Infertility Scientific base
is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having frequent, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples
Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy.
Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant AHW preparations are among them.
The main symptom of infertility is not getting pregnant. There may be no other obvious symptoms. Sometimes, a woman with infertility may have irregular or absent menstrual periods.
In some cases, a man with infertility may have some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
Who has Infertility?
1 in 8 couples (12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant (National Survey of Family growth, CDC).
Approximately one third of infertility is attributed to the female partner, one third attributed to the male partner and one third is caused by combination of problems of both partners or unexplained (American Society of reproductive Medicine).
To get pregnant
• A woman’s body must release a mature egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
• A man’s healthy sperm (count, motility & morphology) must join with the egg along the way (fertilize).
• The fertilized egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
• The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).
Infertility may result from a problem with any or several of these steps.
When to see a doctor?
You probably don’t need to see a doctor about infertility unless you have been trying regularly to get pregnant for at least one year. As a result, infertility has come to be defined as the inability to conceive within 12 months. This diagnosis is therefore shared by 15% of couples attempting to conceive. We generally recommend seeking the help of a doctor if conception has not occurred within the first 12 months . However, there are various scenarios where one may be advised to seek help earlier. These include:
1) Women, if they:
• Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer
• Are over age 40
• Have irregular or absent periods
• Have very painful periods
• Have known fertility problems
• Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
• Have had multiple miscarriages
• Have undergone treatment for cancer
2) Men if they:
• A low sperm count or other problems with sperm
• A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problems
• Undergone treatment for cancer
• Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum
• Others in your family with infertility problems
What are the Common Causes of Infertility?
Infertility causes can affect one or both partners. In general:
• In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the man
• In about one-third of cases, there is an issue with the woman
• In the remaining cases, there are issues with both the man and the woman, or no cause can be found
Causes of Male infertility
These may include:
• Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes, or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV. Enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele) also can affect the quality of sperm.
• Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; structural problems, such as a blockage in the testicle; or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
• Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals, and radiation. Cigarette smoking, alcohol, marijuana, anabolic steroids, and taking medications to treat bacterial infections, high blood pressure and depression also can affect fertility. Frequent exposure to heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can raise body temperature and may affect sperm production.
• Damage related to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely.
Causes of Female infertility
Causes of female infertility may include:
• Ovulation disorders, which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which you have too much prolactin — the hormone that stimulates breast milk production — also may interfere with ovulation. Either too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility. Other underlying causes may include too much exercise, eating disorders or tumors.
• Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the shape of the uterus. Noncancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
• Fallopian tube damage or blockage, often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.
• Endometriosis, which occurs when 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. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, and radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
• Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs that can form after pelvic infection, appendicitis, endometriosis or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Ref. 1. Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy and website.2. CDC