In simple terms, infertility is the inability of a couple to bear children when using no contraception. This could be due to the male not being able to contribute to conception or the female not able to carry a pregnancy to term. Though the female is attributed to be the reason very often, almost 50% of infertility cases are due to issues with both the male and female.
Causes: Some of the main male and female causes of infertility are listed below.
Risk factors: Infertility is on the rise and some of the risk factors are identified to be:
Infertility is often caused by a combination of these factors. Changing lifestyles with smoking among women on the rise is a major cause of infertility.
Diagnosing infertility: The reason for infertility should be identified so that treatment can be directed appropriately. Most often, women are cited as the reason for a couple’s infertility. That is not necessarily the case, and in about 30% of the cases, the male also could be contributing to infertility. The following methods are useful:
Treatment: Once the cause is identified, then targeted treatment can be done, including:
The concept of egg quality of a woman is derived from the belief that the embryo implantation probability is powerfully related to the age and ovarian reserve of the woman. Thus, it is regarded that the quality of the egg is almost synonymous with the chances of embryo implantation. Its quality cannot be assessed merely by looking at the egg or measuring its ability to receive the fertilization by sperm or simply observing the initial embryo division.
There are a few important factors that contribute to the success or failure of the embryo implantation and some of them are:
Therefore, it is important to have the eggs tested to find out any sort of chromosomal abnormality. In case the mother is deficient of producing high quality eggs, the best option is to have donor eggs.
Infertility is a condition, which is characterized by the inability to have a baby for over a year in spite of having planned and unprotected sex. It is a pretty common phenomenon for both men and women. However, there are several treatments available for both the sexes to help them recover from this problem. Here are some of the most common treatments available for infertility:
1. Changing your lifestyle: Certain factors in your lifestyle, which may cause you to be infertile include the medications you take, lack of exercise or not having intercourse frequently enough or not at the right time. The solution for these problems is simply incorporating certain changes in your daily life, such as exercising more, sticking to a healthy diet or having intercourse more often at the right time.
2. Sperm retrieval: Sperm retrieval is the technique used when you cannot ejaculate or when there is hardly any sperm present in your semen. It is also used in case of a low sperm count.
1. Intrauterine insemination: Intrauterine insemination is a process in which healthy sperm cells are put into the uterus so that the egg gets fertilized when it is released. The sperm cells have to be inserted at the time when your ovaries release eggs; therefore it is crucial to know your menstrual cycle as well as how fertility drugs are affecting it.
2. Fertility drugs: Fertility drugs are used to stimulate ovulation. This is done by administering medications which either regulate or cause ovulation to occur. There are several types of fertility drugs, so you should talk to your doctor about which should be the best for you.
4. IVF: IVF is an assisted reproductive technology. During IVF, the sperm is first retrieved, after which fertility medications are given to the woman so that the egg can be retrieved. Finally, the egg is fertilized on a laboratory dish and injected back into the mother or a surrogate mother.
Miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion that occurs around the first to second trimester of pregnancy; wherein the foetus is automatically expelled from the uterus due to its inability to survive because of environmental influences or chromosomal abnormalities.
Unless the miscarriage occurs due to a severe health issue, the fertility of the woman may not necessarily be compromised. Studies show that one miscarriage doesn’t predict the possibility of a future one. Once the bleeding and pain subside, it is the emotional trauma that must be addressed to begin with which poses a greater threat than the physical one.
The fertility of the woman remains unaltered and the body can be ready after the menstrual cycle returns to normal. However, it still requires some time for the woman to be physically and emotionally prepared to go through another pregnancy. The medical history and reasons behind miscarriage must be evaluated before the couple decides to try again.
Complications after miscarriage only occur if the woman is above 35 years of age or has a rather unhealthy lifestyle. The concept of fertility varies from person to person and it isn’t possible to pass a common judgement about fertility in this scenario.
The gynaecologist mostly suggests couple therapy after the trauma of the miscarriage. The psychological loss is given more importance before considering another attempt by most doctors. The fertility loss only occurs with age and unhealthy lifestyle and it is widely accepted and proven that a miscarriage has little or nothing to do with it.
Ways to Increase Fertility
If a couple is certain they are ready to conceive again, there are a few things a woman can do to help her chances of becoming pregnant-
Talk to a Doctor
If a couple is having issues with fertility after early miscarriage, they should talk to a doctor. There are many options available. More than likely, the first thing the doctor will do is to test fertility levels of both the man and the woman. If you don't want to visit a doctor for this, there is a new at-home kit available called Fertell. This test, retailing for approximately $100, measures fertility levels for both a man and a woman.
If it is found that there is a loss of fertility after early miscarriage, fertility drugs or therapies may be prescribed for a period of time.
