In Peru about 15% of the population between 18 and 35 years old suffers from some fertility disorder; that is, about one and a half million Peruvians have problems conceiving a baby. This condition is defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy despite frequent, unprotected intercourse for at least a year in most couples.
According to Dr. Luis Ernesto Escudero, past president of the Peruvian Fertility Society, there are several factors that can make it impossible or minimize the chances of achieving the objective of potential families.
What can happen?
- In the case of men: It may be due to abnormal sperm production or function, overexposure to products such as pesticides, or excessive use of cigarettes, alcohol, or anabolics.
- In the women: It can be related to ovulation disorders, abnormalities in the cervix, damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, among others.
The specialist indicates that, once the reason why a couple cannot conceive has been identified, there are various assisted reproduction treatments that have become allies for those people who, for some reason, still cannot become parents naturally.
“They are safe and effective treatments that significantly improve the chances of pregnancy, and depending on age, they can have success rates of up to 60%.”, indicates the expert.
Dr. Escudero reveals the main reproductive procedures:
- Directed intercourse. Low-complexity treatment that consists of directing sexual intercourse during the fertile period by monitoring the menstrual cycle, with the aim of matching sexual intercourse with the precise moment of ovulation, increasing the possibility of conception each month. This process can be accompanied by ovulation-inducing medications.
- Insemination. This is a low-complexity technique that involves the introduction of a seminal sample, previously selected in the laboratory, acquiring the ability to fertilize, inside the uterus, in order to increase the chances of fertilization. This procedure is carried out during the days of ovulation and aims to reduce the distance that the sperm must travel to the egg.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF). It is a highly complex treatment that seeks to unite the egg with the sperm through a laboratory process and that allows fertilization to be achieved and thus obtain viable embryos for later transfer to the mother’s uterus. This procedure is also recommended for cases of endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or male infertility (low sperm count or quality problems).
- Egg freezing. Known as oocyte cryopreservation, it is a procedure whose demand has increased as women have been postponing the decision to become mothers. It can also be used when the person undergoes surgeries or treatments that put the maturity and quality of their eggs at risk, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, as well as if they have endometriosis or have a history of early menopause.
Dr. Escudero indicates that the selection of the treatment will depend both on the medical evaluation and on various factors, among which are age, the time during which conception has been attempted and even hormonal alteration. “It is important that all couples who want to become parents go to the specialist as soon as they identify the difficulties to procreate, since there are various alternative solutions, but they must be applied in time to have a greater chance of success,” he emphasizes.