Infertility – Get The Facts

Getting Pregnant

According to the National Infertility Association 1 in 8 couples experience the disease of infertility. Couples who keep trying but cannot get pregnant are subjected to ongoing disappointment that often leads to depression.

If you and your life partner are unable to conceive, you likely feel as if your marriage exists on an emotional roller coaster.

What is Infertility?

At last, mainstream medicine has recognized infertility as a disease affecting the reproductive system. Usually it is diagnosed after one year of correctly timed, unprotected intercourse in women younger than 35; after six months in women older than 35.

We truly hope it will lighten your being to realize it is not your fault. You wouldn’t blame yourself or your partner for developing thyroid disease or cancer, would you?

We agree it is a negative life-changing event, but pointing the finger of blame toward yourself or your spouse is a waste of energy.

What are Causes of Infertility?

There are various potential risk factors that could contribute to infertility, some over which you have a certain amount of control and others that you do not.

Smoking, alcohol, obesity, underweight from eating disorders and over-exercising appear to heighten the risk of infertility.

In about 1/3 of reported cases, healthcare professionals just do not know the root cause.

What about Male Infertility?

Male InfertilitySperm analysis – To determine male infertility, a sperm analysis is conducted. Sperm count is measured by milliliter.

  • There should be more than 20 million sperm per milliliter.
  • The sperm’s head should be oval-shaped; otherwise they may not have the ability to fertilize the female egg.
  • At least 1⁄2 of the sperm should swim in a rather straight line.

If all three parameters test normal, it is 99% more likely the sperm functions correctly.

Retrograde ejaculate – Other considerations include retrograde ejaculate, where semen is ejaculated backwards; low sperm production or where the sperm’s departure is hindered by scarring or from birth.

Environmental factors – Research suggests that environmental factors, such as chemical or pesticide exposure, pollution and drug use are contributing to the decline of male fertility.

Several issues that are male-specific include:

  • Genital exposure to extreme temperatures, i.e. steam rooms or whirlpools. Genital infection resulting from adult mumps.
  • Operation to repair hernia.
  • STDs can inflame the sperm duct (medical term epididymitis).

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Female InfertilityWhat about Female Infertility?

Again, let us stress that you cannot prevent infertility. There are many, many factors contributing to your abilities to ovulate and conceive.

In addition to general risk factors above, here are some common female-specific issues:

  • Complications of STD’s – upper genital tract infection; scarring, adhesions, fallopian tube blockage.
  • Endometriosis Disease – uterine tissue on fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and bowel. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – symptoms involve acne, excess facial hair, weight gain and not having periods.
  • Imbalanced Hormones – periods longer than six days; menstrual cycles spaced less than 24 days or more than 35 days; extremely heavy periods.

Hold On to Each Other

Most couples would not choose to be childless. But if you or your partner has infertility disease, don’t allow it to destroy your marriage.

Talk it out and figure it out. What can you do to make your marriage meaningful and happy?

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