In the simplest term, infertility connotes the inability to conceive ( get pregnant).
It is a condition where a woman cannot get pregnant after one year of making effort to conceive. The risk of infertility increases as you age.
Medically a couple is classified as infertile if they try but fail to conceive within a year. When the woman is above 35 years, the time taken to get pregnant reduces to 6 months before being diagnosed with infertility. And those women above 40, instant assessment is necessary. However, it must be pointed out that infertility does not include miscarriage or the inability to carry a baby to childbirth.
Generally, researches have shown that:
1 in 3 infertile women has a problem with the female reproductive system.
1 in 3 infertile men has a problem with the male reproductive system.
1 in 3 couples has a problem that affects both of them or an undetermined issue.
Nowadays infertility is common that:
An estimated 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44 have a problem getting pregnant.
Women who have pregnancy difficulties may lose the baby:
Before the 20th week of pregnancy-miscarriage.
After the 20th week of pregnancy-stillbirth.
Two Types of Infertility
This means couples who have not to conceive after at least one year of sexual intercourse without contraceptives and other birth control methods.
Secondary infertility refers to a situation in which couples who have been able to conceive at least once but now cannot.
Causes of Infertility
Several physical and emotional factors can bring about infertility. It may be as a result of problems in women, man or both.
Risk Factors For Infertility In Male and Female
Exposure to environmental toxins (like mercury, lead, and pesticides).
Chemotherapy or other cancer treatments.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Age (above 35 for women or over 40 for men).
Eating disorders (including anorexia nervosa and bulimia)
Excessive alcohol use or misuse or abuse.
Weight Issues (obesity or underweight).
Causes of Infertility in Female
Female infertility may happen in situations such as this:
A fertilized embryo (egg) does not live after its attachment to the uterus.
The fertilized embryo does not attach to the lining of the uterus.
The ovaries have difficulties producing eggs.
What are the 4 Main Causes of female infertility?
1. Blocked fallopian tubes as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic surgery.
2. Physical issues with the uterus (womb)
3. Uterine fibroids: These are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the uterine walls.
4. Ovulation issues: Ovulation problems may be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS. This is a hormonal imbalance that can disrupt normal ovulation. Sadly without ovulation, you can’t conceive.
Female infertility may be as a result of:
Autoimmune disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
Birth defects that affect the reproductive tract
Cancer or tumor
Excessive alcoholic consumption
Exercising too much
Eating disorders or malnutrition
Being overweight or underweight
Ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency.
Pelvic infection leading to scarring or swelling of fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx) or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Scarring from sexually transmitted infection (STIs), abdominal surgery, or endometriosis
Surgery to prevent pregnancy (tubal ligation) or failure of tubal ligation reversal (reanastomosis)
Pituitary gland disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome.
Sickle cell anemia.
Uterine problems (including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps).
What Are Signs of Infertility in a Woman?
Generally, in women, the signs/symptoms of infertility may include:
*Pain during sex
* Heavy, lengthened, and painful menstrual periods
* Dark or pale menstrual blood
* Irregular menstrual cycle
* Overweight (Obesity)
* Hidden medical issues
* Inability to conceive.
What Are Some Possible Reasons For Infertility?
The most common reasons are:
*Combo of male and female issues
*A woman’s age
* Tubal disease
* Sperm issue (Male factor)
* Fibroids and other uterine abnormalities.
* Ovulation problems
Causes of Male Infertility
Male infertility may be caused by the following:
Reduced number of sperm
Blockage/obstruction preventing sperm release.
Defects in the sperm
Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation
Exposure to high heat for prolonged periods as well as high heat exposure to testicles from tight clothing or frequent use of hot tubs and saunas.
Heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine
Medicines such as cimetidine, spironolactone, and nitrofurantoin
Retrograde ejaculation (semen flows back into the bladder)
Scarring from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), injury, or surgery
Toxins in the environment
Vasectomy or failure of vasectomy reversal
History of testicular infection from mumps
Enlarged veins (varicocele) in the scrotum, the sac that holds the testicles.
Genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.
