Infertility

InfertilityWhat is Infertility?

Infertility refers to the condition wherein couples are unable to conceive after having unprotected intercourse regularly. This could also refer to individuals who cannot do his or her part in the process of conception. For females, the inability to carry a pregnancy up to its full term is also referred to as infertility. For males, having low sperm counts is often regarded as infertility, which makes it hard for fertilization to occur.

 

What Causes Infertility?

Since infertility could occur in both men and women, there are different causes for each sex.

Causes of Female Infertility

  • Damage in the uterus brought about by fibroids or infection
  • Retroversion of the uterus
  • Fallopian tubes are blocked
  • Abnormalities in the structure of the fallopian tubes or uterus
  • Imbalanced menstruation
  • Underdeveloped eggs
  • Failure to balance the reproductive hormones
  • Obesity
  • Endometriosis
  • Deficiencies in certain micronutrients such as Vitamin B & E, potassium, magnesium and zinc, as well as essential fatty acids.

Causes of Male Infertility

  • Low sperm count
  • Ejaculatory disorders
  • Impotence
  • Enlarged scrotal veins
  • Accumulation of fluids in the scrotum
  • Glandular diseases like diabetes
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Being exposed to different toxins like those found in alcohol and drugs

What are the Risk Factors?

The following are the known risk factors that could lead to infertility.

  • Smoking. This usually puts men and women at risk for infertility. At times, there are cases wherein even pregnant women could still suffer from miscarriage if they keep on smoking.
  • Being overweight or obese. Studies have shown that overweight women who live sedentary lifestyle tend to suffer from infertility. This often occurs in highly industrialized countries. Men who are overweight are also at risk of suffering from infertility too.
  • Aging. This is one of the most prevalent factors that contribute to infertility. When a person ages, infertility usually starts to set in. For women, when they reach the age of 32, their fertility starts dropping. For men, their sperm count decreases as they age.
  • Excessive exercising. Women who workout or exercise a lot in a week usually suffer from ovulation problems. Exercise must not exceed more than 7 hours in a week.
  • Alcohol. Taking in alcohol could affect fertility of men and women. Pregnant women should avoid taking alcohol since this could greatly affect their pregnancy.
  • Being sedentary. This has also been found to lead to infertility.
  • Being mentally stressed. Certain studies have shown that men and women’s fertility is affected whenever they undergo mental stress.

Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Infertility

Infertility cannot be determined at the outset. One could notice this if one is keen on observing bodily changes.

Some Warning Signs of Infertility in Women

  • Irregular cycle
  • Bleeding
  • Severe menstrual cramps
  • Being older than 35
  • Overweight, obese or underweight
  • 3 successive miscarriages
  • Suffering from chronic illness

Warning Sign of Infertility in Men

While it may be easier to detect infertility in women due to external symptoms such as bleeding and irregular cycle, it is highly different in men. A man could have sex with his partner without any knowledge that he is already suffering from infertility. The only sure sign of infertility in males is the inability of his partner to get pregnant after a year of regular and unprotected intercourse.

Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Infertility

While there may be causes of infertility that could not be cured readily, lowering one’s risk of developing infertility is the best way to protect oneself from suffering from such an undesirable condition.

Diet for Infertility (What to eat and what not to eat)

Foods to Avoid

  • Foods that contain caffeine must be avoided. These foods include coffee, cola and chocolate. Caffeine has been shown to decrease the chance for conception. It great affects impotence.
  • Alcohol could greatly diminish fertility. It lowers the sperm count and even impairs sperm motility. This results to the prevention of the sperm to be implanted on the woman.
  • Foods that contain high levels of saturated fats should be avoided too. Some of these foods are junk foods and other pre-packaged meals. Salt and sugar could deplete the body of the nutrients that are needed for conception.
  • If you have intolerance, it is best to avoid dairy, because these foods could lead to nutrient malabsorption.
  • Avoid wheat, or any other food that contains wheat. Steer clear of cakes, pasta, biscuits and even pizza.
  • Sugary snacks have to be avoided too.
  • Soya, as what researches have shown, negatively affects fertility and must be avoided too.
  • Foods with preservatives and other additives have to be excluded in the diet. Avoid foods that contain tartazine as this has been known to lower zinc levels.
  • Avoid non-organic foods since they could disrupt the hormones.

Friendly Foods

  • Good quality protein could provide healthy hormones and sperm. Go for organic lean meat and eggs. Go for organic vegetables and fish too.
  • Fibre from whole grains could help in reducing excess oestrogen levels. Good sources are barley, brown rice, oats and millet.
  • Zinc-rich foods such as brown rice, beans, lentils and organic nuts and seeds could help in making the sperm stronger.
  • Essential fats like Omega-3 helps in producing healthy hormones. This can be derived from sardines, mackerel, salmon and herrings. Try to have any of these at least once a week.
  • Selenium-rich foods. These could help in egg production in females. Foods like garlic, brown rice, barley and oats are good sources.
  • Manganese-rich foods could help in ovulation. Nuts, brown rice and barley are actually good sources.
  • Never forget fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods contain Vitamin C that could improve sperm motility. Some foods rich in Vitamin C are kiwi, broccoli, strawberry, oranges, blackcurrants and red and yellow peppers.
  • If you are deficient in iron, eat more good quality meat, most especially liver, eggs and turkey.

Helpful Lifestyle Suggestions

  • Stop smoking. Cigarette smoke contains toxins which could hamper fertility.
  • Alcohol has to be avoided too.
  • Limit the amount of chemicals that are found in your home. Use eco-friendly products.
  • Try to avoid a lot of exposure to computers and mobile phones, as well as other electrical equipment.
  • Check the side effects of prescription drugs that each other is taking.
  • Avoid stress because this could lower the chance for a couple to conceive.
  • For men, avoid sitting for long periods since this could increase the temperature in the area in the testicles, which contributes to a reduction in male fertility.
  • If you are overweight, try to reduce it and maintain normal weight.

 

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