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Infertility – what could be its causes?

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Infertility – what could be its causes?

Many couples, despite long efforts, cannot wait to have a child. What may be the reasons of problems with getting pregnant?

The majority of women and men, starting a family, dream that it will grow bigger over time. Unfortunately it turns out that for some people, despite their efforts, a child does not appear. Why does it happen and what can be done about it?

Infertility as a social disease

The scale of the phenomenon, which is infertility in recent years has increased significantly – so much so that the World Health Organization decided to recognize it as a social disease. Some people mistakenly think that after the first month of trying a woman should be pregnant, and if this does not happen, it means there is a problem. Nothing could be further from the truth. It often takes some time before a child is conceived. Women under 30 should visit an infertility clinic at the earliest after a year of unsuccessful attempts, women between 30 and 40 – after six months

Many couples are convinced that if they haven’t had a child, then apparently “nature intended it that way”, but nowadays medicine is so advanced that in many cases if the cause of the problem is identified it can be quickly remedied

Causes of female infertility

It is estimated that the problem with getting pregnant lies in 40% of cases on the part of the woman and in 40% on the part of the man, while in the remaining 20% both of them are to blame or the cause of infertility cannot be determined

In women, infertility is most often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This is a hormonal disorder characterized by too many male sex hormones – androgens – in the blood. This condition usually manifests itself as menstrual disorders and results in lack of ovulation and infertility. It is assumed that PCOS occurs as a result of an enzyme disorder that is responsible for the production of male hormones in the adrenal glands and ovaries. Treatment for polycystic ovaries usually begins with increasing a woman’s physical activity and weight reduction. This is followed by drug treatment to correct the hormonal imbalance. Very often this is cured, so that the woman later has a chance at motherhood

Another common problem (on the woman’s side) of infertility is endometriosis. This condition is the migration of the tissue lining the uterus (endometrium) out of the uterus. Outbreaks of endometrium usually occur in the fallopian tubes or ovaries, less commonly on the lungs or intestines. The disease is usually asymptomatic, with occasional pain in the sacral region, during urination or bowel movements. Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. Laparoscopy may help

Problems with conceiving a child may also be caused by uterine myomas. It is estimated that every fourth woman aged 30-50 has one or more myomas. Myomas cause long periods, problems with getting pregnant and miscarriages. Depending on their size, the doctor decides whether to treat them with drugs or to operate

Other causes of infertility in women are:

  • polyps (if present in the uterine body);
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (often occurs after an artificial miscarriage);
  • ovarian failure (may be due to, for example, immune factors and cancer therapy);
  • hyperprolactinemia (too much prolactin in the body);
  • history of surgery (within the abdominal cavity);
  • ovulation disorders;
  • damage to fallopian tubes;
  • thyroid diseases;
  • turner syndrome (a genetic disorder involving two X chromosomes);
  • obesity,
  • gonorrhea (and many other diseases that are sexually transmitted);
  • alcoholism;

Causes of infertility in men

For men, infertility is usually caused by reduced semen parameters, usually these are:

  • asthenospermia – reduced sperm motility;
  • oligospermia – too few sperm, less than 15 million per milliliter;
  • teratospermia – too few (less than 4%) sperm are properly formed;
  • fSH deficiency;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • infection in the epididymis or prostate gland.

The above cases do not mean that there is no chance of conceiving a child, but they do limit the chances of conception. However, if a man has azoospermia, which is a complete lack of sperm in the sperm, it means complete infertility.

Read also: Can diet and exercise make it harder to get pregnant?

Main photo: Maksymiv Iurii/ adobestock.com

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