Injury to the scrotum or testicles.
Low sperm count or low testosterone (hypogonadism).
Misuse of anabolic steroids.
Testicular cancer and treatments.
How Do I Know If I Am Still Fertile?
Strong Natural Menstrual Cycle
If your menstrual periods come up every 25 to 35 days, it may be a sign that you are fertile and this is good if you are ovulating every month. Experts believed that a lengthened cycle indicates that you have copious amounts of eggs. Take note this cycle is a natural cycle, not the one being pushed back and forth because of the contraceptive pills.
You Experience All The Premenstrual Symptoms
PMS is not easy but the cramps and headaches can be a perfect indicator of your fertility.
You should normally experience symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating, and cramping because all of these are signs of ovulatory periods.
You Have The Magical Knack To Influence Other Women’s Menstrual Periods
There is a tendency for you to affect your friend who is constantly with you when you are getting premenstrual syndrome (PMS) to experience the same thing as you do. This is possible because of the presence of pheromones and it is a sign you are fertile.
Your Discharge Is Clear and Copious
Women are generally at peak of fertility halfway in their monthly cycle. At this period, you will see lots of clear, odorless vaginal discharge. This discharge helps semen to move through the cervix before conception. These large amounts of vaginal discharge indicate that you have a strong estrogen production and cervical gland function. All of these add up to an easy ride to conception.
Your Blood Flow Is Average
Each woman experiences a different period. Some have a heavy flow while others have light flow or seeps. The two situations are fine. However, if you want to have a baby being found on the middle side of the spectrum is better. Normal blood flow volume and length is a good sign that your uterus is producing lining whilst shedding the old each month. Nevertheless, if you are disturbed about the volume of your flow, then consult your doctor as this will enable him (her) to know if it is cause for worry and may do necessary fertility tests, especially if you are trying to conceive.
You Have Balanced Hormones
Hormones occupy a central position in a matter of fertility issues hence you should watch out for any signs to show you if you are out of sync. Hot flashes, as well as night sweats, can be signs of declining ovarian function or hormonal imbalances. You should talk to your doctor in this regard.
Experience has shown that women who have ideal hormone secretion won’t see these nightmarish symptoms.
There is no doubt that premenstrual cramps may signify a healthy cycle and an excellent condition for becoming pregnant and you should not be experiencing pain in the pelvic region of your body. Occasionally serious menstrual or pelvic pain can indicate endometriosis, ovarian cysts, infections, or other disorders that can the health of ovaries and fallopian tubes which eventually lead to the inability to conceive. If you are experiencing pain in the pelvic part of your body, consult your doctor immediately.
Your Gynecological Care Is Excellent
This is because those who take care of their sexual health have a high tendency to positively enhancing their fertility.
You Have A Healthy Diet And Lifestyles
The way we all choose to live will certainly on our health including our ability to conceive easily. Hence ensure you eat healthily and relax. Consume fruits and vegetables very well and sleep sufficiently to reduce stress.
If You Can Conceive Despite Contraceptives/Birth Control
Some women can get pregnant despite using birth control methods. And this shows they are strongly fertile.
Your Body Type Is Curvy
Breast size is affected by your hormones, therefore, being gifted with well-formed and tantalizing breasts can mean that your hormones are functioning optimally. This can be categorized as an indicator of fertility.
However, this is not saying women with smaller breasts aren’t fertile, it is just that breast size is an indicator of women being additional fertile. Hence you take this as a final arbiter for fertility.
All in all, unless a woman carries her baby that is when she is certainly fertile!
How To Check Male Fertility Naturally
These are signs of potential fertility in men
*Small, firm testicles
*Problems with erections and ejaculations
*Changes in hair growth
* Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles
* Sudden changes in libido
How Can A Man Tell If He Is Fertile?
A professional checks your sperm count, morphology (shape), movement, and other properties. In this wise, if you have a higher quantity of normal-shaped sperm, it indicates a higher rate of fertility. Though they are exceptions. scores of men with low sperm counts or unusual sperm are still fertile.
How Can I Check My Sperm Count At Home?
The simplest method anyone can check his sperm count at home is by using a device known as the SpermCheck male fertility kit. It is a private, convenient and useful tool to find out about your sperm count within 30 minutes.
It is similar to a female pregnancy test. Just use a dropper to place your sample in the testing device. A line will show a negative result as well as a plus sign.
If your sperm count is above 15 million the positive sign (+) will appear. The negative sign (-) will show if your count is less than 15 million.
How Do You Tell If Sperm Is Fertile By Looking At It?
It is practically impossible to know if your sperm is healthy by a mere sight. Talk to your doctor if you want to know but you can do use a male fertility test kit at home. You should rather adopt a healthy lifestyle to have healthier sperm.
What Does A Healthy Sperm Look Like?
Healthy sperm is simply a cloudy white or silvery liquid with a gelatinous texture. Semen is a complex fluid substance generally white or silver in appearance, but at times yellowish with bleach-like odor because of the presence of alkaline properties.
Is Healthy Sperm Thick Or Runny?
Usually, sperm is a thick, white-like liquid substance. Though scores of issues can alter the color and texture of sperm. Watery sperm may be a sign of low sperm count, a sign of potential fertility disorder. Releasing thin, clear sperm also can be a momentary issue without serious health problems.
What Color Is Healthy Sperm?
Sperm is generally whitish-silvery color, Alterations in sperm color might be momentary and non-issue or a symptom of a primary condition that demands further examination.
Meanings of these Semen colors:
Red sperm indicates a possible inflammation of the prostate or the glands that help secrete sperm. Though red sperm can be frightening, it is often not dangerous (benign), particularly in young men.
Yellow or green semen: This could be a result of infection, jaundice, or the existence of vitamins or drugs in the sperm.
However, if sperm discoloration is a new development and fails to disappear, then seek professional help from your health care provider.
Does Masturbation Reduce Sperm Count?
Regular male masturbation does not necessarily have a profound effect on your fertility. Studies have shown that optimum sperm quality happens after two to three days without penile ejaculation.
Nevertheless, other findings recommend that men who have perfect semen quality keep normal semen motility and concentration irrespective of daily ejaculation.
What Are The Signs of Low Sperm in A Man?
Low sperm count can be described as a condition in which the semen you ejaculated during intercourse has a reduced amount of sperm than required. It is also referred to as oligospermia. A total lack of sperm is known as azoospermia. Your sperm count is taken as low when your count is lesser 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
Low sperm count limits your chances of one of your sperm will fertilize your lady’s egg to conceive. Nevertheless, low sperm count is not the end of life, several men who a low sperm count can produce children.
Low Sperm count symptoms may include:
*Issues with sexual health- for instance, low libido or problem having and maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, impotence)
*Pain, swelling, or a clump around the testicle.
* Reduced facial or body hair or other signs of a chromosome or hormone irregularity.
Which Food Improves Sperm?
Naturally, foods can help increase testosterone production which ultimately increases sperm count, sperm motility, and also quality.
Foods that improve sperm include:
Is It Healthy To Eat Sperm?
Yes, the constituents of semen are safe to eat. If swallowed, it will undergo the digestive process exactly a food does. Though in rare cases some individuals are allergic to semen. This allergy is addressed human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP).
Can Guys Feel When Sperm Is Coming Out?
No one can tell always when pre-cum comes out of your penis. But you may be experiencing a kind of wetness on the tip of your penis when you remove your penis. In this, you will not aware if you are having coitus and other factors taken into consideration.
Diagnosis of Female Infertility
Healthy couples below 30 years who engaged in sexual intercourse from time to time stand a chance of about 20% in a month of conceiving.
A woman is supremely fertile in her early 20s. The chance of a woman becoming pregnant drops significantly above 35 years and particularly after 40 years. However, the age when fertility begins to wane differs among women. Infertility issues and miscarriage rates go higher tremendously after age 35. Options now available for women to adopt early egg retrieval and storage for ladies in their 20’s. This will offer them successful pregnancy if perchance childbearing is postponed to above 35 years of age through this method is costly. Nevertheless, it is a great choice for women who are in the know that childbearing will come late.
