nfertility may refer as the incapability for a couple to bring a successful pregnancy or achieve conception after at least one year of unprotected, regular sexual intercourse. The male partner, female partner, or both may face the problem related to infertility. However, Infertility is both curable and treatable.
A person, with infertility, has a reduced ability to have a child. It usually doesn't mean that the person is sterile -- that is, physically unable to have a child ever. WHO believes that around 60-80 million couples in the world are infertile.
Males or females have equal chances to face any infertility-related problem. In somewhat one in five couples with infertility issues, both the partners can have a contributing problem, moreover, in somewhat 15% of the couples, no reason of infertility is understood even when all tests have been performed. These cases, which are beyond medical understanding, are called as “Idiopathic or unexplained Infertility".
Infertility-related issues mostly bring the feelings of guilt, blame, or insufficiency. It is important to know that a man having the infertility issues is no less than a man and woman having the infertility issues is no less than a woman. So, there is no need of inferiority complex.
Mostly, couples facing these problems take infertility as a big crisis. However, not all of the infertility diagnoses in the couples are a case finding of sterility. Maximum of 15% of all couples are Only infertile, and only 1% to 2% are sterile. Most of the couples who seek help can eventually bear a child, either on their own or with medical assistance.
What Causes InFertility in Men?
In men, the most common reasons for infertility are sperm disorders. These problems include:
* Oligospermia: or low sperm count. In this case, there are a few no. of sperms or literally no spermatozoa is present in the semen.
* Asthenospermia: or low sperm motility. In this case, the sperms are present in the semen but they do not move as much as they should. Or no. of motile sperms is very less.
* Malformation of the sperms is troubled morphology of sperms—irregular size, abnormal shape, poor quality and etc.
* Azoospermia occurs when there are no sperms found within the semen. This is mostly because of some blockage.
* Cryptorchidism occurs when the testes are not in their normal or correct position within the scrotum.
* Hematospermia occurs in the case, when the presence of blood is found within the semen.
* Necrospermia occurs in the case when dead sperms are found within the semen.
* Sperm Agglutination occurs when the sperms clump together.
* Pyospermia occurs when an infection is indicated because of the presence of white cells within the semen sample. However, with the use of antibiotics, this condition can be ruled out.
Another causes are:
Varicocele: spermatic cords regulate the flow of blood and ensure that the flow is in the accurate direction as it should be. A varicocele is a condition in which these veins of the scrotum get enlarged and tortuous, much like varicose veins in the legs. Dilatation of the veins near the testes leads to the formation of a varicocele. Varicocele hampers with this mechanism of temperature regulation, as well as raises the temperature of testicles and nearby.
Failure to Ejaculate: Some men are infertile because of incapability to ejaculate properly. At the time of sexual intercourse, these males may experience the retrograde ejaculation, where the semen is ejaculated backwards into the bladder instead of the vagina.
Blocked Sperm Ducts: Some men have vas deferens or sperm ducts that are blocked or damaged. This prevents the sperm from reaching the partner’s egg. Blocked sperm ducts can be a result of an infection such as mumps, injury to the testicles, congenital defects or a vasectomy.
Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadis: It is a condition with low levels of the gonadotropins hormones— FSH and LH. This causes a lack of testicular function.
Lifestyle: Stress is considered as a reason behind many diseases including low sperm count. High temperature near testes suppresses the production of sperm. Men addicted to smoking have higher chances of low sperm count.
What Causes InFertility in Women?
In women, the ability for ovaries to produce eggs declines with age, especially after age 35. Women over the age of 30 and those have a history of PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), painful periods and irregular menstruation cycles are more prone to infertility. The primary reason for infertility in women is ovulation (release of eggs from the ovary) disorder, or lack of ovulation. The major cause of anovulation is a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. Endometriosis, hyperprolactinaemia and 'other' causes account for approximately 10-20% of female infertility.
Other reasons for female infertility are:
* Fallopian Tube Damage: It is the inability of the fallopian tubes to carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus. Tubal damage can result from salpingitis (inflammation of the tubes) usually due to scar tissue that may have resulted from prior bacterial and viral infection or from endometriosis. Occluding or partially obstruction in the tube prevents the egg from traveling down to be fertilized by the sperm. Surgery itself can create abdominal adhesions and scar tissue that can damage the fallopian tubes.
* Uterine and cervical disorders: Abnormalities of the uterus such as fibroids, and polyps (acting like intrauterine contraceptive devices - IUCD) can contribute to infertility by causing damage to the uterine wall. Likewise, abnormalities of the cervix or the cervical mucus can reduce fertility. Mechanical problems accounts for 20% to 30% of female infertility.
* Endometriosis: Endometriosis, although reasonably uncommon, is associated with a high incidence of infertility (approximately 70% of sufferers experience infertility). Endometriosis is a condition whereby endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. Endometrial lesions can cause blocked fallopian tubes and/or impaired ovulatory function.
* Congenital anomalies (birth defects): It involving the structure of the uterus and uterine fibroids are associated with repeated miscarriages. Immunological factors such as antibodies to the man's sperm within cervical mucus can cause infertility.
* Lifestyle: The lifestyle a female follows is also related to her fertility to some extent. Poor lifestyle viz-eating disorders, sleeping disorders, behavior etc play a role in female infertility.
- Added: March, 23rd 2011
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