Infertility Questions And Answers
Questions and answers
1)Is infertility a common problem?
Ans.: Yes, it may sound very strange, but statistics reveal that almost 15 to 20 percent couples face some or the other kind of infertility problems during the life. There may be cases of temporary infertility or cases with very early detection of the problem that gets cured immediately. However, it doesn’t come on surface that prominently because people normally do not discuss it publicly and there is a tendency to sweep it under the carpet. Initially people try to hide it under the name of family planning, but as the time passes and there is a pressure from family members, parents and peer group. Doctors are consulted too late and sometimes the treatment takes a longer time because of the delay.
2)Is infertility just a woman’s problem?
Ans.: No, not at all! In fact, there are statistics that prove that only one-third of the total infertility cases are caused by women. There is equal number of cases contributed by the male partner and the remaining one-third is due to mixed problem. It is also a fact that treating woman infertility is much more easy and straightforward because of the less complexity. Male infertility is very intricate and there are many cases when the exact reason is totally unknown. These are cases that put a great challenge in front of the doctors that treat the problem and usually take a longer time to get resolved. There are some cases that could not be treated at all
and the parents do not have any other option than going for surrogacy or adoption.
3)What increases a man’s risk of infertility?
Ans.:Well, there are actually various factors that cause infertility problem in a man. While there are a few structural problems that exist by birth, there are many that get aggravated because of incorrect lifestyle and habits. Structural problems like varicocele, where the size of testicles in a man is unusually large and therefore, body can’t manage the temperature of the testicles. Temperature is a critical factor for the production and growth of the sperm. There is a significant drop in the sperm count and it causes male infertility. Sometimes there are structural changes because of certain illness, surgery or accident can cause loss of fertility.
A few things can aggravate the problem of infertility if not taken care of.
a) Smoking, alcohol and drugs: There is a direct correlation between the consumption of all of them on the sperm health. Consumption of all these can lead to permanent impotency.
b) Toxins and pesticides: There are findings of researchesto reinforce the connection between toxins and pesticides and the sperm counts. People working in chemical industry, exposed to harmful pesticides and other toxic elements get a problem of low or nil sperm count or weak sperms.
c) Age: Age plays a vital role in the male fertility. It gets decreased with the age and causes a major drop in the sperm count.
d) Medicines, radiation and chemotherapy: There is a clear evidence of infertility and these three factors. In some cases, the infertility problem is irrecoverable completely. For some people it is a temporary problem and gets cured with proper treatment for a long time.
4)What things increase a woman’s risk of infertility?
Ans.: Just like the male infertility, women’s infertility problems also have two aspects. There are some genetic defects that come by birth and sometimes they are curable and sometimes incurable. Female infertility cases are contributed by the problems in the ovulation or structural problems in the uterus. While the structural problems require surgical process to correct, ovulation problems require regular medication for a long time until the problem is resolved. Fibroids are other major contributors for female infertility. These are tumors on the inner walls of the uterus that prevent the conception. Fibroids are very difficult to cure and it takes a long time to correct the problem.
The things that can increase the risk of female infertility are varied in nature. Age is an important factor that affects the fertility. As the age increases there is a drop in the fertility of women. Decreased secretion of hormones is the root cause of decline. Apart from this excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, stress, overweight, diseases and other infections and hormonal imbalance can also cause infertility in women.
5)How does age affect a woman’s ability to have children?
Ans.: In fact, there is a direct correlation between the age of a woman and infertility. It is a well-known fact that hormonal secretion in the body plays a vital role in the fertility levels. Research says that the fertility level is at the peak during 25 to 32 years of the age and then gradually starts decreasing. It is very common nowadays to start the family very late and in a few cases women decide to have a baby in the age of 35. There is a clear-cut drop in the fertility level and other physical attributes that ensure a successful pregnancy. This results in frequent and multiple miscarriages, aborted pregnancies and problems during the pregnancy.
Age affects the fertility rate in the following aspects:
a) There are fix number of eggs in the ovaries of a female and that gets released every month. As the age increases, the number of eggs left is very less and also there is a drop in the overall functionality of the ovaries. The health of the eggs also gets deteriorated due to aging and there are fewer chances of conception.
b) Various health ailments get erupted with the age and the medications of these health problems can interfere with the fertility levels.
c) The drop in the hormones like estrogen increases the chances of abortion, incomplete pregnancy or underdevelopment of the baby.
6)How long should women try to get pregnant before calling their doctors?
Ans.: As such there is no rule and experts have different opinion about it. However, it is a general rule that if the couple is not using any means of birth control and there are physical relations more than twice a month, then usually the conception happens in the span of three to six months. If a couple is not able to conceive even after that, then there is strongly a need to go to the doctor. However, this is a general rule and there are other factors like genetic characteristics, age, fertility level and hormonal disturbance can increase the delay.
If women face some or all of the problems mentioned below, then there is a strong recommendation to visit an expert gynecologist without any delay:
a) Menstrual problems like irregular periods or heavy flow
b) Pain in the lower abdomen during the periods
c) More than one aborted pregnancies
d) Any other treatment related to hormonal imbalance