Conditions That Necessitate A Woman Should Seek Help Early
Irregular Menstrual Periods
A regular menstrual period is a cycle that occurs every 21 to 3 days and this is an indication that ovulation happens regularly too. Ovulation of the egg occurs roughly 2 weeks before the beginning of the next menstrual period. If a woman’s menstrual cycles take place at periods above 35 days, it may be a sign that she is not ovulating an egg probably or even at all. Ovulation of the egg is a prima facie for pregnancy to occur. In this wise, there is a need to assess if the menstrual cycles are irregular in a woman trying to conceive.
Female Above 35 Years or Older
For undisclosed reasons, egg numbers tend to rapidly decrease with age. Also, the egg quality or probability of egg being genetically normal reduces with an increase in woman’s age. Hence we suggest a fertility diagnosis if a couple has been trying to conceive for 6 months or more when the woman involved is age 35 or more.
A History of Pelvic Infections or Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea, syphilis, or chlamydia can lead to inflammation and permanent scarring of the fallopian tubes (oviduct). For natural conception to occur, open tubes are a sine qua non because sperm must move through the tubes to get to and fertilize an ovulated egg. We recommend immediate assessment for a couple trying to conceive most especially if the woman has a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). She should undergo HSG too. HSG is a test meant to assess if the fallopian tubes are open.
Uterine Fibroids or Endometrial Polyps
Uterine abnormal growths such as fibroids that dent the endometrial cavity and endometrial polyps, can ruin how the lining of the uterus (endometrium) and embryo interact to reduce the rates of implantation and pregnancy in a woman.
These abnormal growths can similarly lead to intermittent bleeding between the menstrual cycles. Assessment should be done at 6 months of trying to conceive in women with a known history of these abnormal growths.
Known Male Factor Semen Abnormalities
If a man has a history of infertility or if there are abnormalities on his semen analysis, then it is better to evaluate his fertility status within 6 months of trying to conceive.
Examinations and Tests
Choosing when to undergo infertility treatment depends principally on your age. It is generally recommended by doctors that women below 30 years should endeavor to conceive on their own for 12 months before getting tested.
Women above 35 years should try to conceive for 6 months. And if during this period, nothing happens then they should seek medical advice.
Infertility testing is a type that involves the medical history and physical examination of the couples. Generally, blood and imaging tests are often involved.
In women these tests may entail the following:
Blood tests to determine hormone levels, including progesterone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Home urine ovulation detection kits
Measurement of body temperature every morning to known if the ovaries are releasing eggs
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Clomid Challenge Test
Antimullerian Hormone Testing (AMH)
Thyroid Function Tests
Tests In Men May Include:
Examinations of the testes and penis
Ultrasound of the male genitals
Blood tests to check hormone levels
Testicular biopsy (rarely done)
This depends on the cause of infertility and it may include:
Education and counseling about the condition
Educating the couples about the normal process of fertility, issues that affect fertility, as well as available options for treatment, will help them to make informed decisions. When they understand the normal reproductive process they will know when they should seek professional help.
Fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This is a process by which your doctor uses a long, thin tube to put sperm directly into your uterus.
In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is a kind of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves the collection of the eggs at the end of stimulation and then put the sperm and the eggs in a petri dish in a laboratory so that the sperm can fertilize the eggs. Your doctor will now transfer one of the fertilized egg into your uterus.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): This is just like IVF only that an embryologist directly injects a single sperm into each of the collected eggs and then later transfers an embryo into the uterus.
Third-party ART: This is a situation by which couples may use donor eggs, donor sperm, or donor embryos. Some couples need a gestational carrier or surrogate. This person agrees to carry and give birth to your baby.
Men and women can adopt these action steps to improve and protect their fertility, particularly while trying to get pregnant.
Eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t smoke, misuse drugs, or drink excessively.
Get treated for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Limit exposure to toxins.
Stay physically active, but don’t overdo exercise.
Adopt natural supplements to compensate for deficiencies in your foods and drinks.