Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after one whole year of trying. If the woman is older than 35, then six months of trying is considered sufficient to be considered infertile. Infertility is a fairly common problem especially with Indian women waiting for their careers to be launched successfully before taking on another important role. Infertility can be due to either the man or the woman and in some cases a combination of both.
What causes infertility
The most common cause for infertility in men is varicocele which occurs when the veins on a man’s testicles are too large. This results in the overheating of the testicles which affects the sperm count and quality of the sperm.
Another factor that may result in male fertility is motility of the sperm. Also previous injury to the reproductive system may result in the sperm being blocked. The shape of a man’s sperm can affect the movement of his sperm too. Men that suffer from impotence or premature ejaculation also experience fertility problems. Other factors that impact a man’s fertility are heavy drug and alcohol use, certain medications and age.
Most infertility in women is caused by issues with ovulation. Some women do not ovulate regularly or not at all, therefore producing no eggs that can be fertilized. Polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS) is another major player in infertility among women. Here, a hormone imbalance interferes with a woman’s ability to ovulate. Primary ovarian insufficiency where a woman’s ovaries stop functioning in her 20s and 30s can lead to infertility as well.
A history of ectopic pregnancies resulting from endometriosis, fibroids or pelvic inflammatory disease can render a woman infertile.As in the case of men, physical trauma to the reproductive system can also result in a woman’s infertility.However, age continues to be the number one factor that contributes to a woman’s fertility. Aging results in the woman’s eggs being not as healthy, being fewer in number along with hormone levels that may not be sufficient to sustain a pregnancy.
How is infertility treated
With the technological advancements in India today, a woman has never had more avenues for trying to get pregnant than now. Especially if you are a couple over 35 years old, doctors treat infertility aggressively and will recommend that you skip many of the steps that younger couples may take to increase your chances of getting pregnant quickly.
For women whose fertility issues arise from difficulty ovulating, stimulating the ovaries to produce mature eggs is the most common approach. This can be done with clomiphene or hormone shots. If this doesn’t work, invitro fertilization or IVF can be attempted in which the eggs and sperm are mixed in a lab; the fertilized egg or eggs are then delivered to the uterus where implantation can take place.
For men who have fertility issues, artificial insemination where the sperm is delivered directly to the uterus is the first approach. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be successful for men whose sperm motility is insufficient. IVF can also be helpful for men whose sperm count is low.
Infertility can seem unfair and cruel, but its rising numbers are a hard truth in present times. For those that reject medical intervention, there are many naturopathic and homeopathic approaches that have met with success. For others still, adoption is the natural choice.
Whichever way you go, just know that you are not alone. Many Indian couples deal with infertility but have never been more hopeful about the future with so many choices being available to them. Keep the faith, tomorrow is another day.