By Dr. Renubala Rout, Gynaecology
Infertility is a condition where a couple trying to conceive in a natural way is not able to do so even after one year of trying. It is also a matter of worry for patients who are over the age of 35 years and those who are not able to conceive naturally even after 12 months of trying constantly. So here are the causes, risks and treatment for this condition.
* Causes: There are many causes of infertility. It may be down to a condition present in one or both partners. As per a medical study, 20% of the cases of infertility are due to males, while 40% to 50% of cases are due to problems in the female partner. 30% of the cases suffer from infertility due to problems in both males and females. Ovulation and fertilisation are the main elements of the conception process, and any condition in the female or male can upset either function which can make it difficult to conceive. While abnormal sperm production and transport may be a common condition that leads to infertility in males, other factors like side effects of cancer treatments and too much exposure to toxins and chemicals can also play an important role in this regard. For females, the causes of infertility may range from ovulation disorders, uterine and fibroid tumours, uterine and cervical anomalies, damage to or blockage of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, primary ovarian insufficiency and pelvic adhesions. Also, factors like thyroid, cancer and medication leading to temporary infertility may be at play.
* Risk: There are a number of factors that put a male or a female at risk of infertility. Being in your mid-30s usually has an adverse effect on the ovulation and production of well-functioning sperm. Further, smoking and tobacco are among the main causes of infertility in either partner. Excessive alcohol consumption may also lead to this problem. Being overweight or underweight can also make a person infertile. Further, not getting enough exercise and routine activities out of your day, can lead to this condition as well.
* Treatment: Male patients can go through treatment for any existing infections, hormonal injections and medication, surgical options like vasectomy reversal, and ART or assistive reproductive technology. Female patients can turn to medication that will stimulate ovulation, Intrauterine Insemination, and surgical processes to correct a uterine septum and remove endometrial polyps, or even a hysteroscopy surgery.
If these methods fail, the patient or the couple can always turn to methods like In Vitro Fertilisation. For other mild reasons, lifestyle changes along with a stress-free environment can help in increasing the chances of conception.