What causes infertility, and what could you do about it?
Both men and women are likely to have fertility problems. Pregnancy may be getting delayed in the woman due to issues in either of the partners or a combination of factors.
Every step related to ovulation, fertilization and the embryo development until delivery has to go on correctly to get pregnant. Sometimes the issues that cause infertility in couples are hereditary or they may develop sometime later in life.
Causes for male infertility:
• Abnormal sperm production or sperm function because of genetic defects, undescended testicles, health problems like diabetes, or infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps, or HIV. Enlarged veins within the testes (varicocele) can also affect the quality of sperm.
• Problems with the delivery of sperm because of structural problems, blockage within the testicle, sexual problems, like premature ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, like cystic fibrosis, or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
• Overexposure to environmental factors like pesticides, chemicals or radiation. Cigarette smoking, alcohol, marijuana, anabolic steroids, and taking medications to treat bacterial infections, hypertension, and depression can also affect fertility. Frequent exposure to heat, like in saunas or hot tubs ( the raised body temperature can affect sperm production).
• Damage related to cancer and its treatment, Cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can impair sperm production severely.
Causes of female infertility
• Ovulation disorders, which affect the discharge of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders like polycystic ovarian syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia, (hyperthyroidism) or (hypothyroidism) can affect the cycle or cause infertility. Other underlying causes may include an excessive amount of exercise, eating disorders, or tumors.
• Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the cervix, polyps within the uterus, or the form of the uterus.
• Inflammation of the Fallopian tube (salpingitis) can cause the blockage or it may damage the fallopian tube
• Endometriosis - Endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
• Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause) When the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40
• Pelvic adhesions, bands of connective tissue that bind organs which will form after pelvic infection, appendicitis, endometriosis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
• Cancer and its treatment- Certain cancers, particularly cancers of the reproductive system often impair female fertility. Both radiation and chemotherapy may affect fertility
Most of the types of infertility are not preventable. Several conscious efforts may increase your chance of pregnancy.Have regular intercourse several times around the time of ovulation for the absolute best pregnancy rate
Although most kinds of infertility are not preventable in men, these strategies may help:
Avoid drug usage and tobacco consumption. Avoid drinking excessive amount of alcohol, which can contribute to male infertility. High temperatures found in hot tubs and hot baths should be avoided, as they will temporarily affect sperm production and motility. Regular exercise may improve sperm quality and increase the possibilities for achieving a pregnancy.
For women, these strategies may increase the possibility of becoming pregnant
Quit smoking- Tobacco has many negative effects on fertility. Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs- These substances may impair your ability to conceive and have a healthy pregnancy. Limit caffeine. Women trying to get pregnant might want to limit caffeine intake. Regular exercise is a must. Being overweight or underweight can affect your hormone production and cause infertility.
The treatment that is recommended will depend upon the cause of infertility, how long you’ve been trying to conceive, age of the partners and overall health
Depending on the cause of male infertility, treatment options for men can include surgery, medication, and assisted reproductive technology (ART).
The treatment for female infertility also can involve surgery, medication, and reproductive assistance like ART. Sometimes a combination of treatments is needed to address female infertility.
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