Common Fertility Issues and How to Deal with Them?
Having a child of your own is one dream that every woman would have; however, when this dream remains unfulfilled, it leads to a lot of grief. In simple words, infertility is defined as the inability to conceive despite having unprotected intercourse for over one year. These common fertility issues can be broadly classified into ovulation disorders and structural defects that compromise tubal factors and uterine factors.
There are two types of Infertility namely:
Primary Infertility: When a couple has never been able to conceive a child despite engaging in regular, unprotected intercourse for one year or more.
Secondary Infertility: This is a condition in which a couple, who have previously conceived and given birth to a child or children, face difficulty in achieving a subsequent pregnancy despite engaging in regular, unprotected intercourse. In short, unable to conceive for the second time.
Factors affecting Fertility
The several risk factors affecting both male and female fertility are:
Age: Fertility declines with age.
Medical History: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis increase the risk of infertility.
Lifestyle Choices: Smoking, consumption of alcohol, and obesity impact fertility.
Toxins: Prolonged exposure to certain chemicals, toxins, and radiation can impact reproductive health.
Sexually transmitted diseases and infections cause harm to the reproductive system thus decreasing the likelihood of fertility.
Stress affects fertility by causing hormonal imbalances and affecting regular menstrual cycles.
Ovulation disorders among women are the most common causes of infertility. The ovaries do not release a mature egg regularly making it difficult for a woman to conceive naturally. Ovulation disorders could be due to problems in the ovaries or the production of hormones by the hypothalamus or pituitary gland.
Causes for ovulation disorders are:
PCOS: PCOS is a condition of hormonal imbalance where there is an excess of male hormone production. PCOS prevents the ovaries from releasing mature eggs and is the most common cause of infertility among women.
Dysfunction: This condition affects the pituitary gland's ability to produce the two hormones namely LH and FSH. LH and FSH are essential for ovulation without which a woman may not be able to ovulate regularly thus leading to irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
Ovarian Failure: This is a condition where a woman's ovaries stop functioning much before she attains menopause and she is not able to produce any more eggs. This could be a result of an autoimmune disease, genetic abnormalities, or due to exposure to toxins and harmful chemicals.
Prolactin Production: The excessive production of prolactin by the pituitary gland could lead to ovulatory dysfunction thus causing infertility.
Other causes of infertility could be due to the physical structure of the female reproductive organs such as damage to the fallopian tubes, a condition namely endometriosis, and uterine fibroids.
When there are no identifiable causes of infertility it is referred to as unexplained infertility or idiopathic infertility. This happens when the doctors are unable to figure out the exact causes of infertility.
Tips on how couples could cope with infertility:
Not being able to get pregnant or inability to achieve parenthood is one of the major concerns for both men and women. When a woman is unable to conceive even after multiple attempts, over time it could lead to serious repercussions on the mental health of both men and women. Above all, psychological stress may result in hormonal imbalance in the body, further leading to impaired reproductive performance.
Infertility brings along mental stress that builds up with time and gives rise to social seclusion among couples who are not prepared for this situation. Research has shown that childless couples are facing significantly more stress when compared to couples having at least one child. If a couple has been trying to conceive for more than a year with no positive results, then it is highly recommended that they consult a fertility specialist at the earliest without further delay. Once the cause of infertility has been diagnosed and identified, generally followed by a set of diagnostic tests suggested by the medical practitioner, it is critical to keep the stress levels in check. Hence, keeping the stress levels low and proceeding with a positive attitude for the ongoing procedure suggested by the doctors will make the best of the treatment thus ensuring to succeed and get the positive results soon.
It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle to keep your stress levels down and under control in the first place. The following are a few suggestions to reduce your stress levels and will also prevent its impact on affecting one’s fertility:
• Make sure to get adequate hours of sleep: Having insufficient sleep or even oversleeping can lead to keeping hormone levels off balance. Having seven to eight hours of sound sleep every day is highly recommended as lack of sleep leads to increasing stress levels.
• Following a good diet plan: Ensure to have a balanced diet. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods. Also, avoid food with colouring agents and preservatives, consumption of alcohol, food supplements, steroids, performance-enhancing drugs, etc.
• Get sufficient exercise daily. Obesity is a contributing factor to the vicious cycle involving stress and infertility among couples facing infertility. Maintaining a healthy body weight to achieve a successful and healthy pregnancy is important.
• Practice Mindfulness: Indulge yourself in Yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness techniques to keep the mind steady, calm, and relaxed.
• Seek medical assistance: Seeking psychological therapy and counselling is a solution to reduce the stress levels when they have gotten out of hand. It is advisable to get emotional support, to minimize the emotional stress that one is dealing with by connecting to friends and family members thereby spending quality time with them. Interaction with your spouse is highly essential that could reduce the emotional stress of infertility which could lead to creating a rift between the two of you thus taking a toll on your marital relationship.
• Indulge in your passion and interest: It is often said that exploring one’s passion and interests often keeps emotional stress and work stress at bay. Thus taking a break from your routine and planning a vacation, travelling on weekends, attending family functions and get-togethers, and meeting friends and relatives are also ways to cope with infertility. Not to mention, ensure to have an enjoyable trip instead of making it a tiring and stressful journey.
To conclude, certain Preventive Measures that could be followed for Infertility include:
Consumption of a well-balanced and healthy diet that is well-rounded and helps maintain a healthy body weight.
Refrain from smoking, drug or substance abuse, or consumption of alcohol.
Seek medical attention, consult a medical practitioner for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment of any sexually transmitted diseases or infections (STDs or STIs).
Reduce exposure to harmful chemicals and other substances.
Remain physically and mentally active with regular exercise but ensure to avoid overexertion or excessive exercise.
Thus, by adhering to the above-mentioned steps, both men and women should focus on their ability to safeguard their fertility, in particular, while trying to conceive.
Share this page
GarbhaGudi is a chain of New-Generation Infertility Treatment Hospitals equipped with state-of- art-infrastructure & cutting-edge IVF Technology to address infertility issues & their emotional & mental effects on couples. We have a team of qualified & experienced doctors; their in-depth knowledge & expertise leaves no stone unturned to solve all your infertility issues. The Supportive & caring staff is always by your side to motivate & guide you throughout the journey. GarbhaGudi IVF, the best fertility treatment hospital in Bangalore, provides emotional support to couples facing infertility issues and sexual problemsContact Us