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Infertility and Reproduction

Infertility and Reproduction

Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after 12 cycles of trying, and is known as a disease of the reproductive system. A wide number of issues can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, which can be from a female factor or male factor. About 30% of infertility cases are from male factor infertility and 30% due to female factors. 20% of infertility is unexplained where no cause can be found while 10% is caused by a combination of both partners. Since every cycle there is only a 20% change of getting pregnant even for fertile couples, infertile couples have a much lower chance.

Causes of Infertility

There is no exact cause of infertility but there are a variety of risk factors. Most of them relate to your lifestyle choices though some can’t be helped in many cases. One of the common risk factors for infertility women is her age. After age 35, a woman’s fertility and egg quality begins declining and by age 40, her ability to get pregnant has decreased to 67%. At age 45, it drops to 15%. Other factors include emotional factors like stress or depression which can affect men and woman, occupational and environmental risks, having unprotected sex with multiple partners which increases your risk of STDs and STIs, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and being overweight or underweight.

Symptoms of Infertility

The signs and symptoms of infertility vary in men and women, aside from the inability to get pregnant after a full year of trying. Aside from not being able to get pregnant, men and women may notice things that might signal a fertility problem. In women, it is more obvious because they may have irregular menstrual cycles, bleeding in between periods, or signs of endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome. For men, there may be no symptoms at all but if he notices a low amount of semen upon ejaculating, he should see a doctor because it may signal a problem.

Diagnosing and Treating Infertility

A variety of tests are performed for men and women to diagnose infertility. For men, he may have a physical examination, hormone testing, semen analysis, or a scrotal ultrasound. Women have more tests to be done, including ovulation testing, hysterosalpingography, hormone testing, laparoscopy, pelvic ultrasound, genetic testing, or ovarian reserve testing. Treatments vary depending on the cause and severity of infertility. For men, lifestyle changes like diet or possibly medications may help a low sperm, motility, or morphology count. In women, a variety of medications are available and fertility treatments are also an option.
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