Infertility is the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse in women under 35, or after six months in women over 35, or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
During coitus between a male and female, the female egg (ovum) and the male sperm come together in the uterus, and unite to form the embryo. This process is known as conception.
Infertility affects 1 in 6 couples. Approximately 40% of infertility cases are caused by female factors, 40% are caused by male factors, and 20% are caused by a combination of both. The average chance of becoming pregnant each cycle is only 20%. It takes 5-6 month for the average fertility couple to conceive. More than 900,000 babies are conceived each day worldwide. Ovulation abnormalities and sperm deficiencies are responsible for two-third of infertility problems. Most women are about 30 percent less fertile in their late 30's than they were in their 20s, according to the National Women's Health Resource Centre. 1 in 4000 men in the general population have Y chromosome deletion that can contribute to infertility. 1 in 20 couples who experience infertility have chromosomal rearrangement. Conception rates for normal healthy couples are 20- 25% per menstrual cycle.
No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. In only about one-third of cases is infertility due to the woman (female factors). In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown factors.
The cause of infertility may be due to problems in the man, the woman, or both, Primary causes of infertility are sperm disorders (35% of couples), decreased ovarian reserve or ovulatory (20%), tubal dysfunction and pelvic lesions (30%), abnormal cervical mucus (5%) and unidentified factors (10%).
Female infertility is mainly related to problems in ovulation, cervical mucus, pelvic and tubal factor and uterine factors.
Male infertility is mainly related to sperm disorders. Research has shown that sperm count worldwide has dropped by 50 percent since count the 1940s.The reason is probably environment (food, water and air) pollution involving chemicals. Sperm disorder includes low sperm motility, poor sperm quality. Most cases of low sperm counts are unexplained.
The number and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his overall health and lifestyle. Some things that may reduce sperm number and / or quality include :
Some simple abnormalities may be improved by reducing stress, reducing heat to the genitals (eg. Avoidance of tight clothing, saunas or hot tubs), or by changing harmful lifestyle habits (avoiding tabacco, alcohol, or drugs such as marijuana) Short tem illnesses, significant stressful periods, and some medications may temporarily affect sperm count.
Many things can affect a woman's ability to have a baby. These include
Approximately 10% of infertile women suffer from unexplained infertility. This simply means that the commonly performed tests to diagnoses the cause of infertility are all normal and do not define the reason for infertility. Usually such problems due to :
One can improve fertility and chances of conception by
A balanced diet is essential for the body to function properly. Supplements help improve fertility. Lack of protein and calories from malnourishment is a cause of infertility, so adequate nutrition should be the basis for treatment of any illness, including infertility.