What is Infertility
Infertility is defined as the failure to become pregnant after about a year of trying many times without using contraception . Infertility problems increase as a person gets older, and they are becoming more widespread as many women are waiting to have babies until they are in their thirties and forties. Currently, fertility problems affect at least 6.1 million couples in the United States. For people who cannot imagine their lives without children and are not considering adoption, the condition may be heartbreaking.
Doctors can find no medical cause for up to 20 percent of infertility cases. In 15 to 20 percent of infertility cases, both the man and the woman have fertility problems. The rest of the time, infertility is caused by problems with either the male or the female reproductive system. Some doctors believe that smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol, poor eating habits, stress, excess weight, and generally poor health can make the physical problems causing infertility even worse.
What is Symptoms of Infertility
In most cases, there are no obvious signs of an infertility problem. Intercourse, erections and ejaculation will usually happen without difficulty. The quantity and appearance of the ejaculated semen generally appears normal to the naked eye.
What is Treatment of Infertility
Difficulty conceiving a baby may not be a permanent condition, and many couples with fertility problems eventually have a child without medical intervention. However, some couples need medical help to become pregnant, and the treatment depends on the cause of infertility. If a hormone deficiency causes infertility, treatment may involve taking hormones prescribed by a doctor. If there is damage or an abnormality in the female organs, they sometimes can be repaired surgically. For other couples, treatment can range from taking fertility drugs to using assisted reproductive technology (ART). Many treatments for infertility exist; only a few are described in the following.
Artificial insemination (in-sem-i-NAY-shun) is the introduction of a man’s sperm into the opening of a woman’s uterus with a tube called a catheter (CATH-e-ter). Before insemination, antibodies and unhealthy sperm are removed from the semen (SEE-men), the fluid containing sperm. The sperm used in artificial insemination ideally comes from the woman’s male partner. However, in cases where the man is infertile or carries a genetic disorder, sperm from a donor may be used.
Fertility drugs can be used to treat problems with ovulation. A number of different medications have been developed that help to stimulate the maturation and release of ova (eggs).
What is Causes of Infertility
Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.
Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility. Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is another cause of ovulation problems. POI occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40. POI is not the same as early menopause.
Less common causes of fertility problems in women include:
Blocked Fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy
Physical problems with the uterus
Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus.