Treatments & Therapies

Reproductive Medicine – Treatment, Effects & Risks

Reproductive medicine

The medical branch of reproductive medicine has existed since the 80s and deals with the research, diagnosis and therapy of fertility. In vitro and in vitro fertilization are among the most important orientations of reproductive medicine procedures. In the field of research, reproductive medicine also deals with the analysis of social and ethical consequences.

What is reproductive medicine?

Reproductive medicine deals with the research, diagnosis and treatment of reproductive processes. In this respect, the medical specialty focuses on fertility disorders. The term reproduction in this context is understood as the generation of new, but largely similar individuals.

Reproductive medicine is connected in the broadest sense with the sub-fields of urologygynecology, genetics and andrology. By andrology, the physician understands the research of male reproductive ability. Thus, andrology in the broadest sense corresponds to a gynecology for men. The andrological pioneer Carl Schirren established Germany’s first reproductive medicine centre in 1983. One of the most important areas of reproductive medicine opened up in the 80s. At that time, Steptoe and Edwards developed in vitro fertilization.

This artificial insemination gave birth to the country’s first “test-tube baby” in Germany during the 80s. Since then, the methods of artificial insemination have been permanently refined and further developed. The framework of reproductive medicine is largely provided by German law and bioethics. Ethical and legal disputes have always arisen in connection with artificial insemination. It is precisely these controversial issues that need to be permanently clarified by reproductive medicine in terms of medical law and bioethics.

Treatments & Therapies

Reproductive medicine is mainly concerned with in vivo and in vitro fertilization. The treatment spectrum ranges from the treatment of certain fertility disorders to the induction of assisted pregnancies in infertility. Both in vivo and in vitro fertilization belong to the subfield of so-called assisted reproduction.

The focus of this assisted reproduction is the generation of pregnancy through various medical techniques. These techniques include hormonal treatments as well as surgical or minimally invasive procedures. In vivo fertilization procedures fertilize the egg in the womb. The methods of in vitro fertilization, on the other hand, refer to artificial insemination in a test tube. In the field of research, reproductive medicine is particularly concerned with the further development of methods for in vitro and in vivo fertilization. The diagnostic methods for diagnosing infertility are also constantly being further developed in the field of research.

Apart from that, reproductive medicine research is investigating innovative contraceptive methods, such as hormonal contraception. In addition, the analysis of environmental influences in connection with general fertility is an important research area of the discipline. The social and ethical effects of new reproductive medicine procedures are also recorded and analysed in the research area of reproductive medicine. This concerns, for example, the question of the extent to which the planning of young talent, which is already possible to a limited extent according to selected characteristics, is ethically responsible.

In the broadest sense, reproductive medicine is also concerned with stem cell research. For example, embryonic stem cells are largely obtained from in vitro fertilization. In this area, reproductive medicine is bound by the legal requirements for stem cell research. In the field of fertilization, compliance with the Embryo Protection Act is one of the most important framework conditions for the development of new therapy and fertilization methods.

Diagnosis & examination methods

As a rule, a couple or an individual visits a reproductive physician, especially in the context of a lack of pregnancy. The anamnesis is a component of reproductive medicine that should not be underestimated. In most cases, the doctor already develops an anamnetic idea of the possible causes of impaired fertility.

Fertility tests also fall into the treatment spectrum of the specialty. In men, such tests usually correspond to a functional test of the spermMasturbation can be used to obtain sperm. However, minimally invasive procedures are also conceivable. The function of the sperm obtained and analyzed in this way is documented in a spermiogram. This spermiogram mainly gives clues to the density, speed and general health of the sperm. The fertility of the woman may be examined by the reproductive physician via hormone tests. In addition, laparoscopy, uterine endoscopy and ultrasound examinations or observation of the cycle are conceivable diagnostic procedures.

The main methods in the therapeutic field of reproductive medicine are intrauterine inseminationintracytoplasmic sperm injection and testicular sperm extraction. In addition, microsurgical, epididymal sperm aspiration and in vitro maturation are now of great importance in reproductive medicine therapy. In intrauterine insemination, sperm are introduced directly into the woman’s uterus. This procedure is particularly useful if the flow rate of the sperm is impaired.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection goes one step further. The sperm of the man are injected into the cytoplasm of the female egg. To obtain sperm, testicular biopsy is used in testicular sperm . For in vitro procedures, however, the sperm can also be obtained from the epididymis via microsurgical, epididymal sperm aspiration. In vitro maturation affects women with certain fertility disorders. In this procedure, the reproductive physician removes immature eggs from the woman’s ovaries.

The collected eggs are artificially matured in a test tube until they are fertile. Many procedures of reproductive medicine are predominantly hormonally controlled and are therefore accompanied by . The fulfillment of a hitherto unfulfilled desire to have children is thus the main area of all reproductive therapeutic measures.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.