Infertility is more common than the public may think. It is a reproductive disorder in which the patient can’t get pregnant and carry a baby for nine months, despite trying for more than one year. About one-sixth of all couples are unable to conceive with their own eggs and sperm.
The cause of infertility can be male or female, but it typically will affect both members of the couple equally. Men have sex cells called sperm that fertilize women’s eggs during intercourse; if there are problems with their semen production or delivery, they may not be able to impregnate their partner. Women’s ovaries produce only one egg each month and she cannot become pregnant while she’s menstruating; if there are problems with her eggs, she may not be able to conceive.
What is Infertility?
Before knowing the causes first you have to know what is infertile?
To be called infertile, a woman needs to fail to get pregnant within the normal course of her monthly cycle for a year or more. Men can be considered infertile if they fail to get a woman pregnant within six months.
Some women may have cycles that are longer than others, but they still should not take more than one year of trying before deciding that they are infertile.
Infertility is a reproductive disorder in which the patient can’t get pregnant and carry a baby for nine months, despite trying for more than one year.
Causes of Infertility
There are many causes of infertility. The most common are ovulation problems, where a woman may not produce eggs or her eggs not be able to be fertilized. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight couples can have trouble conceiving. If you are over the age of 35, the likelihood of having problems with conception increases significantly.
Uterine fibroids and adhesions can reduce your ability to carry a child full term. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is another issue that affects fertility in women.
Here are a few of the other causes:
1. Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) can cause blood clots in a woman’s body. A clot or piece of it can get into the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to an egg. An embryo may die if the blood vessel is completely blocked.
2. Polycystic Ovarian Diseases (PCOD) is a hormonal condition in which a woman produces too many immature eggs, leading to more cysts on her ovaries, which can result in infertility.
3. One of the most common causes is an abnormality in the ovaries – causing eggs not to mature or fallopian tubes not releasing eggs
4. Chronic diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome, overweight and anorexia or thyroid diseases can all lead to ovarian problems
7. Smoking and certain medicines can also affect – some people are allergic to nicotine which in turn affects ovulation.
8. Some medicines can affect ovulation such as thiazide diuretics, corticosteroids, ergotamine and cocaine.
Infertility Treatment Options:
The good news is that there are several treatment options available that may be able to help couples who have difficulty conceiving. Such Infertility treatments include:
1. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
2. Using natural hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, can help stimulate ovulation in women whose ovaries do not produce the hormones and who find it difficult to get pregnant. If done carefully, with the right doses and timing, this can be an effective method. HRT can also be useful for women who are suffering from menopause.
3. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is another popular option. This involves removing an egg from the woman’s ovary, fertilizing it with sperm in a laboratory and then inserting the embryo into the woman’s womb, where it can hopefully grow to term.
Other treatments include:
1. Surgery to remove fibroids, get rid of one or both tubes or to repair a blocked tube
2. Injections of natural hormones into the ovaries – This is not always possible – for example if the woman has problems swallowing them
3. Luteal phase support therapy, where progesterone supplements are given starting before ovulation and continuing until the luteal phase (around 10 days) is complete.
There are many causes of infertility, and there are a variety of solutions to help couples struggling to conceive. If you think you may have a fertility problem, check with your doctor or with an online infertility specialist to see if you’re eligible for treatment options.