The doctor may report that there are no issues with fertility. At this point, it would be a good idea to use an ovulation predictor in order to time effective intercourse. This isn't the most romantic idea, but it may well be one of the most logical ways for a couple to conceive.
Fertility is not normally decreased after miscarriage. A woman's fertility levels return to normal as soon as her menstrual cycle returns. Fertility may be decreased due to emotional issues as a result of the miscarriage. However, if a couple is ready, both physically and emotionally, there should be no physiological hindrances to conception.
The decision to try again is not an easy one. However, fertility won't typically be an issue.
In today’s modern, fast paced society, it is easy for people to become stressed. In fact, one would almost think that being stressed is the “in” thing, and if you aren’t stressed it must mean there is something wrong with you! Realistically however, stress is not a good thing for our bodies in general, and has a very real impact on your fertility.
Can Stress Have an Effect on Your Fertility?
If your mind and body is under stress your body is signaled to release a hormone - Adrenalin. This is a stress relieving hormone and gives your body the rush to face the stress. This hormone inhibits the utilization of the hormone Progesterone, which is essential for fertility. Also during stress Prolactin, another hormone, is relapsed which also interferes with infertility. Hence to conceive its essential that your anxiety levels are under control.
How Stress Impacts Fertility?
Recent research tells us that stress boosts levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol, which can inhibit the release of the body’s main hormone, GnRH (gonadotropin releasing hormone), which is responsible for the release of sex hormones. Subsequently this may suppress ovulation in women, reduce sperm count in men and lower libido in both women and men.
Chronic stress may cause lack of libido as well as a decrease in general fertility. This has become such a common issue that they have created a name for it Stress Induced Reproductive Dysfunction. These facts are very important to consider if you have been trying to conceive with no results. It also shows that stress relief should be a part of every couple's conception plan even if they are going through IVF.
Ways to reduce stress & improve fertility:
If you are having difficulty to conceive, it's imperative that you get fertility tests done and also evaluate your life. Look out for the stress points that may be hindering a relationship. Remember defeating the stress may be the solution to your worries.
Please note that if your fertility reports are normal, then it's just a matter of time. Give you, your partner and your body time. There are certain medical complications or disorders that can also be responsible for infertility. Be calm and composed so that you are able to face the rough waters clearly with your partner.
Cell phones are omnipresent, and there is no denying the fact. While there are certainly numerous benefits of owning a smartphone, they also bring along a host of harmful effects. The new age researchers are now evaluating the negative effects of cell phones in our day to day life, and you will be surprised to know that these cell phones are also taking a toll in our private relationships.
Smartphones have caused the physical distance between the partners to breed mistrust. Partners always worry who their better half is engaged to and this is reflected in their physical intimacy as well. The youth are so immersed in the virtual reality that they are giving up necessary rest that the body needs and are not able to enjoy a normal sexual relationship that should be inherent in the bonding that a couple shares. It is therefore very crucial to take a necessary step to reduce smartphone use to realize the beauty of a natural romantic relationship.
So, use the gadget wisely to avoid its ill effects before it takes a toll on your relationship and life.
Quite like women, men may also suffer from different types of infertility, one of which is erectile dysfunction and eventually leads to oligospermia. It is a condition in which the affected individual loses the ability to take part in sexual activities. Oligospermia is caused due to low sperm count in the males, which doesn’t let the ovum of their female partner to fertilize.
Causes of oligospermia
Normally, excessive stress, smoking and consumption of alcohol are regarded as the major causes of erectile dysfunction and oligospermia. But it can also be triggered by varicocele condition, which is an enlargement of veins in the scrotum. Hormonal imbalance, harmful radiations like radiotherapy and chemotherapy as well as administering certain drugs and medications are some other causes leading to oligospermia.
Symptoms of oligospermia
If a man is not able to maintain his erection while performing sexual activities, then it is considered that he is suffering from erectile dysfunction. However, oligospermia doesn’t have any sign or symptom; the affected person gets to know about it when his partner is not able to conceive.
Diagnosis of oligospermia
The diagnosis of oligospermia is dependent on the low count of semen analysis that has to be performed twice randomly. Recently, WHO has established a reference point for the optimum level of sperm count, which is 15 million sperms for every milliliter of semen. It is crucial to mention here that the concentration of sperms may fluctuate and there can be permanent and temporary forms of oligospermia.
Ayurvedic treatment of oligospermia
Ayurveda is considered as the science of life and is regarded as a holistic as well as comprehensive medical system. This system utilizes the inherent principles of nature for helping a person maintain good health by keeping the body, mind and soul in perfect coalesce with nature.
