Understanding Infertility and Medical Intervention
It is quite natural to worry about your fertility after months of trying to get pregnant. Like many, you might as well have spent a few years of your life scared of conceiving because you assumed it would happen immediately after you stop using contraceptives.
However, this might not be the case. Before you throw in the towel take a minute to understand what infertility entails and what causes it. Then you can consult a doctor to find out the next step.
What is infertility?
Infertility refers to the state of being unable to get pregnant after at least one year of trying to conceive.
Men and women who are not able to conceive due to age or disease-related factors can be termed as infertile. However, it is important to note that infertility is not often synonymous to sterility. Young couples or people who seek medical help can eventually have a child of their own. Before you explore some of the available options for treatments such as IUI treatment, fertility drugs or In vitro fertilization (IVF)you need to understand some of the causes of infertility.
Causes and symptoms of infertility in men
Infertility in men is often hardly talked about but this does not mean it is not common. It is usually caused by problems that affect the production or transport of sperm. Another common is problems with reproductive organs that affect the ability of sperm to enter a woman's vagina.
Some of the causes that affect sperm production and transport include;
- Prostate infections
- Varicose veins of the testis
- Genetic or inheritance causes
- Damage of reproductive organ in radiation
- Chromosome defect
Other factors include;
- Erectile dysfunction
- Spinal cord injury
- Damaged nerves
One main sign of infertility in males is the inability to get a woman pregnant. There are also some other signs and symptoms which include; abnormal masculine growth such as lack of or decreased facial hair, recurrent respiratory infections, low sperm count, swelling of genitalia and erectile dysfunction.
Causes and symptoms of infertility in women
Female infertility is a common occurrence. Some of the most obvious causes include; infected or damaged fallopian tubes or womb, cervical related problems and brief or absence of ovulation. Naturally, as women age, their chances of infertility also tend to increases. These and other problems may occur as a result of;
- Hormonal imbalances
- Stress factors
- Drug use
- Birth defects or genetics
- Diethylstilbestrol syndrome
In many cases, the symptoms may be difficult to detect. As a woman, it is important to contact your doctor when you experience the following symptoms;
- Abdominal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Unusual cervical discharge
- Soreness or Itching of the cervix
Diagnosis and Treatment
When you visit your doctor you will be examined for any of the above signs and symptoms before you are recommended for treatment. This may involve blood tests and screening, ultrasound scans and X rays. Here are some of the most common treatments for infertility;
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or Artificial Insemination (AI)
- Gamete intra-fallopian transfer
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection
- Fertility Drug