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What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Inferility?

Dr. Anju Ahuja 92% (619 ratings)
Gynaecologist, Delhi
What Are The Causes And Risk Factors Of Inferility?

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.

  1. Women: Poor egg quality, thyroid abnormalities, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, pelvic surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and uterine prolapse.
  2. Men: Erectile dysfunction, hypogonadism, low sperm count, poor sperm quality, testicular infections, ejaculation disorders.

Risk factors: Infertility is on the rise and some of the risk factors are identified to be:

  1. Advanced maternal age: With females choosing to have children later in life, even as late as 40 years, infertility is on the rise. As per studies, female fertility is believed to reduce after 32 years.
  2. Smoking: This is the biggest contributor of infertility in recent times, the effect is more severe when the woman is also a smoker
  3. Obesity: With changing lifestyles, obesity has become an epidemic in both women and men, leading to infertility.
  4. Increased stress levels: This leads to strained relationships. Impotence in men, poor egg quality, and erectile dysfunction are all caused by increased stress levels, leading to infertility.
  5. Eating disorders: Leads to obesity and poor health overall, leading to infertility.
  6. Alcohol consumption: This again causes erectile dysfunction, leading to infertility.
  7. Excessive or lack of exercise: Lack of exercise leads to obesity and overall lethargy. Over-exercising, on the other hand, leads to erectile dysfunction.
  8. Environmental pollution: Exposure to toxins and chemicals has increased, reducing overall sperm and egg quality.

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:

  1. Physical exam
  2. Semen analysis
  3. Blood tests
  4. Ultrasound
  5. STD testing
  6. Laparoscopy
  7. Thyroid function tests

Treatment: Once the cause is identified, then targeted treatment can be done, including:

  1. Sexual counseling for the couple
  2. Treatment for erectile dysfunction and hypogonadism
  3. Hormonal treatments for women
  4. Fallopian tube surgery
  5. Laparoscopic surgery.
  6. Intrauterine insemination
  7. In-vitro fertilization
  8. Sperm donation

Does Quality Of Eggs Affect IVF Treatment?

Indira Ivf 86% (46 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
IVF Specialist, Udaipur
Does Quality Of Eggs Affect IVF Treatment?

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:

  1. Diminished ovarian reserve: A woman with an increased FSH level on the third day of the menses is regarded as having diminished reserve of ovary. This implies that her ovary is not competent in sending feedback signals to the pituitary gland and the body responds by producing an increased amount of FSH for stimulating the ovary. For more than 10 years, it has been found that in over thousands of fertility treatment cycles, women with an increased FSH level have a lower egg quality.
  2. Advanced age of maternity: Even though the FSH level is normal, the age of the mother who provides the eggs plays an important role to determine the quality of the egg. Quite like women with increased FSH levels, eggs obtained from women aged more than 40 years can have some problems at a later stage of fertilization. Normal FSH levels are not considered a reassuring factor, owing to the lower implantation rate in females aged over 45 years.
  3. Diminished quality of egg: With an increase in age, the capacity of the mitochondria in producing energy slowly decreases. The egg is linked to the circulation before ovulation, and it is linked again after the embryo implantation. But during the one week time ranging from ovulation to implantation, the egg and the resulting embryo are contained in the zona pellucida and function on the basis of mitochondrial energy supply. The older age of the woman doesn’t cause any problem at the initial stage of ovulation. Its fertilization and embryonic development are also normal. But soon, it runs out of energy and stops dividing before reaching the stage of implantation.

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.

1 person found this helpful

Infertility - Knowing The Treatments Available!

Dr. Kokila Desai 86% (10 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Surat
Infertility - Knowing The Treatments Available!

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:

For Men

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.

For Women

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.

3. Hysteroscopic surgery: This is a last resort, which is taken only when there are significant problems such as intrauterine scar tissue, uterine septum or endometrial polyps.

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.

1498 people found this helpful

Ways To Increase Fertility To Avoid The Risk Of Miscarriage

Dr. Arpana Jain 91% (762 ratings)
Gynaecologist, Delhi
Ways To Increase Fertility To Avoid The Risk Of Miscarriage

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-

  1. The first thing to do is to stop any unhealthy habits. These include smoking, drug use, or alcohol abuse. It’s reported that high consumption levels of caffeine are detrimental to conception so that should also be limited.
  2. Eliminating stress can also help. Eliminating stress is one of the most important factors in having a successful pregnancy. So, it makes sense that getting over-stressed can reduce fertility levels.
  3. Eat healthy. If depression was experienced due to the miscarriage, it’s possible that the woman’s diet has not been the healthiest. It’s common for women who have experienced a miscarriage to have a loss of appetite and not eat enough or to eat out of sorrow, eating too much. More attention should be paid to the diet and more healthy foods added to meals.

