WHAT IS INFERTILITY?
Infertility is simply an inability for a couple to produce a live birth or give birth to their offspring through natural sexual intercourse.
Male infertility refers to a male’s inability to cause pregnancy in a fertile female while female infertility is the inability of a female to conceive or carry a pregnancy.
A man’s fertility generally relies on the quantity and quality of his sperm. If the number of sperm a man ejaculates is low or if the sperm are of a poor quality, it will be difficult, and sometimes impossible, for him to cause a pregnancy.
While age is a factor in female fertility, most men are fertile until around age 60, even as sperm production starts to decline at age 40.
FACTS ABOUT INFERTILITY
• Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body’s ability to perform the basic function of reproduction.
• Infertility can affect men and women.
• In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility. For about one in five infertile couples the problem lies solely in the male partner..
CAUSES OF INFERTILITY
Male infertility is due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm: For a man to be fertile, he must be able to sustain an erection, have high sperm counts, and have enough semen to carry healthy, mature sperm to fertilize an egg. If one of these components is missing, male infertility may occur.
Another major cause of infertility in males is Hormone Disorder/ Imbalance.
For females, the most common cause of infertility is problems with ovulation (ovulation is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube and is made available to be fertilized), damage of the fallopian tubes or uterus, problems with the cervix, and age.
OBESITY: A RISK FACTOR OF INFERTILITY
A risk factor is any attribute, characteristic or exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing a disease or injury. Risk factors of male infertility are factors that increase the likelihood of infertility in men.
Obesity is simply the absorption of excess body fat that it starts to affect one’s health.
Obesity in males can lead to decreased testosterone and decreased libido (a person’s overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. It is possible for a man with body weight disorders to reverse their infertility by attaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Ejaculation volume is affected when a man is overweight as there will be a low interest in all sexual activities. Obese or overweight men find it difficult to produce high quantity and quality sperm compared to men with healthy weight. So this will increase the chance of infertility in males.
Obesity or excess weight in females can cause ovulation problems which is the major cause of female infertility. Maternal obesity can increase the rate of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, high blood pressure during pregnancy and birth defects.
Causes of Obesity
3. Medication and medical problems
One of the worst effect of obesity is it impact on fertility. Obesity elevates the secretion of a hormone named Leptin that preventys the successfukl fertilization possibilities. Obesity also can cause hormaonal inbalance in males which is a major cause of male infertility. It can also bring in erectile dysfuncytion and decrease libido for intercourse.
• If a couple has been trying for a pregnancy without success, they should go to their local doctor, family planning clinic or women’s health clinic, and have some initial tests. Both partners should be tested, even if one has a child from another relationship. Diagnosis can
involve a medical history from the man and a physical examination along with a semen analysis to check the number, shape and movement of sperm in the ejaculate. A urine or blood test for female to check for infections or hormonal problems. Ultrasound should be
done to look at the uterus and ovaries. Pelvic and breast exam.
• Blood tests may also be done to check the levels of hormones that control sperm
production. Genetic investigations and testicular biopsies are sometimes done.
TREATMENT OF MALE INFERTILITY
One in eight infertile men has a treatable condition, and after treatment, couples can become pregnant naturally.
• In some cases, the doctor will recommend that the couple seek assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as IVF (in vitro fertilization).
Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
ART do not cure or treat the cause of infertility but they can help couples achieve a pregnancy, even if the man’s sperm count is very low.
Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a form of IVF where a single sperm is placed directly into each egg by piercing the outer covering of the egg
• ICSI is particularly helpful for men with poor sperm production. Sperm are collected from
the semen or removed carefully from the testis or epididymis.
• ICSI can achieve pregnancies even when only a few sperm are produced.
TREATMENT OF FEMALE INFERTILITY
1 Taking medications to stimulate ovulation
2 keeping the weight off
3 taking antibiotics to remove an infection
4 see Doctors or Medical practitioner for assistance
Having minor surgery to remove blockage from the fallopian tube, uterus or pelvic area.
5 Using supplements to enhance fertility
Infertility is very wide spread but can be reduced and prevented. Men may be shocked when they find out they are infertile. There is still a common but incorrect belief that infertility is a woman’s problem. Therefore, when men are told there is a sperm problem, they are often unprepared. Being told that there is a sperm problem can affect a man’s sense of masculinity, sexuality and potency. Most infertile men at some time struggle with the idea that they are not able to do what other men can.
This is a challenge in our Society, being infertile especially for a man is seen as something shameful. Infertility may not be able to be cured at some particular stages but they are other ways as discussed above, for an infertile couple to have children.