Category Archives: Infertility

15Apr/18

Male Infertility Treatments

Treatments for male infertility are no longer restricted to artificial insemination, IVF and ICSI. You can conceive your own biological offspring even if your sperm is anomalous in size, shape, or number. Before giving up on all hope and starting to look for affordable IVF options, get your condition diagnosed by a specialist and figure the best possible treatment plan.

Main causes of male infertility

Before you start looking for male infertility treatments, it is imperative that you look into the cause of your problem.

Your sperm problems may be caused due to:

  1. Medical causes
    1. Varicocele
    2. Ejaculation problems
    3. Infections
    4. Tumors
    5. Hormonal imbalance
    6. Celiac disease
    7. Surgeries like vasectomy, hernia repair, prostate surgery, cancer, etc
    8. Medications
    9. Erectile dysfunction
    10. Peyronie’s disease
    11. Undescended testicles
    12. Sperm antibodies
  2. Health and lifestyle causes
    1. Alcohol abuse
    2. Excessive tobacco use
    3. Obesity
    4. Drug abuse
    5. Chronic stress and anxiety
  3. Environmental causes
    1. Radiation exposure
    2. Pesticides, herbicides, and other industrial chemicals
    3. Heating of testicles
    4. Heavy metal exposure

 

Diagnosis of male infertility

Generally a regular physical examination and details of your medical history are taken first, followed by a semen analysis.

Any problems with the sperm count, motility, or morphology are easily detected by analysis of the semen.

For other problems, the doctor may recommend any of the below tests in addition:

  • Hormonal tests
  • Genetic screening
  • Testicular biopsy
  • Sperm function tests
  • Ultrasound

Once your problem has been identified, the treatment will be easier. However, even with all these diagnostic tests, the reason for infertility may not be determined. Even then, your doctor would be able to recommend some of the below treatments.

 

Treatments for male infertility

 

Non surgical treatments

  1. Electroejaculation therapy – Men with abnormal or absent ejaculation due to spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, etc. may benefit from electroejaculation (EEJ).EEj is usually performed under general anesthesia. It has about 90 percent success in treating ejaculation problems in neurologically impaired men, according to the Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery, Weill Cornell Medicine.
    Over 40 percent of those are also able to achieve pregnancy with the help of IUI or ICSI, later.
  2. Shockwave therapy – Shockwave therapy is a highly promising technology for men with erectile dysfunction and related problems. Doctors offering shockwave therapy for ED in Thailand have suggested that it brings about 70-80 percent improvement in most men with ED.
  3. Hormone replacement treatment – Hormonal pills or replacement therapy is more commonly advised in cases of female infertility, but sometimes if sperm problems are attributed to hormonal imbalance, you might need hormonal balancing therapy.
  4. Fertility pills – You must have often come across women using Clomid to aid in pregnancy, but some men with minor sperm abnormalities have noted semen improvement with clomiphene citrate (tablets). Research has depicted that an increase sperm count and motility can be brought about with the help of such medication.
  5. Lifestyle improvement – Abusing alcohol, drugs, smoking, eating unhealthy food, wearing excessively tight underwear, working long hours with the laptop on your lap, can all lead to sperm problems.

It is also advisable to avoid lubricants during sex, have a diet rich in zinc and selenium, and pop multi vitamins for healthier sperm.

 

Surgical treatments

  1. Surgical sperm retrieval – Minimally invasive surgical techniques such as MESA, PESA, TESE, allow the doctors to retrieve sperm in men who had a vasectomy, or don’t have the vas deferens. This is also the solution for any blockages in the seminal tract, which lead to obstructive azoospermia.
  2. Varicocele ligation – Varicocele is the abnormal enlargement of veins in your scrotum. Grade II or grade III varicocele, when tied off, is known to significantly improve the sperm quality and count in men, thus upping their fertility status.
  3. Transurethral Resection of Ejaculatory Duct – to remove obstruction in the ejaculatory duct
  4. Transurethral Resection of the Seminal Vesicles (TURSV) – to remove obstruction in the seminal tract

 

Artificial reproductive technology

ICSI and IVF – Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is the technique that allows an embryologist to choose and inject just one good sperm directly into the female egg, resulting in fertilization during IVF procedure.

This bypasses the problems of poor sperm motility or count, as eventually only one sperm is required to fertilize the egg. By selecting the best one and allowing it to penetrate and fertilize the egg, the doctor may help you and your partner to achieve pregnancy.

Advanced technologies like microsorting of sperm and PIEZO ICSI that are exclusively available with some IVF centers in Malaysia, can further assist in helping you get pregnant despite male infertility.

