Understanding Infertility

October 23, 2018

Understanding Infertility

In the U.S. alone it is said that between 10-15% of couples are infertile. So, let’s make one thing very clear if you have ever dealt with this topic personally rest assured you are not alone. With that said, sometimes the cure for enduring such a painful diagnosis is to better understand it and, in this article, we will do just that. We will break down for you the ins and outs of it all. We will also take a closer look at reproductive health for both men and women in an attempt to gain a better and more solid understanding.

Infertility happens when a couple has not conceived after one year of regular unprotected sex. It is said that, if you are over the age of 35, treatment is recommended after 6 months of trying to conceive with no results. However, this is obviously up to the individual. Many people wait much longer before pursuing any type of treatment. As with any health-related issue, you have to follow your heart.

It’s important to know that age plays a major role in infertility. Many factors can be involved, affecting both men and women. With couples that are in their 20s and early 30s and are in good health, the woman has about a 25-30% chance of becoming pregnant in any single menstrual cycle. By the time a woman hits age 40, her chances of becoming pregnant plummet to below a 10% chance of becoming pregnant during her menstrual cycle. Timing is everything. 

Causes for infertility vary greatly between each case. Common causes of infertility in men include low sperm count, low sperm motility and abnormal sperm (sperm may have an unusual shape, making it harder to move and fertilize the egg).

Abnormal semen may not be able to move the sperm like it should. The reasons for this vary with a few resulting from medical conditions such as hormonal imbalance and overheated testicles. Other factors include genetic factors, age, weight and stress.

Risk factors that increase the risk in women include age, weight, diet and exercise (too much or too little). With that said, ovulation disorders currently appear to be the most common cause of infertility in women. Ovulation disorders can be due to the following:

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) (when the ovaries function abnormally, and ovulation may not occur at all), thyroid issues and chronic diseases.

The list of attributing factors is quite extensive for both men and women, so it is important to seek medical advisement if you suspect infertility.

There are plenty of treatment options when it comes to infertility however your course of action will depend on the cause. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, surgery and medication. It is said that infertility can often be treated even when no direct cause is found. Never lose hope.

References:

Medical News Today. 2018. Infertility in men and women. Last updated January 4, 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165748.php

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2017. Treating Infertility.  October 2017. https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Treating-Infertility

 

 




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