Learn about infertility and causes of infertility in both men and women, along with the risks involved in infertility and how to diagnose the infertility. We also acquaint you with the treatments available for infertility in this article.
There has been a lot of buzz in the recent years about the decreasing fertility rates in men and the potential issues it can pose. It has been seen that infertility affects one in six men thus, making it a common problem for those of reproductive age. The topic of infertility has always been linked with woman that is traditionally viewed as 'woman's issue' and hardly any talk about male infertility.
In this article, infertility along with its causes, risks and treatments helps in awakening about the much-talked topic.
What is Infertility?
For those who are not accustomed to the term, it implies the inability to become pregnant even after regular unprotected sex. It also means the biological inability of individual to contribute in conception or the female partner who couldn't complete the pregnancy to full term.
Many cases of infertility are treatable. It might have single cause in any of the partner or it can be combinations of factors.
What are the causes of Infertility in women?
There are many possible reasons of infertility amongst females. Some of them are:
1- Ovulation Disorders: The most common cause of infertility among women is infertility. In some of the cases the woman never releases eggs while in other females does not release eggs in some cycles.
It can be due to premature ovarian failure, PCOS, hyperprolactinemia, poor egg quality, underactive thyroid gland, overactive thyroid gland or chronic conditions like HIV or cancer.
2- Issue with uterus or fallopian tubes: The egg moves to uterus (where fertilized egg grows) from ovary. If woman has any problem in uterus or fallopian tubes then there might be chances of unable to conceive. It can be due to pelvic surgery, submucosal fibroids, endometriosis and earlier sterilization treatment.
3- Medications: Medicines such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or chemotherapy can affect the fertility.
4- Radiotherapy:If radiation therapy was done near woman's reproductive organs then there are chances of fertility issues.
Illegal Drugs: They equally contribute in infertility.
Male Infertility Causes
Below are the common causes of infertility in men:
1- Semen: The 75% cases of male’s infertility are due to abnormal semen. It can be due to low sperm count, low sperm mobility, no sperm during ejaculation or abnormal sperm.
2- Causes of abnormal semen could be: The possible causes can be testicular surgery, testicular cancer and testicular infection. Overheating of testicles in hot tubs, frequent saunas can affect. Ejaculation disorder, due to varicocele, genetic abnormality, hypogonadism, cystic fibrosis, radiotherapy, medications and use of illegal drugs.
What are the risks involved in Infertility?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of infertility in both male and female.
1- Age: Woman after 30 starts dropping fertility and continues to do so. While a 50 year old man is less fertile than a man in 20.
2- Smoking: Similar for both male and female infertility cause. It can also undermine the fertility treatment.
3- Alcohol consumption: A woman has more chances of getting affected if she consumes alcohol. It may lower male fertility but is risky for those men who already have low sperm count.
4- Obesity or overweight: One of the most common causes of female infertility. An obese man has high risk of having abnormal sperm.
5- Eating disorders
6- Over exercising or not exercising
7- Sexually transmitted infections
8- Exposed to chemicals
9- Mental stress
How to diagnose infertility?
After 12 months of trying, if there is no pregnancy then below are the tests for both men and women to diagnose the real reason of infertility:
1- General physical exam
2- Blood test
5- Genetic testing
6- Ovarian reserve testing
7- Pelvic ultrasound
8- Chlamydia test
9- Thyroid function test
1- General physical exam
2- Semen analysis
3- Blood test
4- Ultrasound test
5- Chlamydia test
Fertility treatments for men are:
1- Varicocele- surgical removes of varicose vein.
2- Blockage of the ejaculatory duct- extracting sperm directly from testicles and then injected into an egg in laboratory.
3- Medications for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation can help in general sexual issues.
4- Epididymal blockage- Epididmysis can be surgically repaired if blocked.
Fertility treatments for women are:
1- Fallopian tube surgery
2- Laparoscopic surgery
3- Intrauterine insemination
4- IVF technology
5- ICSI i.e. intracystoplasmic sperm injection
6- Drugs for ovulation disorders include- Clomiphene for encouraging ovulation in woman who don't ovulate regularly or who hasn't ovulated at all because of PCOS or other issue. Metformin- for those females who didn't respond to Clomiphene. And there are other medicines as well.
Hope this article helped you with your queries on infertility. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatments.
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Yes, the clomid tablet can result in twins or multiple births. There are 5 to 8% of chances of conceiving twins while being on Clomid as compared to natural twin pregnancy, which has just 1 to 2% chances. Intake of Clomid results in the overproduction of egg stimulating hormones, which further causes, the release of more than 1 egg from the ovary.
Ovulation is a phase when a single mature egg is released from the ovary followed by Luteinizing Hormone surge. Ovulation can be predicted by tracking menstrual cycle with Ela app, observing the changes in cervical mucus and position, using ovulation predictor kits, recording BBT and by observing other physical signs such as mood swings or abdominal cramps.
Female Infertility can be caused by irregular cycles, an ovulation, low egg quality & count and the obstruction in the fallopian tube. Having healthy diet, managing weight and stress, practicing safe sex and following positive lifestyle are some of the ways to prevent infertility. ART treatments such as IVF, IUI or Surrogacy can be used to conceive a baby in the case of female infertility.
Women are most prone to leprosy and if there is a positive presence of leprosy, then the chances of infertility also rise manifolds. Women having leprosy have problems of irregular periods. Leprosy has a negative impact on pregnancy as well because the child born to a patient may have birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
Gynecologist looks after a number of gynecological issues like PCOS, Fibroids, Endometriosis, PID, Blocked Fallopian Tubes, Irregular periods and many others to improve overall reproductive health. Fertility specialists help you in conceiving with the help of fertility treatments and assisted conception techniques such as IVF, IUI or Surrogacy.
Fallopian tube blockage refers to the blockage of tubes that carries the mature egg from the ovaries to the uterus in a woman. Symptoms of fallopian tube blockage include pelvic pain, heavy periods, fatigue, vaginal discharge, lower back pain and painful intercourse.
The fastest and healthiest sperm reaches the egg within a time period of half an hour. The slowest sperm reaches within 12 hours after the release into the womans body. The time period varies on different factors such as sperm health and sperm motility. High sperm motility ensures higher chances of egg fertilization.
Bicornuate Uterus is a congenital uterine abnormality where uterus becomes heart shaped. Miscarriages in second trimester, preterm labor and incompetent cervix are usually linked to bicornuate uterus because of the increased adverse reproductive result. In this article, you will find all details about Bicornuate including its effects, symptoms and treatment.
Vaginal discharge after sex is normal if it is not accompanied by pelvic pain and vaginal irritation. Vaginal discharge can be pink, white, brown or yellow in color. Its consistency also keeps on varying. If you experience bad odor, you should consult a gynecologist immediately for a proper treatment.
Yes, genital TB can lead to infertility in both men and women as it affects the genital organs. In female, it affects fallopian tubes, cervix, uterus, vagina, ovaries and the pelvis lymph nodes. While in men, it affects the prostate gland and testes, ureters, urinary bladder and kidney.
With growing age, a mans sperm count and morphology depletes significantly. Reduced Sperm mobility and testosterone levels, lesser immunity leading to illness and erectile dysfunction are prevalent reasons for reduced male fertility with age.
Anti - Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is the hormone produced by ovarian follicles. AMH level denotes ovarian reserves and quality of ovarian eggs for a female. It is also known as Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS). Normal AMH levels of 1.5 to 4.0 ng/ml, is associated with good fertility and have been found to have better response rates to fertility treatments.Low AMH level is not a good indicator of fertility.
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