Are you worried about infertility?
Nowadays, more and more couples find it difficult to have a child quickly, which does not mean that they will never have one: often, it only takes one treatment and / or one a little more time than the “average” to finally enjoy this happy moment.
Who can be infertile? What are the causes ? Can we prevent it? You will find all this information in this article
Infertility: what is it?
When a couple is trying to conceive but unable to conceive a child naturally after at least one year of repeated attempts (or six months of attempts if you are over 35). According to the statistics, it would affect between 10% to 15% of couples. There is also 10% of cases in which the reasons for infertility are not found: it is called idiopathic infertility.
What are the causes of infertility?
The causes of infertility are too numerous to mention. In women, it is mainly abnormalities of ovulation (examples: rare ovulations, or total absence of ovulation), an infection of the uterine horns (example: salpingitis), an endometriosis, the presence of numerous cysts on the ovaries (polycystic ovary syndrome), or thyroid disorders. In males, infertility is often linked to the quality of sperm: sperm are in small quantities (oligospermia) for example, or even completely absent. Or they are present, but suffer from malformations (teratospermia) and / or are so little (asthenospermia) that they can not join the egg to fertilize it. Infertility can also be directly related to ejaculation problems, such as premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation (the sperm is ejected not outwards, but in the male bladder). Some treatments also often cause infertility in men and women, including taking anti-cancer drugs.
Age, an important risk factor
The main “natural” risk factor is your age: it has indeed a significant influence on your fertility. Its at peak during the twenties, it decreases a little at the age of 30 (75% chance of having a child after one year), then more quickly after 35 years (66% chance of having a child to have a child after one year) until becoming almost nil at the age of 45. Contrary to popular belief, men are not immune to this phenomenon, although to a lesser extent: their fertility decreases very gradually from the age of 25 years. However, this does not prevent many men from having children at very advanced ages!
What are the other risk factors?
For male and female both, excessive consumption of alcohol, drugs and tobacco is high among the main risk factors for infertility. Not to mention the risks of miscarriages or fetal malformations related to these substances … Excessive consumption of caffeine can also promote infertility.
A cause of infertility: ovulation disorders
It may be an absence of mid-cycle ovulation, infrequent or irregular ovulation. Such disturbances of ovulation can result in fertility problems. Recall that the optimal fertilization period is between 4 days before ovulation and 2 days after.
Hormonal disorders, causing infertility
These hormonal disorders can be induced by some drug treatments may be, but also by pollution. Indeed, our environment and our food expose us more and more toxic substances accused of being endocrine disruption, that is to say, able to disrupt our hormonal balance.
Tubes can be blocked, damaged or absent. This can occur as a result of infection, surgery for ectopic pregnancy, or sterilization.
An abnormality of the cervix can lead to infertility
The cervix may be responsible for infertility. This is the case, for example, after surgical treatment, which can modify the production and the quality of the cervical mucus, essential for the penetration of spermatozoa.
Uterine Fibroid, Ovarian cyst and endometriosis
The presence of one or more fibroids, polyps or polycystic ovaries also hinders fertility because these tumors hinder the implantation of the embryo. They increase the risk of miscarriage.
Endometriosis increases the risk of infertility: this disease is characterized by migration of endometrial fragments outside the uterus. Endometriosis causes pelvic pain, menstrual disorders, but it is also the most common cause of infertility in women.
How to prevent from infertility?
Many causes of infertility can unfortunately not be prevented. On the other hand, you can greatly reduce the risk of infertility by having, you and your spouse, a healthy lifestyle: do not smoke, do not drink too much alcohol, watch your weight … Also opt for a good frequency of reports to boost your fertility: three to four times sex a week are normally sufficient to have a child. Beyond that, it seems that the quality of semen can drop.
Infertility: diagnosis and treatment
There are so many possible causes of infertility that the diagnosis may require many exams. Among the most common in males are spermograms (to evaluate the quantity and quality of spermatozoa) and ultrasound of the genitals. On the female side, there is a test to assess the quality of cervical mucus. Other routine tests also include blood tests to check for hormonal activity, pelvic ultrasound and hysterosalpingography (a medical imaging examination to look at the Fallopian tubes and uterus). As for the treatment, it depends directly on the cause. In both men and women, it may include hormonal treatment, drug treatment or surgery. Often, treatment is enough to have a baby naturally, but it is also sometimes necessary to use in vitro fertilization (IVF).