Causes of Infertility – Overview
Infertility is the failure of a couple with a woman under the age of 35 to get pregnant after trying for a year. Infertility in women over 35 is characterized by the inability to conceive after six months of trying.
Although a woman’s age is one aspect that can affect her ability to conceive, one or both spouses may be suffering from an illness that is interfering with conception.
In fact, infertility in both couples or unidentified reasons for infertility is involved in one-third of cases involving male infertility, one-third of cases involving female infertility, and one-third of cases involving both partners.
Infertility in Women
Ovulation issues are a common cause of infertility (the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries).
Some issues hinder the release of an egg completely, while others only do so during specific cycles. Ovulation issues may be brought on by Ovarian polycystic syndrome (PCOS) Thyroid issues. Ovulation can be prevented by both an overactive and an underactive thyroid gland. When the ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40, it is known as premature ovarian failure.
Infertility in Men
Semen and Sperm Poor-quality semen, the fluid that contains the sperm that is ejaculated during sex, is a common reason for infertility in men. Among the potential causes of anomalous semen are: Sperm that are not moving properly will make it harder for them to swim to the egg.
Sperm that are abnormally shaped may make it more difficult for them to move and fertilize an egg. Lack of sperm – you may have a very low sperm count or none at all. There are many unexplained cases of anomalous semen.
Although there is a correlation between elevated scrotal warmth and poorer-quality sperm, it is unknown whether wearing baggy underwear increases fertility.
Causes of Infertility in Women
Fallopian tube disorders.
Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of female infertility, the fallopian tube is where the woman’s egg is fertilized by the sperm. Pelvic inflammatory illness, endometriosis, prior operations, ectopic pregnancy, or tubal ligation can all result in tubal obstructions or damage.
Endometriosis happens when tissue that lines the uterus inside protrudes from the organ or develops on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, intestines, or tissues that support the uterus.
The most common cause of infertility in the world, endometriosis affects around 6.3 million women in the United States. Endometriosis typically affects younger women (15–45) who are of reproductive age, with broad symptoms including discomfort in the lower back, abdomen, and pelvic area.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
The hormonal disease polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) stops a woman’s eggs from maturing and causes them to develop into cysts, which frequently results in infertility. Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID).
A bacterial infection of the female reproductive system is known as a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). If PID is left untreated, it can harm the fallopian tubes and ovaries, which may increase the risk of infertility.
Cancer and Cancer treatment
Female fertility may be affected by some cancer therapies, including chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, and bone marrow transplants. Due to side effects that impair ovarian function, cancer therapies may have an adverse influence on fertility.
Fertility preservation, which involves preserving eggs or IVF-created embryos for future use, may be an option for women undergoing such procedures. Generally, fertility preservation techniques should come second to cancer treatment.
A cancer expert will be able to decide whether fertility preservation techniques used before the cancer therapy could be appropriate after consulting with a reproductive endocrinologist. Age, Adhesions, fibroids, hormonal imbalance, irregular periods, and uterine polyps, are other reasons for infertility in females.
Causes of Infertility in Men Varicoceles
The most frequent reason for male infertility is varicoceles, abnormally enlarged veins in the testicles that can lead to low sperm production and poor sperm quality.
Sperm morphology. also referred to as sperm size and shape, has an impact on the sperm’s capacity to fertilize the egg.
Testosterone or another hormone imbalance. Male tubes (vas deferens), which take sperm from the testicles to combine with semen before ejaculation, can become physically blocked or undergo a vasectomy.
Low sperm count and concentration. in semen may be caused by chromosomal or genetic problems that impact sperm development.
Low sperm motility makes it more challenging for sperm to reach and enter a woman’s egg.
Retrograde ejaculation. Sperm cannot leave a man’s body due to retrograde ejaculation, a disease that prevents semen from correctly ejaculating externally.
Emotional and Psychiatric Disorders. Impotence and infertility in men can be brought on by emotional and psychiatric disorders, spinal cord injury, and other factors.
Cancer treatment. may result from cancer treatment (men preparing to undergo radiation or chemotherapy are strongly advised to consult a reproductive endocrinologist or oncologist regarding sperm freezing).
Infertility Treatment for Men Men may receive the following treatments for general sexual issues or a shortage of good sperm:
Adapting lifestyle elements. Changing one’s lifestyle and engaging in certain behaviors, such as quitting some medications, abstaining from harmful substances, increasing the frequency and timing of sexual activity, engaging in regular exercise, and optimizing other elements that might otherwise reduce fertility, can increase the likelihood of getting pregnant.
Medications. A successful pregnancy may be more likely and sperm count may increase as a result of several drugs. These drugs may improve sperm quality and production as well as testicular function.
Surgery. Surgery may be able to remove a sperm barrier and restore fertility in some cases. In some situations, surgically treating a varicocele might increase a woman’s overall probability of getting pregnant.
sperm extraction. When ejaculation is difficult or there is no sperm in the ejaculate, these methods can help. In situations where assisted reproductive procedures are intended but sperm counts are low or otherwise aberrant, they may also be used.
Infertility Treatment for Women Some women can increase their fertility with just one or two treatments. To become pregnant, other women can require a variety of treatments.
Using fertility medications to promote ovulation. These drugs control or trigger ovulation. Consult your doctor about your options for fertility medications, including the advantages and disadvantages of each kind.
Implantation intrauterine (IUI). IUI involves the direct implantation of healthy sperm into the uterus at the precise moment that the ovary releases one or more eggs for fertilization. The time of IUI can be synchronized with your regular cycle or with fertility drugs, depending on the causes of infertility.
Surgery to regain fertility. Hysteroscopic surgery can be used to treat uterine issues like endometrial polyps, a uterine septum, intrauterine scar tissue, and certain fibroids. Bigger fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic adhesions may need laparoscopic surgery or surgery involving a larger abdominal incision.