INFERTILITY

19 Jun 2019

ABSTRACT –

It happens when a woman is unable to conceive even after several months of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control measures. Infertility can occur in both male and female. It’s a major cause for woman struggling to get pregnant. The reason is fertility issues with one partner or the combination of both the partners. In these cases, couples are advised to seek doctor’s consultation together. The decrease in the fertility rate can happen at different age period for both the genders. Females tend to have a drop in their fertility rate during 30’s and males rate falls at 40’s.

CAUSES –

  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and tobacco consumption
  • Eating disorders resulting into underweight
  • Excessive or insufficient exercise
  • Ageing
  • Damage from severe diseases and their treatment like cancer
  • Genetic factors

For Male Infertility-

  • Semen-sperm function and production problems
  • Difficulty in sperm delivery
  • Environmental factors
  • Exposure to various chemicals

For Female Infertility-

  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Uterine anomalies
  • Damage and inflammation in fallopian tube (Salpingitis)
  • Pelvic surgery

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS –

In Males –

  • Sexual problems
  • Low sperm counts
  • Swelling in the scrotum (varicocele) and testicles are small in size

In Females –

  • Not getting pregnant
  • Multiple miscarriages
  • Painful, Irregular or no menstruation
  • Endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease

DIAGNOSIS –

  • Chlamydia test: Samples are tested for the presence of chlamydia bacteria in the reproductive organs.
  • Blood test
  • Ultrasound and Imaging

Infertility test for Males –

  • Semen analysis
  • Test for hormones
  • Testicle Biopsy

Infertility test for Females-

  • Gynecologic examination
  • Hysterosalpingography – Fluid is injected into the uterus to check for the blockage
  • Laparoscopy – A thin, flexible tube with camera is inserted into pelvis and abdomen to look at the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tube

TREATMENT –

  • Increasing frequency of intercourse
  • Medications to increase testicular function in males and fertility drugs for females
  • Improve lifestyle factors by exercising regularly
  • Surgery
  • Avoiding risk of multiple pregnancies
  • Assisted reproductive technology like IUI (Intrauterine insemination)

RISK FACTORS –

  • Smoking, alcohol and drug abuse
  • Diet
  • STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections)
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Chemotherapy

PREVENTION –

  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption
  • Stay away from high temperatures
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid medications which might affect fertility
  • Quit smoking and drug intake
  • Maintain weight
  • Limit caffeine intake

EPIDEMIOLOGY –

  • It is estimated that approximately 10% to 15% of the reproductive aged couples goes through this condition globally.
  • Mostly 1 in 4 couples in the developing countries gets affected by infertility.
  • It has been observed that and1 in 10 men and 1 in 8 women aged between 16-74 years had experienced infertility in their lifetime.

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