 

For more information on affordable treatments for male infertility, get in touch via the form on this page, and our care team will assist you in finding the solution for your exact problem. 
30Apr/17

7 ways you can lower the cost of your IVF treatment

Are you worried about the high cost of IVF treatment? You are not alone.

IVF costs can easily run into thousands of dollars, and what stresses most couples is that they don’t know how many more cycles (and money) would be needed before they can finally have success.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the average cost of an IVF cycle ranges between $12,000 and $17,000, and the high cost is a major barrier for many couples wanting to have a baby.

So what can you do to complete your family without risking bankruptcy? Here are 7 ways you can lower the cost of your IVF treatment:

  1. Consult your GP

    Your local doctor may not be able to treat you for infertility but he sure can help you get a step closer to finding the right treatment or the right expert. He may also perform some diagnostic tests that you don’t have to pay for.

  2. See an expert

    The best way to lower the cost of your IVF treatment is to try to get it right the first time and avoid repeat cycles. Consult a reproductive endocrinologist, ask questions, and go in with maximum chances of success.

    Do not settle for that friendly doctor near your place if he/she doesn’t make you feel right. Check the doctor’s experience and expertise, especially their capability in handling cases like yours.

    Do not fall for claims of high IVF success rates, because they can be made to look good if the doctor only accepts cases with higher chances of success. Each case is different and you must ask the doctor for chances of success in your specific case.

  3. Consider egg sharing

    Most clinics offer egg sharing programs, in which the eggs collected for the one couple’s cycle are shared with others after the original couple has conceived. This means you will not have to pay for IVF stimulation (hormonal injections) and can save up to $5,000 in treatment costs.

    To consider this option you have to be open to donor eggs and the fact that the baby might not be genetically related to you.

  4. Ask about natural or mini IVF

    The number of eggs retrieved is generally linked to higher success rates in IVF, because:

    – Higher number of eggs indicates better fertility status of the women
    – Multiple embryos allow the doctor to select the best one for transfer

    However, sometimes in women closer to the age of 40, only 1 or 2 follicles are formed even after several days of stimulation. At this stage it might be better to not take the stimulation drugs and instead try with the one egg released in your natural cycle.

    The world’s first IVF baby, Louise Brown, was born in the UK in 1978 with a natural IVF cycle.

    Mini IVF or mild IVF is the usage of lower amount of fertility drugs, which might be advisable in some cases such as in women with PCOS, high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), chances of adverse reactions to fertility drugs.

    Discuss these options with your chosen fertility doctor and see if any of these is viable. The lower dose of fertility drugs will definitely save you a few thousand dollars but you must ensure it doesn’t lower your chances of IVF success.

  5. Scrutinize your insurance

    Infertility is not considered a medical necessity so insurance usually doesn’t pay for it. However, in some states, you can get them to cover diagnostic tests and doctor’s fee. Read your policy carefully to check if there is partial coverage for IVF or atleast for some aspects of the treatment.

  6. Use flexible saving account or health saving account

    If you have a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA), bring it to use. Many companies offer FSA accounts to their employees and HAS can be set up by anyone irrespective of their employment status.

    These will allow you to set aside pre-tax income for uses such as medical expenses that are not covered by insurance.

    You can end up cutting the cost of your IVF treatment by up to 30% by using these schemes.

  7. Travel abroad for IVF

    Even if you are apprehensive, consider the option to have your IVF abroad. The cost of IVF in India starts from $4,500 at one of the best facilities in the country and that includes all medications.

    So if you can get three cycles of IVF in India for the cost of one in the US, it might be worth a try.

    Do not worry about the quality of the treatment as there are JCI accredited hospitals and US or UK-trained doctors, who are regularly visited by foreign patients and are aware of international best practices in IVF.

    IVF in Thailand is a highly sought service by Australians, Americans, Chinese, English, and Europeans, who seek to combine their IVF treatment with a relaxing Thai vacation. The cost of IVF in Bangkok or Phuket starts at about $8,500, including the drugs.

    IVF in Malaysia is surprisingly priced as low as about $4,000, and this also means you can have multiple cycles for a much lower cost.

    IVF in Spain and in Mexico is also priced remarkably low, and if you find a doctor you can connect with, in any of these places, it might be worth a try.

If you are not sure, you can simply get in touch with us mentioning your specific requirements and we will help you zero in on the clinic that closely meets your requirements.

Now the lower prices may certainly raise quality concerns but people who have traveled for IVF are impressed at the standard of care and quality.

The simple explanation of lower cost of IVF in these countries is that the general cost of living is low, medications are cheaper, the doctors are not burdened with medical loans, and all this translates into cost benefits for the patients.

If you plan wisely and do your due diligence you will find several effective ways to lower the cost of your IVF treatment.

To know more about affordable IVF abroad, get in touch via the form on the right.