It is very normal for a couple to remain child-free for a first few years of their marriage. It does not necessarily mean that they have a fertility problem. But if the couple is interested in starting a family too soon and has remained conception free without the use of any contraceptives during the first year of marriage then they may opt for medical help. Sometimes both are perfectly fine and healthy but are yet not able to conceive. In such cases, one may look for signs that tell of a fertility problem which may happen to either of them. Yes, both man and woman can have a fertility problem, but the good news is most of these are treatable. We will discuss here some of the most common fertility problems that can occur in them.
FERTILITY PROBLEMS IN WOMEN:
Fertility among women is highest before 32 years of age. After that, it begins to fall.
OVULATION RELATED PROBLEMS:
Irregular Periods Cycle: this is one of the most common reasons for infertility among women. A regular period’s cycle is usually 28 days long. It may be plus/minus two days for some women but then it will be regular if it is always that long. A disturbed cycle is when it is too short or too long or sometimes when periods don’t occur at all for a very long time.
A disturbed cycle of periods disturbs the ovulation process. It may cause a woman to produce pre-mature eggs or an overall ovarian failure to produce mature eggs.
Poor Egg Quality: a falling ovarian reserve causes the egg to lose its quality. This usually happens to women after the age of 35. A poor egg decreases chances of conception, and even if it happens it can affect the chromosome balance of the fetus resulting in miscarriage or disturbed pregnancy.
PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when a woman’s hormone is disturbed. In this condition, a woman body will be producing higher amounts of male hormones. The hormonal imbalance makes their menstrual cycle longer, sometimes even skipping it for a month or more. This, in turn, affects the ovulation process.
Endometriosis: Painful Periods: this is a disorder in which tissues that line the inside wall of the uterus grows on the outside walls often referred to as fibroids or tumors. As they keep building and growing, at a point they start to break and bleed, causing heavy and painful menstrual bleeding. Its symptoms include cramps in lower abdomen throughout the periods, painful intercourse, heavy bleeding and pain during bowel/urinary actions. An early diagnosis will help control the symptoms effectively through treatment.
FALLOPIAN TUBE PROBLEMS: if a woman’s fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, they will prevent the sperm from reaching an ovarian egg. This condition can also block the movement of a fertilized egg to the uterus. This problem could occur because of:
PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is an infection that is usually caused by sexually transmitted bacteria which can affect the fallopian tube, ovaries and the uterus. These are usually transmitted by the partner who has STD (sexually transmitted disease). The infection can travel to other reproductive organs of a woman and can damage or block her fallopian tubes and uterus.
Sperm Count and Quality: Male infertility is usually related to sperm count and quality. If a man is not able to cause pregnancy in a woman it means he has an infertility problem. This can be detected after testing both partners for infertility. Male infertility is quite a common problem and according to study one in every five couples who are unable to conceive the problem lies with a man. Male fertility or sperm count and flow start to decrease after the age of 35.
Low sperm production or lack of mobility in sperm function or blockages in the testes can prevent the delivery of sperm. Having fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculation is considered below normal.
Many times the male infertility is hidden to be identified by signs or symptoms. A man may ejaculate normally but the sperm count or flow may be low and it cannot be diagnosed or determined until the couple goes for tests for pregnancy.
Upon tests and diagnosis, a medic may find one of the reasons for a man’s infertility
- The difficulty with ejaculation, difficulty in keeping an erection or low sexual desire Pain
- Enlarged breast tissues syndrome (gynecomastia) due to hormonal/chromosome imbalance
- A Lump may form in one of the testicle or both
- Decreased facial or body hair another sign of hormonal imbalance
Sometimes Illnesses such as diabetes or injuries to productive parts may also be a reason for infertility in men.
Whenever a complication is diagnosed by the doctor it is better to start the treatment immediately. For untreatable conditions, the couples can always opt for artificial methods of insemination.