Continued from Getting Pregnant With Modern Technology part 2

What Is Meant By The New Technology In Conception?

This refers to the process’ of solving seemingly impossible or difficult infertility problems with new technology. Such technology usually involves the complex handling of the human gametes consisting of the sperm and the egg in order to achieve conception and subsequent pregnancy leading to the delivery of a healthy baby. In the United States of America after the initial errors in California in which gametes were improperly handled, resulting in a black couple giving birth to a white baby while a white couple gave birth to a black baby, mandatory training, and examination was stipulated and required before someone could be appointed the director of an IVF program or laboratory. They must be licensed by examination as High Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director (HCLD) by the American Board of Bioanalysis. These individuals have helped in maintain the practice of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in the USA.

What Type Of Infertility Problems Can Be Helped With The New Technology?

There are several problems that can be helped with the new technology. They can be considered as those in the male and the female.

 

Male Infertility, Problems

Low sperm count and also congenital absence of sperm duct can be helped by the new technology in this situation men are born with missing sperm ducts. Today they are now able to have children of their own by the ART procedure.

 

Female Infertility Problems. An ovulation. This occurs in 10 percent of the cases of infertility. This female may go through a menstrual cycle but she is not ovulating, that is producing any eggs. The process of ovulation is complex and involves the secretions of several hormones in the brain, hypothalamus, pituitary and the ovary, as well as other related endocrine glands like the thyroid gland, adrenal, pancreas and the parathyroid. These endocrine glands secrete hormones, which work like the orchestra in a symphony to cause ovulation. If any of these hormones should play out of tune, ovulation will not occur. It is now possible to control this process externally by administrating various hormones to the patient. This is done after a very careful analysis of the patients’ hormonal status and deficiencies.

Oladapo Ashiru is Professor of Anatomy/Consultant Reproductive Endocrinologist

Prof Oladapo Ashiru Medical ART Center

 

Tubal Blockage. The tubes that carry the egg to the site of fertilization may be blocked or restricted in their movement. This may result in failure to conceive, even though the patient may be ovulating normally. Blocked tubes occur in about 20 percent of infertility cases. The cause is usually from previous infections. Sometimes the women may not know she had these infections. Even a simple appendicitis when young can lead to a scarring around the area of the tubes, which can interfere with the pickup mechanism of the eggs from the ovary. An X-ray called “hysterosalphinogram” which is a slightly painful but non-surgical procedure, which does not require hospitalization can easily determine whether the tube is structurally sound. More recently, there is a virtually painless procedure that is able to determine whether the tubes are structurally intact. It is the use of ultrasonography with saline infusion. It is called Sonohysterography.

Immunology. This includes cervical hostility. In this situation the woman’s cervix recognizes the sperm as a hostile foreign body (antigen) and immediately produces antibodies to kill the sperm. Invariably, most of the sperm cells are destroyed just at the cervical entrance and do not pass beyond the cervix. This condition can be detected by “examining a swab of the sperm removed from the cervix after intercourse. It is called “post coital cervical sperm analysis”. There are a number of other immunological factors that can affect pregnancy from conception to the implantation of the embryo phase.

Hormonal factors. Apart from the hormones that control ovulation directly, some hormones can indirectly affect ovulation. Prolactin a stress hormone is one of such hormones. The elevation of this hormone can cause the secretion of milk in the breast of a non-pregnant woman. This is a disaster situation if left untreated. It makes ovulation difficult if not impossible. Even if ovulation does occur this hormone will attack fertilization and embryo implantation processes, doing everything possible to terminate the conception. In layman terms, the high Prolactin acts as if the woman is already pregnant and tries to prevent the occurrence of another pregnancy in that pregnant \ cycle. New hormones have recently been recognized as having an inhibitory effect on ovulation or implantation. They
include prostaglandin, Intrauterine Insemination Or Fallopian Tube Sperm Perfusion.