The topic of infertility is sensitive, and it’s not easy to talk about. But as a society, we need to start talking about it more.
Infertility is a very real problem, affecting millions of couples worldwide. Several factors can cause it. And while infertility can be devastating to any couple looking to start or expand their family, it’s especially painful for people who have always dreamed of being parents.
There are many ways to deal with infertility; it starts with knowing its causes and signs and symptoms.
What Is Infertility
Infertility is a condition that affects one in eight couples. It’s defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sex or after six months of trying if you’re over 35.
Women and men are considered infertile if they have not conceived after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse with a partner with no known fertility issues. Infertility can be caused by either the man or woman or by partners.
Infertile couples may not necessarily be able to have children, but they may also experience problems conceiving or carrying to term.
If you’re concerned about fertility issues, visit your doctor right away. Your doctor will perform a series of tests to determine whether there is an underlying medical cause for your inability to conceive.
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What Causes Infertility in Women
Infertility is a complex issue that can affect more than just the couple it’s impacting. It can be a very difficult time for all involved, but many steps can be taken to try and get things back on track.
It’s important to know that infertility is not your fault, and there are steps you can take to get help. The first step to getting help is education about the causes of infertility in women.
Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of female infertility. They result from scarring on the fallopian tubes, which can be caused by infection, injury or surgery.
The fallopian tubes are a pair of long, thin tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. The egg travels down one of the fallopian tubes after it is released from an ovary during ovulation. The sperm then travels up through the other tube to fertilise the egg in the uterus if conception occurs.
If there is a blockage in one or both tubes, an egg will not be able to reach its intended destination, and pregnancy will not occur.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal condition that affects women of reproductive age and can cause infertility. It is caused by a hormone imbalance that increases the number of male hormones in your body and prevents you from ovulating.
Poor egg quality can cause infertility in women.
The quality of eggs a woman produces depends on several factors, including whether or not she has been exposed to certain toxins, whether or not she has been exposed to radiation, and how well her body metabolizes the nutrients it consumes. Poor egg quality can also be caused by genetics and poor nutrition habits.
If you are concerned about your fertility, speak with your doctor about what steps you can take to improve it.
One of the most common causes of infertility in women is age. As we get older, our ovaries produce fewer and fewer eggs. The older you are when you try to conceive, the harder it will be for you to become pregnant.
This is because your eggs are not as healthy or viable as they were when you were younger. This means that even if you become pregnant, there’s a greater chance that the egg won’t implant itself properly in your uterine wall and will miscarry before it’s even given a chance to grow into a baby.
Another reason age causes infertility in women is declining hormone levels. As we age, our bodies produce less estrogen and progesterone—essential hormones for maintaining healthy reproductive functioning.
This means that our ovaries may not function at their peak level as they did when we were younger, which makes it harder for them to release eggs during ovulation every month.
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Women with early menopause have a higher risk of infertility than women who go through menopause after age 40. This happens because the ovaries stop producing eggs earlier, so there are fewer eggs to fertilise when a woman gets pregnant.
You may be wondering why this matters for your fertility—after all, if you’re trying to conceive and you don’t have any eggs left in your ovaries to use for making babies, why does it matter when they stop working?
Well, one reason is that if you want to use donor sperm or donor eggs to get pregnant later in life (for example), then having fewer remaining egg follicles means there aren’t enough viable ones left behind from which to extract them.
Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)
In POI, the ovaries stop working before age 40. This happens because egg production goes down before this age. As a result, your ovaries don’t release eggs. Without eggs to fertilise with sperm, you can’t get pregnant.
If you have uterine fibroids, a large amount of blood flow your body needs to carry through these tumours can make it difficult for your body to support a pregnancy. You may also have problems with your ovaries and fallopian tubes if you have uterine fibroids. Your body may not release eggs as easily or at all, which makes it hard for you to become pregnant.
Pelvic adhesions result from the formation of scar tissue that can occur after any pelvic surgery. This scar tissue can create a blockage in the fallopian tubes that prevent eggs from travelling down to your uterus, which makes it difficult for them to be fertilized by sperm.
