Infertility

By: Kelly Kaelblein

Infertility

Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex. The inablility of a sexually active, non contracepting couple to achieve pregnancy in one year.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility can be caused through a series of things, or just one specific thing. A few examples of elements causing infertility are:


Male:

- Abnormal sperm production due to genetic defects or other heath problems

- Surgeries


Female:

- Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy (Ectopic Pregnancy: When the fetus develops outside the uterus)

- Physical problems with the uterus, such as uterine fibroids (Uterine fibroids: non-cancerous pieces of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus).

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of infertility are:


Women:

- The inability to become pregnant

- A menstrual cycle that is too long (35 days) or too short (21 or less days)

- Irregular ovulation


Men:

- Changes in hair growth

- Changes in sexual desire

- Pain, lump, or swelling in the testicles

- Problems with erections and ejaculation

- Small, firm testicles

Treatments/Cures

Treatment for infertility depends on how long you've been infertile, your age and your partner's age, and many personal preferences. Although, with treatment, an infertile woman may still become pregnant with assisted reproductive technology.


Treatment for Men:

- Treating infections

- Treatments for sexual intercourse problems

- Hormone treatments/medications

- Surgery

- Assisted reproductive technology (ART)


Treatment for Women:

- Stimulating ovulation with fertility drugs

- Intrauterine insemination

- Surgery to restore fertility

5 Facts about Infertility

- Ages 19-40 are affected the most

- Usually resolved within months

- Infertility is equally as common between men and women

- 28% of infertility is caused unexplainably.

- You can prevent infertility by keeping a stable weight, quitting smoking, drugs, and alcohol abuse, and keeping caffeine intake levels down.