Infertility is the medical term related to the failure in conceiving despite having regular, unprotected sex for 6 months to 1 year, as per your age.
Primarily, not able to conceive or get pregnant is the biggest and the most obvious symptom of infertility. In most cases, that is the only apparent symptom and the patient might not experience any other symptoms.
The reason behind the infertility is the birth-giver of the symptoms that a patient is experiencing. Sometimes there are no visible causes and in some cases, there are other health conditions that negatively impact the patient’s ability to get pregnant.
In women, if there is a sudden alteration in the ovulation timings or in the menstrual cycle, then it can be a symptom of disease leading to infertility. Symptoms being:
In some cases, hormonal issues can lead to infertility. If you are experiencing a combination of 2 or more of these symptoms, then it can be a symptom of hormonal issues.
Some strong indicators of problems that may cause infertility are:
Infertility Symptoms in Men
In men, infertility symptoms are hard to point out. In most cases, a man may only notice that he has issues leading to infertility when he attempts to become a father. Infertility Symptoms in men can be vague. They may go unnoticed until a man tries to have a baby.
Just as in the female case, the cause of the infertility is the reason behind the symptoms. They can include:
When to see a doctor
Unless you have continuously tried to conceive for nearly 8-12 months and have failed in conceiving, chances are you don’t even need to go to a doctor to test yourself for infertility. However, if you are not able to get pregnant after regular attempts for almost a year, then you should definitely pay a visit to the doctor.
But, you may need to contact the doctor earlier, if you’re a woman and:
Talk with your doctor if you’re a man and:
Reproduction is a complex wonder of nature which involves a set of processes working out in the right manner. Any issue in any of these processes can lead to infertility. It is possible that any one of the couple or both might have some or the other issue that might be causing infertility. So, the investigation, diagnosis, and treatment should be performed keeping the couple in mind, and not just one person.
Typically, up to 40% of infertility cases are a result of sperm-related issues. A healthy functioning of the male reproductive system involves the production of a healthy number of sperm cells, the sperms should have healthy mobility, and then they should be delivered in the ejaculation. The focus areas of the diagnosis being sperm mobility, form of the sperm, and sperm count.
Even in the female cases, typically 40% of infertility cases are due to issues in female reproductive organs. Common causes of female infertility are mentioned here:
In some cases, even after undergoing thorough diagnosis, the cause of infertility is not visible. This can be demotivating and frustrating for the couples because being clueless about the reason causing infertility is as bad as it sounds. In these cases, longer the duration of infertility has been, sooner the couple should consider external intervention.
Here is a list of factors that can negatively impact your ability to ovulate, carry a pregnancy, or conceive:
Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs)
STDs can cause various complications in both men and women. Problems like a pelvic inflammatory disease in women or epididymitis in men can be seen. Women have a higher chance of facing complications and can face issues like blocked tubes, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and ultimately, infertility. Adequate measures should be taken to ensure STDs are not contracted.
Problems related to your fallopian tube can be cause for almost 20% cases of infertility.
Endometriosis is a disease that causes the uterine tissue to be found outside the uterus and on ovaries or fallopian tubes and even on bladder and bowel. If detected early, this issue can be solved easily and should not cause any problems to your ability to conceive. Typical symptoms are painful menstrual cramps, very heavy flow, painful bowel movements during your period, diarrhea, or pain while having sex, etc. If it runs in the family, then you should consult a doctor just to be sure.
Treatment of infertility is standard. It’s a step by step process where you first look for the cause of infertility, then the duration for which you were fertile, age of the partners and any personal preferences
Some causes of infertility can’t be corrected
Do remember that there are some cases where the cause of infertility cannot be diagnosed. In this case, the couple might have to look for assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods where artificial ways of conceiving are used to overcome challenges related to infertility.
Treatment for Men
Treatment for women
Assisted reproductive technology
ART includes any and all kinds of treatment in which both eggs and embryos are handled outside. A typical ART procedure involves surgically extracting eggs from the woman’s body and combining it with a sperm inside a laboratory, and then either place it back inside that woman’s body or donating it to another woman. IVF or In Vitro Fertilization is the most common ART technique. Some other techniques are Assisted hatching, ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection), Gestational carrier, Donor eggs or sperm.
Complications of treatment
Infertility treatment can lead to one or more of the following problems: