The main causes of infertility in men and women
Infertility is not the end of the road for those seeking to become pregnant and is actually a fairly common problem that affects both men and women. In the United States, 12% of women between 15 and 44 encounter difficulties when trying to get pregnant or during pregnancy, according to figures from the Center for Disease Control. The agency also noted that 7.5% of sexually active men under 45 reported seeing a fertility specialist at least once.
How do you know if a couple is infertile? Many experts suggest unprotected sex for at least one year for women younger than 35 years old before considering infertility. However, for women over 35 it is suggested finding a specialized doctor after 6 months of trying unsuccessfully to become pregnant. It is important to remember that after 30 years of age, the chances of a woman having a baby decrease rapidly with each passing year.
However, sometimes it has nothing to do with age but with conditions that affect the reproductive system or the responsible cells. To know with certainty the causes of infertility, doctors inquire in the medical and sexual history of couples, often making evaluations that include semen analysis, evaluation of the fallopian tubes and tests of ovarian reserve, to name a few. Only then, you know for sure the causes of infertility and the way to evaluate each particular case.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines two types of infertility:
Primary infertility, which refers to couples who do not use contraceptives and can not become pregnant after a year of having sex consecutively. There is also secondary infertility, which occurs when couples have already had at least one pregnancy before but now can not.
Although, without proper medical studies is impossible to know the exact causes of infertility in couples, these are some of the most common causes:
Infertility in men
- Varicocele is a medical condition in which the veins of the testicles are larger and cause excessive heat that affects the number and the proper functioning of sperm. This condition is present in 15% of men in the United States and in 40% of infertile men, and is estimated to cause 35% of primary infertility and 69 to 81% of secondary infertility.
- Some medical conditions such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis, trauma, infection, or treatment with chemotherapy and radiation, can negatively affect fertility. Also, some birth defects can also contribute to infertility.
- Problems with sperm quality. Sometimes infertility is caused by low or zero sperm counts, low mobility of sperm and sperm with abnormal forms. This can be solved with medications that increase sperm production or through assisted reproduction treatments as those patients Med & Art are made.
- Celiac disease is a digestive disease characterized by a permanent intolerance to gluten and sometimes results in male infertility by reducing semen quality.
Infertility in women:
- Endometriosis: this is when the tissue that grows inside the uterus begins to grow outside of it. Half of women with this condition suffer from infertility and symptoms that manifest themselves as pain during menstruation or during intercourse, but can not even show symptoms. In this situation in vitro fertilization it has been a solution for many women with this condition seeking to become pregnant, by making it possible to combine sperm and eggs in a laboratory and then introduce the embryos in the uterus of the woman.
- Some conditions, either congenital or hormonal in origin, can prevent the ovulation process or may carry it out correctly. This comes to have effects as absent menstruation, infrequent or bleeding either excessive or very lightly. In this sense, nicotine and some harmful agents in cigarettes interfere with the body’s ability to produce estrogen, a hormone that regulates the creation of follicles and ovulation, which in the long run could also cause fertility problems.
- Tubal patency is whether the fallopian tubes are opened, blocked or swollen, which may be a cause of infertility. Factors such as pelvic infections in the past, some sexually transmitted diseases or abdominal surgery can block the fallopian tubes and prevent pregnancy.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome. According to the website of Women’s Health of the US government, one in 20 women of childbearing age have some degree of polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women with this syndrome develop small cysts in the ovaries, which aren’t harmful in themselves but may lead to hormonal imbalances or infertility.
How to prevent infertility
While infertility is sometimes congenital in origin or because of age, on many other occasions it is a result of lifestyle. Some habits can negatively affect fertility, such as the abuse of cigarettes, alcohol or coffee, supplements testosterone or anabolic steroid use.
Also, exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides and lead, may contribute to damaging the reproductive system. At other times, excessive physical or emotional stress in women can cause amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstruation. It has also been shown that both obesity and excessive exercise negatively contribute to fertility.
A balanced, nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy weight are factors that have been shown to positively contribute to fertility.
Coping with infertility:
Depending on the cause, infertility can be treated by medical, surgical or through assisted reproductive therapy procedures.
CDC specialists recommend that couples seeking to become pregnant seek a medical specialist before trying, as they can guide them to prepare for a healthy baby, answer questions and guide couples on the path to parenthood.
Med&ART works with the best specialists in first class facilities to accompany couples on their way to full pregnancy through assisted reproductive treatments. Contact us, and from the first moment, we will be there to guide you to a relaxing and bearable experience to becoming parents.