Infertility, its sign, symptoms and diagnosis

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It’s a topic that’s not often talked about, but infertility affects many couples who are trying to conceive. In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why couples may have difficulty getting pregnant, as well as some of the treatments that are available to them. Along this we will try to discuss here different sign, symptoms and diagnosis of infertility also.

What is infertility?

When we think of infertility, we often think of not being able to conceive a child. However, fertility is a complex issue and there is more to it than just that.  

Word Health Organization definition of infertility

Infertility can be defined in different ways. Infertility is described in many ways by various people. World Health Organization (WHO) defines infertility similarly, calling it “a disorder of the reproductive system defined by inability to obtain a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” Inability to become pregnant is the simplest definition of infertility. It is that situation where a couple engages in unprotected intercourse yet does not reproduce.

Infertility can also refer to a condition in which a woman is unable to carry her pregnancy to successful outcome with giving birth to a normal child. Infertility is a condition where you are unable to conceive after a year of trying. To put it another way, it’s not only about being unable to conceive; it’s also about being unable to bear a child.

Infertility can be caused by a variety of variables, such as age, health issues, lifestyle choices, and more. It’s important to keep in mind that fertility is a natural process and that there are numerous ways to become a parent. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and thyroid disorders can all be contributing factors to infertility in females. Low testosterone or low sperm counts may be seen in men who are having fertility issues. The likelihood of infertility rises with age.

Miscarriage also a symptom of infertility
Miscarriage also a symptom of infertility

How many Types of infertility?

Primary and secondary infertility are the two basic categories of infertility.

1). Primary Infertility

The form of infertility known as primary refers to a woman who has never gotten pregnant and is unable to conceive after a year.

2). Secondary Infertility

Another form of infertility that is mentioned is the kind that affects women who at least had a kid after a successful pregnancy but who are now unable to conceive after that first successful pregnancy.

As every disease have some responsible factors and for treatment of that disease it is very important to find out the responsible factors before treatment solutions of responsible factors required. Besides responsible factors, knowing about the symptoms of each disease is also very important. Like other diseases, many factors bring about infertility. There are also some important symptoms, the presence of which point out the possibility of infertility in individuals. So, it is very important to find out about the symptoms first before you try to do so with the causes and treatment.

Risk factors for Infertility

As already discuss there are different risk factors responsible for infertility. Risk factors for males and females are somewhat different. Following are the risk factors responsible for infertility in males and females. 

What are the risk factors for female infertility?

Following are the factors that can contribute to female infertility.

  • Abnormal menstruation.
  • Blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Celiac disease.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Past ectopic (tubal) pregnancy.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Pituitary gland disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian cysts, and primary ovarian insufficiency.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Uterine problems, including endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps.
  • Thyroid disease.

What are the risk factors for male infertility?

Following are the responsible factors that can cause male infertility.

  • Enlarged veins (varicocele) in the scrotum, the sac that holds the testicles.
  • Genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.
  • High heat exposure to testicles from tight clothing or frequent use of hot tubs and saunas.
  • Injury to the scrotum or testicles.
  • Low sperm count or low testosterone (hypogonadism).
  • Misuse of anabolic steroids.
  • Premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation (semen flows back into the bladder).
  • Testicular cancer and treatments.
  • Undescended testicles.

Sign and Symptoms of infertility

Following are some common symptoms of infertility present in males and females. Symptoms are different in males and females, so it is very important to know about these symptoms.

1). Irregular Menstrual Cycle

A menstrual cycle is a regular process that a woman’s body goes through when she does not have her period. Menstruation is the shedding of the uterine lining that has built up in preparation for pregnancy. Menstrual cycles vary greatly from woman to woman and can last anywhere from 21-35 days. The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days. An irregular menstrual cycle is one of the important symptoms present in most females. An irregular menstrual cycle is one in which the length of time between periods varies from month to month. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, weight gain or loss, and changes in hormones. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, it’s important to track your cycles so that you can predict when your next period will occur. When your menstrual cycle is irregular and lasts longer than 35 days or less than 24 days, this may indicate ovulation problems. You may also want to talk to your doctor to see if there is anything you can do to regulate your cycle.

2). Unnatural bleeding

Bleeding is a normal process during the cycle of the female. Bleeding for three to seven days is normal, but if it lasts longer than that, you need to get checked out. Menstrual cramps that you experience regularly may be one of the signs of infertility. You should visit your doctor if you are bleeding moderately or excessively.

3). Obesity and underweight

Your fertility may be impacted by the foods you eat, your eating habits, and your exercise program. One of the leading reasons for infertility is obesity, followed by being underweight. While someone who is underweight cannot generate any eggs or sperm cells at all, an obese person can make viable eggs and sperm cells. Due to increased levels of testosterone production that block the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which eventually starts to block follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), being obese might result in male infertility (FSH). Male underweight can also result in infertility because it raises the likelihood that blood testosterone levels will drop, which lowers fertility. Other conditions, such as anorexia nervosa and its related amenorrhea, which affects both male and female fertility, may also be a part of the issue.

4). Other medical conditions

Fatal illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and a few other serious medical conditions may also be responsible and symptoms of infertility. These diseases themselves can be the leading cause of infertility, particularly medicines that are used for the treatment of these diseases.

