Signs and Symptoms of Infertility

Signs and Symptoms of Infertility
Reprinted From  Megavista

Infertility is the inability for a couple to conceive a child despite having regular unprotected sex. After 1 - 2 years of attempting to naturally conceive, approximately 85 percent of couples will find themselves pregnant. Although one in seven couples have difficulty conceiving, the number of couples who are actually infertile is relatively low. There are two types of infertility; primary infertility and secondary infertility. Primary infertility is if you have never naturally conceived a child, and secondary infertility is if you have had one or more babies in the past, but are having difficulty conceiving again.

There are many reasons for infertility. It is often commonly regarded as a problem specific to women but within 80 percent of cases with couples who are diagnosed as infertile, half of these are partially also due to male factors. Signs of male infertility can include a condition called azoospermia; a lack of sperm production or oligospermia, whereby he produces too few sperm required to fertilize the female egg. Symptoms of infertility which occur in females are most commonly a related to ovulation disorders. If a female fails to ovulate, this prevents egg fertilization. Symptoms of ovulation problems include irregular menstrual periods or a lack of periods altogether, also referred to as amenorrhea. Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to ovulation problems. If the fallopian tubes are blocked at one or both ends, this will also be problematic as the egg is then unable to travel through the tubes into the uterus.

Although there is no specific time frame to say when a couple is infertile, your GP will only advise you seek medical attention if you have failed to conceive after one year of actively trying. In order to then diagnose the condition, a medical evaluation may determine what factors are causing a couple's infertility. If a medical and sexual history fails to establish the problem such as a low sperm count or absence of ovulation, specific tests will then be carried out. For the female, the first step in testing is to determine if she is ovulating each month. This can be done by monitoring changes in morning body temperature by using an FDA-approved home ovulation test kit which is available over the counter.

Other tests can also be carried out via blood spot and saliva tests for hormone levels or ultrasound tests of the ovaries. If the woman is ovulating, further testing will then be advised.

It is important to be aware before attempting to conceive, that simple lifestyle factors including stress or diet can largely affect a woman's hormonal balance and therefore the ability to conceive. Similarly, lifestyle issues can influence the number and quality of a man's sperm. Regular alcohol consumption and the use of substances such as marijuana, nicotine, and certain medications, can significantly reduce sperm quality and sometimes quantity. Stress is also a huge factor as it can trigger hormone imbalances. Ultimately, infertility in both males and females can largely be due to naturally controllable factors such as a poor diet, lack of exercise and stress. Conceiving is also highly dependent on when intercourse should occur in relation the female menstrual cycle and establishing which key days within the cycle are when fertilization is most likely to take place can help significantly. Addressing a natural approach to combat infertility can have miraculous results and avoid processes such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) which can be both expensive and there is no 100 percent guarantee that it will be successful.



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The Canary Club is an educational advisory group with a team of medical advisors headed by Richard Shames, M.D.