The age factor and fertility issues are two of the most common causes of infertility. Sometimes these problems can be treated using simple treatment approaches; in rare cases, difficulty in conceiving can be caused by infertility in the man, the woman, or both of them. Rigorous testing and treatment is advised in this case.
Always be open to suggestions from people or the Internet on conceiving. Of course, we are not suggesting that you try every silly trick to conceive. After your doctor and you assess each possibility and its viability.
Common problems that may delay conception are:
Advancing Age (over 30 years):
Most women have children when they are either 30 or 40. Nearly 20% women In America conceive when they are 35 years. Age has a direct link with fertility since it increases the chance of miscarriage and risk of the child being genetically abnormal. Increasing age also influences the health of the eggs released by the ovary, less numbers of eggs are released and with age she might develop problems that can affect her fertility. Also being overweight, excessive stress, smoking and drinking can lead to reproductive problems in women.
If you are above thirty years and you want to have a baby, it is best that you consult a doctor.
History Of Ectopic Pregnancies Or Miscarriages:
Ectopic pregnancy is the most common and life threatening form of miscarriage. It has to be diagnosed and solved at the earliest stage of pregnancy. Generally the embryo gets implanted in the womb but in the case of ectopic pregnancy the embryo gets implanted in the fallopian tube or pelvic cavity.Six Surveys show that nearly 37% of women who had ectopic pregnancy didn’t have the risk factors of ectopic pregnancy.A survey conducted on women with ectopic pregnancy revealed that nearly 48% of women smoked low quality cigarettes. Also 23% of those having pelvic or abdominal surgery were detected with ectopic pregnancy. Sexually transmitted disease increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy by 10-20%. Other factors like having a contraceptive pill, using intrauterine device, having pelvic inflammation or endometriosis increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growth on the walls of the uterus. Fibroids cause no harm until they become really large and press on the walls of other organs and cause pain. It is very common among women between 30-45 years and large fibroids can decrease the space in uterus leading to infertility and miscarriage. Fibroids generally happen during pregnancy and change the entire environment of the uterus, it can cause early miscarriages and birth deformities if the fibroids press on the body of the foetus.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome:
Polycystic ovary syndrome is characterized by irregular periods, obesity, and hirsutisum (abnormal growth of hair on face, chest, abdomen and back.) It also results in acne breakout and increase of male hormones in the blood. Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing Hormone (LH) are produced by the pituitary glands and help to develop the ovarian follicle, the eggs, the cells around the egg that produce hormones that help to procreate. It also develops the fluid around the egg. Luteinizing hormone also helps to increase the amount of estrogen produced by the follicle cells and help in ovulation. If thereis a dysfunction or fall in the amount of these hormones then there is an increased risk of infertility.
This is a disorder of the tissue lining the uterus that causes it to grow outside the uterine cavity. It attaches itself to other organs and swells with blood during menstruation. Since the blood can’t escape these tissues cysts, scar tissue or adhesions take place, this cause pain and prevent the fallopian tubes from functioning properly. This directly affects pregnancy.
Endometriosis cells secrete substances that affect the sperms and eggs. It also causes progesterone deficiency in women thus preventing normal implantation. It can be treated both with medicines (stopping periods for four to six months) or with laparoscopy to remove the affected tissue to stop further damage, this will put a stop to endometriosis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:
This is caused by sexually transmitted disease like Chlamydia or Gonorrhea, if these two diseases remain undetected or is not treated in time it will cause pelvic Inflammatory disease. It generally affects the cervix or vagina first and then spreads to other reproductive organs. This directly affects fertility in women is one of the main reason behind ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID can be prevented by using proper contraception while having sex, avoiding multiple sex partners and by avoiding come in physical contact with those who have been tested negative STD test results.If PID is diagnosed at the early stages it can be curbed with medicines.
Pelvic and abdominal surgery:
The surgeries done to remove gall bladder stones, scar tissues, pelvic adhesions and treat irritable bowel syndrome often interferes with fertility.Pelvic adhesions are fibroid tissues or scars that grow around the fallopian tube, uterus and bowel. This is mainly caused due to endometriosis, ruptured appendix and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Pelvic adhesions prevent the fallopian tube from collecting the egg released from ovary during ovulation, this prevents pregnancy. Some adhesions are so serious that only option left is IVF or In-vitro Fertilization.
If you are having abnormal bleeding or irregular periods there are 30-40% chance that your pregnancy will fail. Irregular periods are a symptom that indicates that no ovulation is happening. This condition is called anovulation. This can be treated with fertility drugs but it is important to check whether thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands are functioning properly.Drugs with Clomid and Serophene (Clomiphene) induce ovulation and regularize periods.
The proper functioning of thyroid gland is important as it affects all organs of the body, especially the menstrual cycle. Both Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism is bad as it speeds up and slows down the body processes. The Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxin (T4) are released by the thyroid gland and are controlled by Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) released by Pituitary glands. Thyroid hormone plays a vital role maintaining the health of the baby and mother during pregnancy. By having proper medications and taking thyroid tests you can protect yourself and your baby from harm.
History of Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
This is biggest risk faced by the mother that can pass on to the child during delivery. Some sexually transmitted disease like Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes and cytomegalovirus can be passed from mother to the baby during delivery. Sexually transmitted infection like syphilis, HIV or AIDS can pass to the foetus before delivery. So tests should be conducted on the mother to check if she has these diseases or infections before she even conceives. This should be an integral part of the prenatal care.
