Infertility in Women & Men

Imhealthist | Saturday 21st of November 2015 12:46:57 PM

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If a woman could not get conceived even after having unprotected sex for a prolonged period (a year or more), then infertility may be one of the causes. Infertility is not gender oriented and it equally affects women and men.

Infertility is categorized as primary and secondary. If a woman cannot conceive or a man cannot make his partner conceive and give birth to a child, the person is referred to be affected by primary infertility. And secondary infertility refers to a person who was able to conceive or make his partner conceive at least once but failed in the subsequent attempts.

Infertility In Women:

The various factors that contribute towards infertility in women are listed below:

  • The ovaries may not produce or have problems in producing eggs.
  • Problems in ovulation and immature eggs are produced.
  • Problems in pituitary gland.
  • Damages or scars in ovary due to a surgery that was conducted to remove cysts.
  • Rare case of possibility of premature menopause and thereby having problem in ovulation.
  • Problems in fallopian tubes like infection because of any sexually transmitted diseases, abdominal diseases(leading to scarring), surgery in abdomen that had caused damage to fallopian tubes or due to ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurs in the tube)
  • Excess growth in lining of uterus called endometriosis.
  • Hormonal problems that leads to non-fertilization of egg.
  • Polyps and fibroids present in uterus affects pregnancy
  • Age factor, excessive smoking, and alcohol consumption, tumor, chemotherapy, diabetes, thyroid, obesity, excessive athletic activity, any pelvic inflammatory disease or poor nutrition are other causes for female infertility.
Doctor may take blood test to check for hormone levels, endometrial biopsy to check the lining of the uterus, laparoscopy, and hysterosalpingography to find out scar tissues and blockage in tubes.  

Infertility In Men

Most of the factors are common between a male and female infertility. Age, hormonal imbalance, smoking, and alcohol consumption, exposure to toxins, drugs, cancer treatments, chemotherapy, and any other medications that affect fertility, poor nutrition, and stress are some of the common factors for men and women. The men specific factors are listed below:

  • Low sperm count
  • Low quality of sperm
  • Sexual problems like ejaculation which may be retrograde or premature ejaculation
  • Blockage in the tube that carries sperm
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Problems may also occur when vasectomy is done and reversal of vasectomy is not successful.
  • Varicoceles, the enlargement of varicose veins that prevent blood supply get developed in scrotum.
  • Wearing tight fitting dress that increases the temperature and decreases the sperm production.

Evaluation of the sperm quantity and quality by semen analysis is employed to diagnose male infertility. Other tests like blood tests, imaging tests and genetic tests are done to evaluate hormonal problems, structural problems and to find out genetic diseases if any.

            Depending upon the underlying problems, treatments by corrective surgeries, medications for hormonal imbalance, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or Intra Uterine Inseminations (IUI) are available for infertility.

            Apart from medical reasons, lifestyle changes like regular exercises, healthy habits, and consumption of nutritious food can prevent both male and female infertility.