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Female Infertility, Article Review Example

Pages: 2

Words: 631

Article Review

In the article “Diagnosis and Management of Female Infertility,” S. Smith, S.M. Pfeifer, and J.A. Collins discuss the implications of infertility in women, defined as “one year of attempted conception without success” and considered as one of the most prevalent health problems involving young women that affects an estimated 6 million American couples annually (2003, p. 1767). Yet despite advances in medical science related to in-vitro fertilization techniques (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), this particular health disorder endures in the United States which is helped along by the costs and complexities associated with using these two techniques (2003, p. 1767) to conceive a child.

As a disorder, infertility is often temporary and reversible and is usually caused by physical manifestations, such as immature sexual organs, abnormalities associated with the female reproductive system (fallopian tube obstructions, etc.), hormonal imbalances, and the dysfunction of other organ systems; it can also be caused because of serious psychological and/or emotional problems (Glanze, 2006, p. 620).

As Smith, Pfeifer, and Collins point out, the clinical evaluation of infertility is determined when a woman fails to become pregnant after one year of unprotected heterosexual intercourse. However, in some instances, “earlier assessment is warranted in women who have a history of oligomenorrhea/amenorrhea” or the absence of menstruation by the age of sixteen in the presence of normal pubertal development (Chandran, 2012), “are older than 35 years and have known or suspected pelvic pathology” (2003, p. 1768). Under normal conditions, a number of disorders are ruled out as the cause of infertility in female patients, such as allergic reactions to male semen, the lack of ovulation, and any sort of obstructions in the fallopian tubes. In addition, “Most couples will require semen analysis, an assessment of ovulatory function, an assessment of the uterine cavity, and an assessment of tubal patency” via a laparoscopy (Smith, Pfeifer, & Collins, 2003, p. 1768).

The authors then proceed to discuss perhaps the most important area related to female infertility, being the prognosis or chances of a successful pregnancy following artificial insemination or other techniques utilized to help a woman become pregnant. For the typical female patient, the prognosis is moderate, for less than 50% of women become pregnant and have a child, especially if their duration of infertility is more than three years. For those women with less than three years of infertility, chances are almost tripled and if a woman is under the age of thirty, her chances of becoming pregnant are doubled; of course, infertility may be genetically linked which makes it even more difficult to become pregnant via artificial means (Smith, Pfeifer, & Collins, 2003, p. 1769).

The authors then discuss a number of important areas related to infertility, including ovulation disorders, fallopian tube disease, endometriosis, unexplained causes of infertility, and persistent infertility. These areas are followed up by an in-depth discussion of in-vitro fertilization that is primarily utilized by couples/individuals with problems associated with blocked fallopian tubes and persistent infertility (three or more years). Lastly, the authors discuss topical issues related to female infertility, such as the grief and anguish that comes with being unable to conceive, and also offer suggestions for counseling and emotional support (2003, pp. 1769-1770). Overall, Smith, Pfeifer, and Collins provide an excellent overview on the topic of female infertility. However, it should be mentioned that since the publication of this article in 2003 that many of the problems discussed by the authors have been overcome through additional research on infertility and the introduction of more advanced and reliable infertility techniques.

References

Chandran, L. (2012). Menstruation disorders. Medscape Reference. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/953945-overview

Glanze, W.D., ed. (2006). Mosby’s human physiology and disease encyclopedia. St. Louis, MO: C.V. Mosby & Company.

Smith, S., Pfeifer, S.M., & Collins, J.A. (2003). Diagnosis and management of female infertility. Journal of the American Medical Association. (290)13, 1767-1770.

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