Low Sperm Count:
The sperm count spiraling down means that the number of sperms in a man’s semen is less then what is considered normal. This can be detected by doing a semen analysis. This condition is called oligospermia. Sperm mobility and size is also reduced.
In 2010 The World Health Organization updated some parameters to determine sperm quality. These parameters state that if there are 15 million sperms per milliliter of semen then it is considered normal. This normal sample should have 40% sperm mobility and 4% of the sperms should have the right shape and size. There can be fluctuation in sperm production so it is better to give 2-3 samples for diagnosis.
Low sperm count is another reason why you are not conceiving.
Miscalculated Fertile Period:
There is a technique called Fertility Awareness Methods (FAM) by which you can detect your most fertile periods. Calendar or Rhythm, mucus and temperature are various methods of detecting your fertility.
Fertility Awareness method works on the fact that a women is most fertile for a few days before ovulation starts and lasts till after ovulation takes place. Since the sperm stays in the uterus for five to seven days, if you try to get pregnant at this time the chances of conception will be high.However, those taking birth control pills should avoid using the method. By calculating your fertile period you can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Testicular Surgery or Undescended Testicles:
If the testicles are placed high up in the abdominal canal or just above the scrotum or in the inguinal canal it is termed as undescended testicles. The surgery of undescended testicles is called Orchiopexy. It can involve one surgery or two depending on the location of the testicles. Small incisions are made in the scrotum, groin and abdomen so that the surgeon can reach to the testicles and bring it down to the scrotum. After the surgery a follow-up is done and the patient should avoid active sports to prevent any injury to their testicles.
This surgery is done to prevent infertility and reduces the risk of testicular cancer. It allows testicular cancer to be detected in the earlier stages. Orchiopexy also reduces the chance of injury and minimizes discomfort.
Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation:
premature ejaculation is a very common sexual dysfunction experienced by men, it happens when there is semen ejaculation just before or after sex. This ejaculation happens with minimum or no sexual stimulation. Premature ejaculation prevents pregnancy and this is a cause of stress among couples who want to start a family. You can talk to a gynecologist and get the problem treated by having medications. Practicing relaxation techniques and cutting down on alcohol, drugs and smoking can prevent premature ejaculation.
Diabetes (in male partner) and Male Infertility:
Infertility is a widespread problem and it is found that in one among five infertile couples, the male partner is infertile.Scientists in UK discovered that DNA damage in the sperms of men who have diabetes is higher compared to those men who don’t have diabetes. This makes diabetic men less fertile.
The Journal Human Production conducted a study where 27 diabetic men falling under the age bracket of 34 yearsparticipated along with 29 non-diabetic men aged between 20-33 years. The semen volume in diabetic men was 2.6 ml compared to non-diabetics who had 3.3ml. Otherwise total sperm output and concentration was same among both diabetic and non-diabetic men.
Decreased Ovarian Reserve (DOR):
The number of eggs in your ovary will naturally decrease in your pre-menopausal years. It affects women who are within 36-40 years. Sometimes women in their late 20’s and early 30’s suffer from depleting ovarian reserve. Those who had endometriosis or ovarian cyst surgery have decreased ovarian reserve. This decreases the number of eggs available each month and the Follicle Stimulating hormone shoots up. In this case, the menstrual cycle becomes overlapping and it shortens to just 21 days. The ovulation takes place on the 7th or 8th day of the menstrual cycle, by this time monthly cycle is over and the endometrial lining doesn’t develop for the embryo within such short time. This prevents implantation and thus prevents pregnancy.
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF):
This is nothing but an early onset of menopause before the age of 40. The exact reason is unknown, it can be due to chromosome problems, thyroid disorders and immune problems. Premature ovarian failure can be diagnosed by blood test to check the Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone levels in your blood are within menopause range in a patient who didn’t have periods for six months. This is the direct cause of infertility in women because no egg is released means no conception takes place. Only In-Vitro Fertilization by donor egg is the only option left in this case.
Infertility Is Caused Due To Lifestyle Problems:
Besides physical and medical conditions, your lifestyle might be the culprit behind your fertility issues. Factors like stress, depression, some medications like anti-depressants, obesity, malnourishment, smoking and drinking, a history of drug abuse and working with radiation and chemicals can all make conception difficult.
Most of us have no idea that even simple things could have damaging effects on the reproductive system. Take for e.g. the fact that sitting for long in a hot environment can cause testicular overheating! Going for saunas and hot tubs frequently affects the sperm count. Also wearing tight clothing or wearing the wrong kind of underwear and working with the laptop on your lap for long hours will definitely cause testicular overheating. This is the main reason for male infertility.There are so many reasons why you and your partner could be facing difficulty in conceiving.
However, it does no good to start the blame game. Your best bet is to monitor your fertile periods and try to conceive after treating the reason behind your absence of conception. Keep your fertility specialist in total knowledge of any medications or drugs you may already be using, as some drugs also tend to affect your fertility.
There are millions of websites online that offer advice on handling infertility issues and enhancing your chances of getting pregnant; but not all of them are directly linked to improving your chances of conceiving.