While there have been many advances in healthcare over the past few decades, the fact is that close to 20% of women between the ages of 15-49 suffer from infertility. If you are suffering or feel you are at risk, then it’s good to know what the causes might be, and what options there are to help.
Causes of Infertility
The causes of infertility can be complicated. It could be something you can’t help, such as genetics, and it could be a result of lifestyle choices you’ve made. Here are some of the most common.
There are several menstrual issues that can cause infertility. You may be unable to ovulate, or have an irregular menstrual cycle. These are often caused by lifestyle, such as smoking or even stress. Avoiding both can fix menstrual issues.
Sometimes genetics can be the culprit, such as when you have structural issues in your reproductive system. This can include irregularly shaped ovaries, cervix, or uterus. These can also be caused by infections that were never treated, or scarring from injuries.
Hormones are crucial to the process of conception. If there is an imbalance, then your reproductive system will not be able to properly ovulate and accept implantation. There must be a proper hormonal balance and too much or too little of those that are needed for conception will cause problems.
Fallopian Tube Blockages
Your fallopian tubes can be delicate, and if they’ve been injured or have gotten blocked for any reason, then conception will be very hard. If they are completely blocked or severely injured, then you will not be able to conceive at all. When the fallopian tubes are blocked, the sperm is not able to get through to fertilize the egg. This can be caused by natural genetics, injury, surgeries, inflammation, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Male Fertility Issues
Most male fertility options are due to the testicles not functioning properly or a blockage. This can lead to a low sperm count or no sperm count at all. With a low sperm count there is a chance of conception, but the odds are very small.
Infertility Treatment Options
Luckily, there are treatment options for many of the issues above. None of them are 100% sure to lead to conception, but they can greatly increase the chances.
Sperm donation can help when the male partner has a low sperm count, or if there is no male partner at all. You can do this at a clinic, or choose a home insemination. A home insemination provides you with the opportunity to be in comfort and on your own schedule, rather than be dictated by a scheduled doctor’s appointment.
A surrogate carrier is someone who will get pregnant and give birth to someone else’s baby. The male partner will provide his sperm and the surrogate will do the rest. There needs to be a great amount of trust and respect between the surrogate and the eventual parents, since the process can be very hard on the human body.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF is the process of fertilizing an egg outside of the body. This can be used when there is an issue getting the sperm to the egg for fertilization. The woman’s egg is combined with sperm in a lab, and then reimplanted into the uterus after insemination has taken place.
Egg donation is like sperm donation, just in reverse. A donor female can donate her eggs to help out women who are experiencing infertility issues. After they are donated, they are inseminated with the male partner’s sperm, and then implanted into the recipient. This process can be done with frozen or fresh eggs.
The body is an incredible healing machine. Sometimes all it takes is allowing it to do its work without hindrance. When lifestyle choices are the causes of infertility, then changing those habits can reverse the issues. Stop smoking, lose weight, and seek out treatments to reduce the physical symptoms of stress. Doing any of these can make all the difference.
Having trouble conceiving is very hard. The dream of having a child and creating a family can feel like it is out of reach for a large segment of our population. However, there is hope. Any one of these treatment options could be the lifeline you are looking for.