In women, infertility can occur when insufficient nutrition reaches the reproductive tissue. Sometimes this might be due to poor eating habits, but other times there is a medical issue such as poor digestion or some obstruction due to toxins. In men, excessive smoking, drugs and hard liquor can contribute to a low sperm count, which in turn makes it difficult to conceive. Additionally, other medical issues including diabetes, thyroid conditions, stress and even weight can contribute to difficulties conceiving a child.
Common causes of Female infertility are:
1. Ovulation problems
2. Tubal causes
3. Sperm causes
4. Unexplained infertility
5. Age-related factors
The main symptom of infertility in a woman is irregularity in her menstrual period, or when menstruation fails to occur for many months at a time. Such an occurrence is an indication that a visit to the doctor or gynecologist is in order. In men, the loss of interest in sexual activity or the urge to have sex is often an indication of infertility.
Although the symptoms of infertility are concerning, there are ways to cure it with medication in many cases, or in severe cases with surgery. In addition, in vitro fertilization clinics and artificial insemination can help with conception.
So, how can you tell whether you have fertility problems? Keep a journal of any symptom that you may encounter. For instance, when you have your menstrual cycle, make a note in a journal. If any irregularities occur, note them as well. Then on a regular basis keep track of any changes in these symptoms.
Normally the steps of a basic infertility evaluation would include:
1. History: - Taking a thorough medical history including any other medical conditions you might be having, any history of drug intake, and any other obstetric or gynecological problems that you may have.
2. Physical examination: - A thorough physical examination.
3. Blood tests: - Depending on the individual couple’s situation, various blood tests on either the female or the male may be needed. They can include testing for the levels of various sex hormones.
4. Taking a sample of semen and doing a semen analysis
5. Finding out if the woman is ovulating or not (i.e. producing egg in every menstrual cycle)
6. Hysterosalpingogram: - This test is done in order to assess the anatomy of the cavity of the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
7. Laparoscopy: - May be required after basic tests have been done. The surgeon looks inside the abdomen through an endoscope to look for any deformities of the tubes or for endometriosis.
Once a medication or course of treatment has been prescribed for you, keep another journal in which you describe the results. Have the symptoms improved? Are they worse? Are there any side effects? Keep track of when side effects occur and how severe they are. Having this information handy will help your doctor prescribe the treatment that best addresses not only your fertility, but your overall health as well.
You owe it to yourself to take an active role in managing your own health. Infertility can usually be addressed but you need to use every tool at your disposal to make sure you get the best results possible.