The inability of a person to conceive despite having regular unprotected sex is called infertility. It affects one in ten or twelve couples. In 60% of cases women are responsible and 40% of cases men are responsible. There are several causes of infertility from physical to psychological or biological.
Common physical causes in men are low sperm count, failure to deposit sperm in the vagina and obstruction of the male genital organs (epididymis, vas deferens or ejaculatory duct). Causes in women are failure to produce a sufficient number of healthy eggs, partial or complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, pelvic tumors and rejection of the fertilized egg.
In few reports, it is found that in some men the regular wearing of tight underpants or taking long hot baths is associated with infertility. These raise the temperature of the scrotum.
Psychological causes like excessive tension, in either the men or women may also cause infertility. Almost every newly married couple plans to have children. They want children to satisfy family and to achieve personal growth and fulfillment. Children are also a means of rationalizing sexual activities and demonstration of sexual potency, an affirmation of masculinity or femininity.
Infertile couples now have two main options if they cannot or do not wish to adopt children or if fertility drugs are not the solution. These are: Artificial Insemination (AL) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Artificial insemination involves collecting sperm from the man or from a donor and introducing it into the uterus of the woman at a time when the chances of conceiving are greater. The sperm samples are usually obtained by masturbation. It may be fresh, or it may have been frozen for several months.
If the man has low sperm count or physically incapable of coitus, it may be necessary for him to make several donations may be supplemented by those of a donor. If his sperms are defective, the sample used for insemination will come from a donor alone.
In Vitro Fertilization is used when the woman’s oviducts are irrevocably blocked. An egg is removed from or near the ovary. Then it is mixed with sperm. After a period of development in a glass laboratory dish, it is introduced into the uterus to await implantation. This process is also known as test tube baby. In many countries, this technique has proved successful. The chances of success are 50:50 but various religious institutions have condemned it as immoral. Moreover the cost of this technique is very high.
Surrogate Parenting is an alternative method to get child. In this method, a woman who takes the place of a sterile woman for the purpose of insemination by the man is called surrogate mother. This practice of one woman bearing a baby on behalf of another is now becoming more common. Many women are willingly coming forward to offer themselves for hire to conceive and bear children for others. But this type of motherhood is the subject of legal dispute as to the rights of the surrogate mother over the child she bears. This process is also very expensive.
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