Infertility, a reproductive health issue, which occurs to both males and females. And when it occurs, a couple (of opposite sex) has an inability to produce a child through conventional methods. Doctors term it when a couple doesn’t conceive even after making unprotected love for more than a year. The term is 6 months if the anyone of a couple or both is above 35, especially maternal age. The post explains every aspect of infertility such as infertility symptoms, infertility causes, and infertility treatment.
Table of content
- What is infertility?
- What are the Types of Infertility?
- Infertility Symptoms
- Infertility Causes
- What are the risk factors of infertility in male and female?
- Infertility Diagnosis
- Infertility Treatment
- How to Prevent Infertility
What is infertility?
Infertility is disease that prohibits a male or female from becoming a father or mother of a child. Usually, it is an inability to produce a baby. In the current world, it is a common reproductive health issue. As per the World Health Organisation, the world has approximately 48 million couples and 186 million individuals suffering from fertility problems, infertility.
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 1 in 5 Americans suffers from fertility issues. While talking about India, around 10-15% persons have infertility impacts. AIIMS Delhi believe so in the Indian infertility context.
What are the Types of Infertility?
In general, there are two types of infertility:
- Primary infertility – It relates to a condition when someone is unable to conceive a child conventionally.
- Secondary infertility – It refers to a reproductive health issue in which a person had conception earlier, but is not able to conceive a baby again.
The primary symptom of infertility is an inability to have a conception. There might not be other symptoms of male infertility or infertility symptoms in women. It is as infertility makes a male or female unable to become a father or mother of a baby. Sometimes, missed, irregular, or no periods can relate to the symptoms of female infertility.
When you know infertility causing obstruction in your family expansion plan, you (males and females) have numerous queries. Some of them could be – what causes infertility in men and what causes infertility in women.
Usually, a lot of things happen in the occurrence of a conception. From egg production in ovaries to egg fertilisation with sperm, transportation of fertilised egg to the uterus, and build up of the uterus lining, everything happens in a process. Any blockage or irregularities in the process causes infertility in male and female.
Infertility causes in women
Causes of infertility in women are different from the one in men. If infertility happens, you (as a female), might have:
- Ovulation disorders
- Cervical or uterine abnormalities
- Damage or blockage in your fallopian tubes
- Early menopause
- Certain medicines used for treating cancer and other chronic diseases
- Pelvic adhesions
Infertility causes in men
You (males) have fertility problems related to your semen or sperm quality. Here are some significant causes of male infertility:
- Low sperm count
- Abnormal sperm production and function
- Hormonal disorders
- Chronic health issues such as diabetes, immune disorders, cancer treatment
What are the risk factors of infertility in male and female?
Several factors play a greater role in male infertility and female infertility. Risk factors of male and female infertility are the same. Here are common risks of having fertility problems:
- Excess alcohol use
- Tobacco products
- Being underweight or overweight
- Lack of physical activity or highly comfortable life
You (males and females) should consult a respective doctor if you fail to expand your family through your conventional efforts. At the clinic or hospital, the doctor will interact with you and recommends a few tests or screenings that could be different for you and your spouse.
Infertility Tests for Men
As a male, you may need to have the following tests to check the root of fertility problems in you:
- Semen analysis to know sperm count, shape, motility, and function
- Hormonal tests
- Genetic testing
- Testicular biopsy
Infertility diagnosis for women
- Ovulation testing
- Ovarian reserve testing
- Hysteroscopy and laparoscopy (in the case of unexplained infertility)
As per the base of interaction, physical examination, and test results, the doctor will decide the suitable treatment for you. The treatment option can include medicines, surgeries, and lifestyle changes.
Infertility treatment for men
- Lifestyle changes
- Surgery to remove the blockage in the testicles and facilitate sperm extraction through ejaculation during sexual intercourse
- Sperm retrieval for egg fertilisation at the clinic
Infertility treatments for women
- Fertility drugs for ovary stimulation
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)
- IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
- Assisted hatching
- Donor egg or sperm
How to Prevent Infertility
Staying away from infertility is possible. And for this, you (males and females) need to make a few changes in your life. Here are some preventive steps for infertility:
- Take healthy meal every time. Ensure it has all the requisite nutrients
- Exercise regularly. Go for a 30-minute walk at least if you can’t perform workouts of high intensity
- Keep your weight in control. For this, measure your BMI and keep it between 20 and 25
- Have a suitable treatment if you fall ill
- Educate yourself on reproductive health
- Quit smoking and drinking
- Avoid having constant exposure to heat and industrial chemicals
- Limit your caffeine intake