Thyroid issues are a common cause of infertility in women. It’s easy to see why: thyroid hormone affects the metabolism of every single cell in your body, so it’s no surprise that imbalances can cause problems with ovulation, menstrual cycles, and other fertility indicators.
Endometriosis is when the tissue that usually lines the inside of your uterus (endometrium) grows outside of it. It’s estimated that around half of women with endometriosis have fertility problems, and many don’t know.
Endometriosis can cause infertility in several ways, including:
- Making it difficult to get pregnant by affecting ovulation or implantation
- Causing scarring on your ovaries, which can prevent eggs from maturing properly
- Causing pelvic adhesions that block sperm from entering the uterus or ovaries
If you think you might have endometriosis and are struggling with infertility, see your doctor about getting tested for this condition.
Undiagnosed celiac disease
It’s no secret that undiagnosed celiac disease can wreak havoc on your health. But did you know that it can also cause infertility in women?
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder when the body reacts negatively to gluten, a protein in wheat and other grains. If you have celiac disease, eating foods containing gluten can cause damage to the lining of your small intestine, leading to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues.
If you have celiac disease and don’t get tested for it or don’t get treatment for it, your body will continue to attack itself as it tries to fight off gluten. This can lead to all sorts of problems—including infertility.
What Causes Infertility in Men
According to Mayo Clinic, here are the common causes of infertility in Men:
Many health issues and medical treatments can cause problems with male fertility:
- Ejaculation issues
- Antibodies that attack sperm
- Undescended testicles
- Hormone imbalances
- Defects of tubules that transport sperm
- Chromosome defects
- Problems with sexual intercourse
- Celiac disease
- Certain medications
- Prior surgeries
Overexposure to certain environmental elements such as heat, toxins and chemicals can reduce sperm production or sperm function. Specific causes include:
- Industrial chemicals
- Heavy metal exposure
- Overheating the testicles
Health, lifestyle and other causes
Some other causes of male infertility include:
- Drug use
- Alcohol use
- Tobacco smoking
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What Are the Signs of Infertility in Women
Many things can cause infertility in women. Some of them are easily treated, while others are not. Some signs of infertility in women are subtle, while others are more obvious. If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, here’s what to look for:
Not getting pregnant is the primary sign of infertility in women. This can be a very emotional experience, especially if you and your partner have been trying to conceive for some time.
If you have been trying for six months and still haven’t gotten pregnant, it might be time to see your doctor. They will likely perform a physical exam and ask about your health history.
They may also recommend tests, such as blood work or an ultrasound. With your doctor, you can decide which tests are necessary for determining whether or not there is an underlying cause for your infertility.
This is one of the most common signs of infertility in women. If your periods are irregular, it can be a sign that you might have trouble conceiving. There are several reasons why this could happen: stress, weight loss or gain, stress, hormone imbalance and any other medical condition that may cause irregularity in your menstrual cycle.
One of the most common signs of infertility in women is a lack of menstrual periods. If you have not had more than six months, you should talk to your doctor. There are many reasons why this could be happening:
Your body may have stopped producing eggs due to menopause or another medical condition (such as thyroid disease).
Your body may be unable to release an egg every month due to an underlying condition such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
The lining of your uterus may not be thick enough to support a growing fetus and/or keep it safe during pregnancy.
Painful periods are one of the most common signs of infertility in women. If you’re experiencing pain during your period, it could indicate that you’re not ovulating regularly.
There are other reasons why your periods might be painful, but if they’ve never been like this before, it’s worth talking to your doctor to rule out infertility as a cause.
Bleeding between periods can be an indicator of infertility. This is especially true if other symptoms, such as cramping or pain, accompany the bleeding.
If you’re experiencing bleeding between periods, you must see your doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis. There are many reasons women might experience bleeding between periods, and it’s important to know which one applies to you.
