen sample is inserted to the cervix through that to the uterus, just before the ovulation. This can be done in a normal menstrual cycle or in a cycle induced by drugs.
Yes, with the development of assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs) most of the couples who do not become fertile naturally can be fertile. When a couple cannot get pregnant naturally, with a known cause which cannot be corrected or due to an idiopathic cause assisted reproductive technique is offered to them. There are several types of assisted reproductive techniques & according to the type of infertility your doctor may suggest the following methods: in vitro fertilization, zygote intrafallopian transfer, gamete intrafallopian transfer, intracytoplalsmic sperm injection, & intrauterine insemination (SART definition does not include IUI as one of the ART methods)