To increase food production to match the growing population, chemicals are used to accelerate the amount of produce obtained from the land. However, the chemicals soon show their harmful effects. Though used in very minor quantities, over a period of time, their cumulative effect becomes detrimental for the consumers.
Especially in homes with children, aged and health conscious people, the concern about the harmful effects of conventional foods has grown quite a bit over time. So that is where the concept of organic foods gained momentum.
Organic foods are produced by using approved techniques, promoting recycling of resources, which are not harmful to the environment and preserve biodiversity. These are foods which are grown without the use of chemicals - be it synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones or prophylactic antibiotics.
There are permissible levels of chemicals defined by food agencies whose limits when exceeded can cause harmful effects with prolonged use - such as birth defects, respiratory problems, reproductive issues, etc. So, the question you need to ask is - if pesticides are used to kill insects, can the same do any good to the human body? Also, you must consider the quantity and if it is within the permitted limits.
Organic foods have been proven to be more beneficial relatively, since they are more nutritious and reduce allergies, digestive infections, risk of cancer, etc. However, bear a word of caution in mind. There are no long-term studies to prove this aspect.
Also, be advised not to overdo on the 'organic' part. A lot of time, there are organic junk foods available also. And then there are the organic foods which are produced in one part of the world and are shipped over long distances. Do they really retain their nutrients and benefits over this duration? That needs to be answered.
Another thing to consider is the cost-effectiveness of buying organic products. Because they take their natural cycle time to grow, the growth rate is slower and therefore, they are expensive. Affordability becomes a question again, and you may think if such foods can be conveniently purchased by all?
The trick is to use locally grown, seasonal fruits which are easily available and grown without using much chemicals. You can be assured of their freshness and the reduced use of chemicals in this case.
Use organic for sure, but please be careful not to fall for it all the time with all the products.
There are two types of abortion, namely medical and surgical. In case of medical abortion, pills are taken to terminate the pregnancy; whereas surgical abortion is done if the pregnancy has reached an advanced stage when pills are ineffective. While generally there are no health risks or negative effects of abortion on fertility, there are rare cases of complications, which can give rise to severe symptoms post abortion. Following is the information you need to know about abortion and its effects on fertility:
When to seek medical assistance ?
It is advisable to seek medical help if you have the following symptoms post abortion :
1. Persistent pain in the lower abdomen, which lingers even after taking medication
2. Excessive bleeding
3. A high temperature
Possible effects of surgical abortion on fertility
1. Infection after abortion
Infections post abortion like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) if left untreated for long can spread and harm your reproductive organs, thereby impacting your fertility. It can cause complications like infertility or ectopic pregnancy.
2. Damage to the cervix during abortion
Damage to the cervix during an abortion can cause cervical incompetence and consequently increase the risk of miscarriage.
3. Damage to the womb during abortion
There are chances of damage of the womb (uterus) during abortion, resulting in scarring, which can cause fertility issues if not corrected. This is more likely in case you had multiple abortions.
Apart from the above mentioned complications there are a number of other complications, which can happen due to abortion, preterm birth, vaginal bleeding during pregnancy and low birth rate, etc. Further, infertility can also be a possible side effect of abortion pills, which happens due to scarring of the uterus during the procedure of forcible elimination of the fetus. In all such cases it is advisable to schedule regular check ups with your gynaecologist.
In the process of in vitro fertilization, the stimulation of the ovaries of a female is done so as to produce multiple eggs. This technique is performed in laboratories by creating the special environment and using freezing equipment so that the embryos can be stored in liquid nitrogen for the longer period of time.
What is Embryo Freezing?
Embryo freezing is also known as cryopreservation. This technique refers to a procedural method in which the viable embryos are preserved by keeping them at the cool place at very low temperatures, at -196 degree Celsius. After the process of fertilization is done and acculturation of embryo is performed, then the best embryos out of the group are selected for transfer of embryos. In 50 percent of cases, there are ample amount of embryos to fulfill the requirement of embryo transfer. And hence, these embryos can be frozen for use in future purposes.
Advantages of Embryo Freezing
One of the best advantages of embryo freezing is that thawing of frozen embryos can be done and then these can be transferred in the uterus of women without stimulating ovaries. The cycle of transferring frozen embryos is quite simple. The assessment of the menstrual cycle is done to estimate the uterus lining development in females and at the time of ovulation, the embryo is transferred. In certain cases, the women’s medical history is taken before and the hormonally controlled cycle is warranted. However, one should always consult the clinician before going for any treatment procedure.
Disadvantages of embryo freezing
As per the research history, almost 70% of the frozen embryos are able to survive the thawing purpose. But the success rate varies from individual to individual. It may be possible that even after saving many embryos, none of the embryos survive the thawing process.