One of the signs of infertility in women is pain during sex. This can result from several causes:
- Vaginal dryness due to hormonal imbalances or stress
- Irritation or inflammation due to infections such as yeast or bacterial vaginosis
- Inadequate lubrication due to low levels of estrogen
- Endometriosis (when cells from your uterus attach themselves outside your uterus)
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), is an infection that affects your reproductive organs and leads to scarring
Obesity is a known cause of infertility in women. Studies show that obese women have higher estrogen levels than normal-weight women, which can lead to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can cause irregular periods or no periods at all.
In addition, obese women have higher body fat levels and lower muscle mass levels than normal-weight women, which means they produce more estrogen and less testosterone. This imbalance affects the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries and contributes to infertility issues.
Obese women may also experience early menopause due to high levels of insulin resistance, which can lead to insulin resistance syndrome (IRS). These high insulin levels can cause the ovaries to stop releasing eggs or produce fewer eggs each month.
This can occur due to stress, medication, or other factors. If you notice that your menstrual cycle has become irregular, or if you cannot become pregnant despite having regular sex with your partner, it may be time to talk to a doctor about what could be causing this change in your life.
The colour of the blood can be a sign of infertility.
When trying to get pregnant, it’s important to check your period regularly and monitor your body’s signs. If something goes wrong, you’ll need to know as soon as possible so that you can take action.
One of the most common signs of something wrong with your fertility is if you notice an unusual colouring in your menstrual blood.
Many women don’t pay attention to how their period looks when they get it, but if something seems off, there could be a reason for it!
Red and pink shades are perfectly normal for menstrual blood; however, if you notice any other colours in addition to red or pink (such as brown), this could indicate an issue within your reproductive system.
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What Are the Signs of Infertility in Men
It can be hard to know what to do and where to turn when you’re trying to get pregnant with your partner, but it’s important to remember that resources can help. Here are some of the most common signs of infertility in men:
Difficulty fathering a child
To have a healthy baby, the sperm must be healthy and strong. If you are having trouble fathering a child, it could signify that you are infertile.
Infertility is the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse or six months if you are over 35 years old. This means you must have sex at least once every three days to conceive within six months (or 12 months).
If you’ve been trying for more than a year without success, it’s time to see your doctor. They can perform tests to determine if there are any problems with your fertility and help you find solutions for them!
One of men’s most common symptoms of infertility is trouble with erections. It can be one of the most troubling symptoms for men because it can affect their self-esteem and cause them to feel less masculine.
While several factors, including age, can cause erectile dysfunction, lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking alcohol, and certain medications like antidepressants or blood pressure medications, it can also be a sign that your body isn’t producing enough testosterone.
This means that you may have trouble getting an erection when you’re ready for sex—and it means there’s a chance that you might not be able to get pregnant when you’re ready to start a family.
Men with low sperm counts are more likely to have trouble getting pregnant. Many men with low sperm counts struggle to get their partners pregnant.
The good news is that there are ways to increase your sperm count—including taking vitamins and changing your diet.
If you’re having trouble getting your partner pregnant, see a doctor specialising in infertility. The sooner you start treatment, the better!
Poor sperm motility is a sign of infertility in men. Sperm motility is the ability of sperm to move forward and backwards, as well as side to side.
Moreover, sperm motility is determined by how many sperm are moving at one time and how fast they are moving. Sperm need to be able to swim fast enough to reach the egg for fertilization to take place.
If there is not enough sperm swimming at one time, or if they are not moving fast enough, this can cause fertility problems.
You may be surprised to hear that your sex drive is a reliable indicator of whether you can conceive a child. But it’s true!
Low libido is often the first sign of male infertility—it’s also one of the easiest to identify. If you’re having trouble getting aroused, have trouble maintaining an erection, or can’t orgasm, talk to your doctor about what might be causing the problem so you can get on the right track toward conception.
It is one of the few symptoms that can help you identify if you are suffering from infertility. If you have noticed any changes in your hair growth pattern, it could signify that you are suffering from infertility.
