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Infertility: Treatment and Causes

There are fertility treatments available if you’re struggling with infertility and need help getting pregnant. 

The choice of treatment will depend on the causes of infertility and the personal circumstances of the couple.

It is very important to be honest with your doctor about the causes of infertility, as this will help them to be able to provide the most appropriate treatment for you. It is also important to consider the risks of any treatment, as they may have serious side effects.

What Are The Causes of Infertility?

What Are The Causes of Infertility?

Couples who are unable to conceive after having regular, unprotected sex are said to be infertile. 

Women who are unable to carry a full-term pregnancy due to medical reasons may have difficulty getting pregnant with another man. Regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control is commonly defined as infertility. 

Around 10% of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 are said to have trouble getting pregnant or keeping it for the duration of the pregnancy. Infertility affects between 8 and 12 percent of couples worldwide. Most cases are thought to be caused by factors that affect the man.

If you are having trouble getting pregnant, your doctor may recommend some of the following: 

  • A physical exam: This is a routine check-up where your doctor will take your vital signs, including your blood pressure and weight. 
  • A pelvic exam: During a pelvic exam, your doctor will use a speculum to examine your vagina and cervix. They will also look for signs of infection, cervical erosion, and other problems. 
  • An ultrasound: An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your reproductive organs. It is commonly used to check the size and position of your uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other reproductive organs. 
  • A hysteroscopy: This is a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus to check for any problems. It may be used to check for blockages or other abnormalities.
  • Blood tests: Your doctor may recommend blood tests to see if you have any underlying health conditions that may be causing your infertility. 
  • Fertility tests: A fertility test may be recommended to determine if you have any fertility problems.

Causes of Infertility in Men

The Following are the most common causes of infertility in men:

  • Low Sperm Count: This is when a small number of sperm are ejected from the male testes. A sperm count of less than 15 million is regarded as being insufficient. A low sperm count is a common cause of infertility in one-third of couples. 
  • Low Sperm Mobility: This is when the sperm can’t move as easily as they should to reach the egg, it’s called low sperm motility. 
  • Abnormal Sperm Shape: This is when the sperm may be abnormally shaped, making it more difficult to move and fertilize an egg. Conception can be difficult if the sperm aren’t the right shape or aren’t able to travel quickly and accurately to the egg. The sperm of up to 2% of men is thought to be suboptimal.

Sometimes, infertility in men is caused by a medical condition, the most common of which are:

  • Overheated Testicles: This can be caused by a varicocele or varicose vein in the scrotum. Causes of this are usually saunas, hot tubs, tight clothing, or working in hot environments. 
  • Ejaculation Disorders: This is when semen may be ejected into the bladder if the ejaculatory ducts are blocked. 
  • Hormonal Imbalances: An example of this is hypogonadism, which can cause testosterone deficiency.

Other times, age and lifestyle factors are the culprit. Below are some of the lifestyle factors that may cause infertility in men: 

  • Alcohol Consumption: Male infertility may be reduced by excessive alcohol consumption. There is no evidence that moderate drinking affects fertility in most men, but those with low sperm counts may be affected. 
  • Obesity or Overeating: Obesity or being overweight may decrease the chances of having a baby. 
  • Stress: Stress can play a role, especially if it results in a decrease in sex.

Causes of Infertility in Women

Causes of Infertility in Women

Infertility in women appears to be most commonly caused by problems with ovulation. 

Every month, an egg is released. In some cases, the eggs may never be released, while in others, they may only be released in specific cycles. 

Some of the causes of ovulation issues include: 

  • Premature Ovarian Failure: This is when the ovaries stop producing eggs and sperm before they reach the age of 40, this is called premature ovarian failure. 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This is when the ovaries do not function properly, leading to abnormal ovulation.  
  • Hyperprolactinemia: Ovulation and fertility can be harmed by hyperprolactinemia, which occurs when a woman’s prolactin levels are abnormally high but she is not pregnant or breastfeeding. 
  • Poor Egg Quality: A pregnancy cannot be sustained if an egg is damaged or develops genetic abnormalities. Risk increases as a woman’s age increases. 
  • Thyroid Problems: Hormonal imbalances can be caused by an overactive or underactive thyroid. 

Obstacles in the egg’s passage from the ovary to the uterus or womb can be caused by issues with the uterus or fallopian tubes. Natural conception may be more difficult if the egg does not travel. Some of the reasons for this can be: 

  • Surgery: Scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes can occur during pelvic surgery. Cervical surgery may result in scarring or a reduction in the cervix’s length. It is the neck of the uterus, the cervix. 
  • Submucosal Fibroids: Tumors in the uterine muscular wall are known as submucosal fibroids, and they are benign. They can prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg by interfering with implantation or blocking the fallopian tube. An increase in sperm’s travel distance may occur as a result of large submucosal fibroids in the uterus’s submucosal region. 
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition in which cells normally found in the uterine lining begin to proliferate in other parts of the body.

See also How to Boost Fertility Naturally

Different Types of Infertility Treatments

There are a wide range of fertility treatment options available thanks to advances in technology. The best options for you will be determined by your unique circumstances and the root cause of your infertility. 

It’s not uncommon for both partners to use a variety of treatments at the same time. 

Fertility treatments may include medication to help with hormones and ovulation, as well as some minor surgical procedures. 

Infertility treatment is referred to as Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Fertilization and implantation are two of the primary goals of assisted reproductive technology (ART). 

Fertility treatments like IVF and IUI are very common. 

When you’re ovulating, healthy sperm is collected and inserted directly into your uterus. Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) is a procedure where healthy sperm is collected and placed directly into a uterus. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), on the other hand, is when eggs are removed from your ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, where they develop into embryos. Once the embryos have been implanted, the procedure is completed by a medical professional inserting them into your uterus.  

Other forms of ART include cryopreservation, egg or embryo donation, and gestational surrogacy (also known as surrogacy). After all, it is common for same-sex couples or single people who want a baby to use donor sperm, donor eggs, and surrogates. A problem with your own sperm or eggs can be overcome by using donor sperm or eggs if your own sperm or eggs cannot be used. 

You can find out which treatments are most effective for you by consulting with a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and/or infertility. A fertility specialist can be recommended by your primary care physician or gynecologist.

Bottomline

It is possible to conceive without using any form of fertility treatment, but for those who are unsuccessful, you will need to use one of the many forms of fertility treatments. 

While the options available to you are diverse, it is important to remember that they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. You may need to try more than one method to achieve your desired result. It is also possible that a combination of treatments may be required to overcome your fertility issues.

See also Medical Procedures to Restore Fertility: What You Need to Know