What is Infertility?
Infertility is a medical condition that affects a person’s ability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. It is defined as the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse (or 6 months for women over the age of 35).
As suggested by an infertility specialist in newtown, infertility evaluation includes exams and tests to try to find the reason why you and your partner have not become pregnant. If a cause is found, treatment may be possible. In many cases, infertility can be successfully treated even if no cause is found.
Causes of Infertility:
Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors and affect both men and women. Some of the factors include:
1. Hormonal imbalances: Hormonal imbalances can be a major cause of infertility in both men and women. In women, hormonal imbalances can affect the regularity of ovulation, which can make it difficult to conceive. In men, hormonal imbalances can affect sperm production and quality, which can also make it difficult to conceive.
2. Structural issues with the reproductive system: Structural issues with the reproductive system can affect one’s physical ability to conceive by preventing the sperm and egg from meeting or by interfering with the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. Some common examples of structural issues include fallopian tube blockage, varicoceles, erectile dysfunction and more.
3. Genetic factors: Genetic factors can affect the development or function of the reproductive system or impact the quality and quantity of sperm or eggs, leading to infertility. Some of the major female genetic factors include turner syndrome and PCOS while male genetic factors can include cystic fibrosis or other chromosomal abnormalities. Genetic counseling is also important for couples with genetic risk factors to understand their options for family planning.
4. Infections: Untreated or chronic infection can lead to infertility in both men and women. Infections affect the reproductive organs and interfere with the production of sperm and eggs and cause inflammation and scarring. Some infertility-causing infections include pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections, uterine infection, urinary tract infection, HIV or herpes, tuberculosis and so on.
5. Environmental and Lifestyle Factors: Environmental factors such as exposure to certain chemicals, toxins, and pollutants can affect the reproductive system, interfere with hormone balance, and cause infertility. Some lifestyle factors can also play a role in causing infertility, such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, following an unhealthy diet, and STI due to unprotected sexual activity. Excessive exposure to heavy metals, such as lead or cadmium can cause damage to the testicles and affect sperm production.
Types of Infertility Treatments Depends on:
- What’s causing infertility?
- How long have you been infertile?
- Your age and your partner’s age
- Personal preferences
Infertility Specialist Includes Following Treatments:
- Fertility drugs: Medications that stimulate ovulation or increase sperm production, such as clomiphene citrate or gonadotropins.
- Surgery: Surgical procedures to correct structural issues that may be causing infertility, such as blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, or varicoceles in men.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): A procedure in which sperm is inserted directly into the uterus during ovulation to increase the chances of fertilization.
- In vitro fertilization (IVF): A procedure in which eggs are fertilized outside the body and then implanted into the uterus.
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): A specialized form of IVF in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.
- Donor eggs or sperm: Using donated eggs or sperm for IVF or IUI when there is a problem with the quality or quantity of a person’s own eggs or sperm.