5). Older Age

If you are 35 years of age or older, your chances of being infertile are considerable. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s publication Age and Fertility: A Guide for Patients It has been updated to say that a woman under 30 now has a 20% chance of getting pregnant in any given month, compared to a woman over 40 who only has a 5% chance. Age also has an impact on fertility and can lead to both infertility and miscarriage.

6). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) 

The term “infertility” encompasses both the inability to conceive and the inability to maintain normal pregnancy over the long term. If your partner’s past has included STIs, which are the types of inflammation or infection that can restrict the fallopian tubes and make getting pregnant difficult. Men’s fertility problems can also be brought on by untreated STIs. Semen transmission may become difficult or impossible in males with scar tissue in their male reproductive system.

7). Smoking and Drinking 

While drinking alcohol affects both men and women equally, smoking is one of the common causes of infertility in women. Smoking negatively affects sperm counting, sperm shape, and sperm movement

8). Impotence or ejaculatory problems

To determine if you have a low sperm count, consult your doctor who will perform a sperm analysis tests. Besides this sperm shape and movement also affect fertility and remain one of the important symptoms of infertility.

9). Exposure to Toxic Chemical

Another significant contributing cause to infertility is exposure to hazardous chemicals. People who work in settings where they are constantly exposed to harmful chemicals are at significant risk of infertility, and working in these environments is one of the key indicators of infertility. Numerous hazardous compounds have the potential to harm sperm and lower sperm counts. Welders, metal workers, painters, farmers, and varnishers have all been proven to be at risk for infertility.

Risk factors for infertility

There are many similar risk factors for male and female infertility. They include:

i). Older Age

Age-related losses in women’s fertility are noticeable, especially in the mid-30s, and beyond age 37, it declines quickly. Infertility in older women is most often carried on by the decreasing quantity and quality of eggs, though it can also be caused by fertility-related health issues. Men over 40 may have lower fertility than men of earlier ages.

ii). Use of Tobacco

As was already mentioned, smoking by any partner may decrease the likelihood of pregnancy. Additionally, smoking lowers the potential efficacy of reproductive treatments. Women who smoke are more likely to experience miscarriages. Men who smoke are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction and poor sperm counts.

iii). Drinking of Alcohol 

The use of alcohol also affects the fertility rate of both partners. There is no acceptable level of alcohol consumption for women during pregnancy or conception. Alcohol consumption may be a factor in infertility. Heavy drinking can reduce sperm count and motility in men. So it is very important to stop using alcohol to get a successful pregnancy.

iv). Being overweight

Being overweight is another important factor here in this race of life. Being overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle may make women more susceptible to infertility. Being overweight might also have an impact on a man’s sperm count.

v). Being underweight

Infertility is a result of both being overweight and underweight. Women who have eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia, or who follow an extremely low-calorie or restrained diet run the risk of experiencing reproductive problems. Men that are overweight have reduced sperm counts.

Infertility, its sign, symptoms and diagnosis
Infertility, its sign, symptoms and diagnosis

Diagnosis of infertility

There are different methods used for the diagnosis purposes of infertility in females and Males. Following procedures may help in the diagnosis process of infertility in both gender.

Diagnosis of infertility in Female

1. Pelvic exam

2. Blood tests for hormone imbalance

3. Transvaginal ultrasound

4. Hysteroscopy

5. Saline sonohysterogram (SIS)

6. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

7. Laparoscopy

Read more: Happy mommies make healthy babies

Diagnosis of infertility in male

Following investigations are used for the diagnosis of infertility among males.

A). Semen analysis

Sperm is responsible for fertility. So for fertility normal sperm is required. The sperm test is known as semen analysis. Semen analysis is used to test the count and physiology of sperm. Semen analysis test is an important test for the diagnosis of infertility in males. 

B). Blood test

Blood investigation is another diagnosis procedure for infertility in males. In males, blood tests may be performed for knowing the level of testosterone, thyroid hormones, and other hormone levels.  

C). Scrotal ultrasound

Ultrasound of the scrotum is used to know any testicular problems or presence of varicoceles.

Treatment of infertility

If you’re struggling with infertility, you’re not alone. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, about 15% of couples in the United States have difficulty conceiving. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are several treatment options available to help you and your partner conceive.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most popular and effective treatments for infertility. IVF involves retrieving eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then implanted into the uterus. IVF has a success rate of about 40% for women under 35.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a variation of IVF that’s often used when there are problems with the man’s sperm. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into an egg. The resulting embryo is then implanted into the uterus. ICSI has a success rate of about 30% for all women, regardless of age.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) refers to any fertility treatment that involves handling both eggs and sperm or embryos in a lab. This includes IVF, ICSI, and embryo transfer. The success rate of ART varies from person to person but its outcome is successful in most cases.

Infertility is a significant and difficult problem for infertile couples, and it can lead to serious problems in the family and depression related to pregnancy in wedding couple. Therefore, it is crucial to educate yourself on fertility and infertility and pay close attention to any infertility symptoms because this is the only method to make an early diagnosis of infertility.

Infertility, its sign, symptoms and diagnosis

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