The reason behind this is that when you are fertile, your body produces more hormones than necessary, due to which your hair follicles grow faster than usual. When you are infertile, the opposite happens; fewer hormones are produced throughout your body, so the hair grows slowly or not at all.
Testicle Pain or Swelling
Testicle pain or swelling is a sign of infertility in men. Many men find themselves dealing with infertility when they are younger, which can be very difficult. It is important to know that treatments are available for testicle pain and swelling.
One of the most common reasons for testicle pain and swelling is varicocele. This happens when veins in the scrotum dilate and become swollen. The condition causes discomfort in some men, while others may not feel any pain. Varicocele can also cause discolouration on the scrotum, which may turn blue or purple if left untreated.
Another possible cause of testicle pain and swelling is epididymitis, an infection in the epididymis gland found next to each testicle. The symptoms include fever, chills, testicular pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that can last for up to two weeks without treatment, including antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
Men who are experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention right away so they can receive the proper care before it becomes worse than it already is.
How to Check for Infertility
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Getting pregnant can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can check for infertility in several ways, including a fertility test and an ultrasound. These are two of the most common methods.
- Fertility Tests: Fertility tests help diagnose whether or not you’re able to conceive naturally. There are several different types of fertility tests available, including:
- Blood tests: Blood tests measure hormone levels in your blood. They’re often used to test for ovulation or low progesterone levels.
- Urine tests: Urine tests look for the presence of hormones in urine samples taken throughout the month and during ovulation.
- Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs. Ultrasounds can help determine if anything prevents you from becoming pregnant—like an ovarian cyst or intrauterine device (IUD). They may also indicate abnormalities with your uterus or ovaries that could cause later infertility.
Female Infertility Treatment
Infertility is challenging for men and women, but it’s often seen as a woman’s problem. About one in eight couples struggle with fertility issues—and that’s just the ones who have been diagnosed. It can be tough to find information about infertility treatments for women. So we’re here to help!
The first step is to ask your doctor about your options. Your doctor may recommend hormone therapy or surgery if they think that will work best for you. If you’re looking into alternative treatments, make sure to do your research and talk with your partner before moving forward with any of these options:
- Stress management
- Acupuncture/massage therapy
If you’re having trouble getting pregnant and have been diagnosed with PCOS, there are some things you can do to help yourself conceive:
Take birth control pills: The pill regulates your menstrual cycle and helps lower your testosterone levels. Taking it regularly can also reduce the risk of ovarian cysts, another common symptom of PCOS.
Try ovulation induction drugs: These medications help stimulate ovulation so that more eggs are released each month. They may also increase your chances for pregnancy because they work well with intrauterine insemination (IUI), a type of fertility treatment where sperm is injected directly into the uterus through a catheter.
Consider other types of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs): ARTs include IVF (in-vitro fertilization), GIFT (gamete intrafallopian tube transfer), and ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian tube).
Male Infertility Treatment
Male infertility treatment is a complex subject. It’s a topic that can be difficult to discuss, but it’s important to understand the options and how they can help you get the family you’ve always wanted.
Male infertility is quite common: one in six couples suffer from male infertility. Most of the time, it’s due to problems with sperm production or quality. These problems can be caused by an infection, physical injury, or even lifestyle factors like smoking or alcohol consumption.
Male infertility treatment typically starts with simple tests: blood tests, semen analysis, and maybe even an ultrasound of your reproductive organs. Once your doctor knows what’s causing the problem, they can recommend some treatments most likely to help you conceive.
The most common treatments for male infertility include medications and surgery. Medications include fertility drugs like clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Surgery options include vasectomy reversal if you no longer want to have children. Still, your partner does sperm retrieval if there’s something wrong with your testicles or epididymis, making it harder for sperm to reach them.
If you and your partner has been trying to conceive for more than a year but has not been successful, do not hesitate to consult a doctor to pinpoint the exact reason why and to help you solve the problem with infertility.
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