What Does Infertility Mean for you?
When you are suffering from infertility you cannot bare children. There are two categories for infertility: Primary and secondary. Primary infertility means that a couple could not become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex. Secondary infertility means that after having a child (children), you cannot have another at the present moment.
What may cause infertility? Causes could range from physical or emotional problems. Problems that are related to this can be in both men and women.
Female infertility happens when:
- A fertilized egg or embryo does not survive once it sticks to the lining of the womb (uterus)
- The fertilized egg does not attach to the lining of the uterus
- The ovaries have problems producing eggs
- The eggs cannot move from the ovaries to the womb
Female infertility is often caused by these issues:
- Ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic infection or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Autoimmune disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
- Cancer or tumor
- Coagulation disorders
- Growths (such as fibroids or polyps) in the uterus and cervix
- Birth defects that affect the reproductive tract
- Too much exercising
- Eating disorders or poor nutrition
- Use of certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs
- Drinking an unreasonable amount of alcohol
- Weight problems
- Older age
- Scarring from sexually transmitted infection, previous abdominal surgery, or endometriosis
- Surgery to prevent pregnancy (tubal ligation) or failure of tubal ligation reversal (reanastomisis)
- Thyroid disease
- Too little or too much of certain hormones
Male infertility is due to:
- A decrease in sperm count
- Sperm being jammed from being released
- Sperm that does not work correctly
Male infertility is sometimes caused by:
- Being in high heat for prolonged periods
- Birth defects
- Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation
- Environmental pollutants
- Heavy use of controlled substances
- Older age
- Backward ejaculation
- Scarring from sexually transmitted infections, injury, or surgery
- Too little or too much hormones
- Use of certain drugs, such as cimetidine, spironolactone, and nitrofurantoin
- Vasectomy, or failure of vasectomy reversal
Couples that have frequent sex, and under the age of 20 have up to 30% chance of becoming pregnant. A woman's most fertile moments occurs in her early 20s. After age 35, the chance that a woman can get pregnant drops noticeably. Fertility starts to decline, which is dependent on a particular woman's body.
Depending on your age you should be tested on fertility at least twice a year. Doctors often suggest that women under 30 should try to get pregnant on their own for one year before getting tested. Infertility testing involves a complete medical history and physical examination of both partners.
In women, this may include: Blood tests to check hormone levels, including progesterone and follicle stimulating hormone, taking body temperature first thing in the morning to check if the ovaries are releasing eggs, FSH and clomid challenge test ,Hysterosalpingography (HSG), pelvic ultrasound, Laparoscopy, Luteinizing hormone urine test (ovulation prediction), thyroid function tests.
Tests in men may include: Sperm testing, examination of the testes and penis, ultrasound of the male genitals, blood tests to check hormone levels, testicular biopsy.
Treatment for infertility:
- Education and counseling
- Fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Medicines to treat infections and clotting disorders
- Medicines that help the woman grow and release eggs from the ovaries