Do you think you are suffering from infertility? Infertility is a condition where a woman cannot become pregnant even after a year or more of trying to conceive. The risk of infertility is directly proportional to age. Studies show that infertility is a global health issue that affects more than 100 million individuals and around 48 million couples of reproductive ages. Infertility may result from a problem with the woman or her partner or a combination of other factors that prevent pregnancy.
What causes infertility?
Some common reasons that may lead to infertility are:
Medical problems and medicines
Infertility is commonly caused by ovulation disorders or other issues related to it like
- Blocked fallopian tubes or other tubal disorders.
- Ovarian disorders such as poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and other follicular disorders.
Complications due to unsafe abortion, postpartum sepsis, abdominal surgery, pelvic infections, or pelvic surgery might lead to infertility. You are at risk for infertility if you have any inflammatory uterine disorders like endometriosis, congenital disorders like septate uterus, uterine fibroids, and thyroid disease. Endocrine disorders like pituitary cancers and hypopituitarism causing hormonal imbalances and affecting the reproductive system, might also affect infertility. Apart from that, untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs), long-term cancer treatment, high cholesterol, and other immunological disorders can also cause infertility.
Long-term use or a high dosage of certain drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin, drugs used in chemotherapy, and neuroleptic medicines can make it more difficult to conceive. Illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can cause serious harm to your fertility.
Exposure to pollution and toxins is considered to be directly toxic for your gametes (eggs and sperm). This might result in reduced quantity and poor quality, which can lead to infertility. However, these causes might vary among various populations across the world due to background and origin.
Your lifestyle factors also play an important role in causing infertility. Overexposure to smoking, excessive alcohol intake, obesity, food habits, and an unhealthy lifestyle can affect your fertility.
Are you at high risk of infertility?
Addressing infertility is an important part of physical and mental health. It is important for you to seek care regarding infertility if you have any of the given conditions-
- Age more than 35 years
- Trying to conceive for more than six months
- Missing, irregular, or painful menstruation
- Have any history of fertility problems
- Pre-diagnosed endometriosis or other inflammatory uterine disorders
- Have had multiple miscarriages
- Have undergone long-term radiation and chemotherapy for cancer treatment
An insight from mamahood
It is always advised to consult your doctor regularly. If you do not have any issues that might lead to infertility and still haven’t conceived in more than a year, you might have unexplained infertility. For such situations, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends IVF treatment. Careful monitoring and treatment can reduce the risk of complications.