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.

Bottom Line

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.

1 person found this helpful

Can Stress Impacts Fertility?

Dr. Hima Deepthi.V 89% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
IVF Specialist, Hyderabad
Can Stress Impacts Fertility?

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 also decreases libido:

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.

  1. Reduce stress in your life: The issues in your life may be work or result related. You need to learn to balance your personal and professional life. The sooner you do it the better; after all you are preparing yourself to welcome a new born in your life.
  2. Change your reactions: Get a hang of the situation and react accordingly. Over reaction to a situation can harm your body and mind. Stop bothering so much about the future.
  3. Let few things be the way they are: Stop getting bothered about people. Remember by nature everything will fall in place. Let few things be the way they are.
  4. Make it your habit to reduce stress: Call it an obsession or a practice, train your mind to choose options where there is less stress.
  5. Sleep well: A good rest is essential for a healthy mind and body. Meditate, do yoga or seek counseling. Go for facials if it sooths you.

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.

Excessive Use Of Smartphones - Is It Good Or Bad For Your Love Life?

Dr. M A Khokar 86% (55 ratings)
Sexologist, Bangalore
Excessive Use Of Smartphones - Is It Good Or Bad For Your Love Life?

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.

  • Instils a sense of jealousy in your partner: It has now been proved that is attached to the smartphone can sabotage the connection you share with your partner. Even though calling your loved one makes them happier and satisfied in the relation, there is a dark side as well. Nowadays, people get jealous of their partner's cell phone and the way it is used. Some even refer to this usage as psychological dependence on the device.
  • Lesser satisfaction in a relationship: Some people reported that their partner constantly keeps on checking their phones. And this leads to lower levels of satisfaction, which, in turn, leads to higher levels of depression, anxiety, and even a fallout. Those who tend to snub the cell phone of a partner have reported that it leads to conflict and various personal issues. Smartphones have taken such an enormous place in our lives that many even unintentionally ignore their significant other in favor of this little gadget.
  • Leads to sexual problems: Scientists have also found that men who use smartphones for more than 4 to 5 hours are likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. This means using mobile phones too often could mean risking your fertility according to the distinct studies carried by Egypt and Cleveland. In the study conducted in Egypt, it was found that there is a negative correlation between vitality and too much of phone use on a daily basis. On the Cleveland study, it was found that men who indulge in a mobile conversation for over 4 hours a day possess the worst quality of sperm. These harmful effects could be attributed to the electromagnetic radiation transmitted by the handsets or the heat generated by the phones.

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.

5226 people found this helpful

Erectile Dysfunction & Oligospermia - Ayurvedic Treatment At Your Rescue!

Dr. Ankur Kumar 92% (7667 ratings)
B.A.M.S, Diploma In Nutrition & Health Education (DNHE, PG Diploma In Hospital Managment
Ayurveda, Delhi
Erectile Dysfunction & Oligospermia - Ayurvedic Treatment At Your Rescue!

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 stresssmoking 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 scrotumHormonal 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.

  1. Ayurveda has presented a distinct branch that deals with defective semen and spermatogenesis along with sexual potency. Such medications are called Vajikaranatantra or aphrodisiac medicines. This therapy is recommended for all males between the ages 16 to 70 to maintain healthy semen and overall sexual activity.
  2. In Ayurveda, the treatment of oligospermia comprises administering the Vajikaradravyas and rasayanas in optimum amount. These therapies are quite helpful in detoxifying and rejuvenating the body. Additionally, with little modifications in lifestyle and diet, you can not only experience sexual pleasure, but also be able to produce physically and mentally healthy offspring.
3548 people found this helpful

Is Organic Food Really Worth The Extra Money?

Dt. Vinita Jaiswal 93% (975 ratings)
M.Sc - Dietitics / Nutrition, B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Indore
Is Organic Food Really Worth The Extra Money?

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. 

5032 people found this helpful

Can Abortion Affect Fertility?

Dr. Samir Pawar 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology
IVF Specialist, Nashik
Can Abortion Affect Fertility?

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.

2943 people found this helpful

I am 40 years of age married for 6 years trying to conceive but unsuccessful. Reports reveal low Amh level. Am over weight started doing fertility yoga. My question is wat treatment shud I take to conceive nd wil weight loss help in d process.

Dr. Upasna Setia 90% (1993 ratings)
MBBS, DGO - Preventive & Social Medicine
Gynaecologist, Sri Ganganagar
I am 40 years of age married for 6 years trying to conceive but unsuccessful. Reports reveal low Amh level. Am over w...
Best way to loose weight is following KetoDiet. All celebrities use it and get tremendous results. Search it, you will get exuberant material.
2 people found this helpful
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