Most people assume that getting pregnant and having a child shouldn’t be too hard. The issue of infertility can be very frustrating for those couples who are eager to start a family.
Fortunately, there are ways to help treat infertility. Those who have a difficult time conceiving or carrying a child to term should still get a chance to make their dreams of pregnancy come true.
Facts about infertility
It is difficult to accurately assess just how many men and women experience infertility issues. By some statistics, 1 out of 8 couples in the United States have difficulties with getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy all the way to term.
Infertility affects women just as much as it does men. Approximately one-third of infertility issues can be attributed to the woman and another third can be attributed to the man.
The other third includes couples where both partners are infertile or there is no explanation for the inability to conceive.
A man, woman, or couple may be said to be infertile, provided they have tried conceiving without success via regular intimacy. This assumes they have been trying for a period of six months to one year.
Most people do not find out they are infertile until they actively try conceiving a child. However, there are symptoms for both men and women which may indicate a fertility problem.
Symptoms of infertility for women
For women, the biggest symptom of infertility is experiencing abnormalities during the menstrual cycle. For example, she may be bleeding heavier or lighter than usual. Or she may be having irregular periods, wherein the number of days between periods significantly fluctuates.
Sometimes, periods may stop altogether or never occur at all. Pain during the menstrual cycle ranging from moderate to severe may also be an indicator of potential infertility issues.
In some cases, an infertility problem for women may be related to a hormonal imbalance or deficiency of some kind. For some women, recurring problems with acne can be a symptom of infertility and may also indicate a hormone problem.
Major changes in sex drive, hair growing on the lips, chest or chin, loss of hair, large gains in weight, pain during intimacy, and white discharge from the nipples (unrelated to breastfeeding), may also indicate a hormone issue contributing to infertility.
Symptoms of infertility for men
For men, infertility symptoms are usually more vague and much harder to pin down. In most cases, infertility issues with men go unnoticed until such time that they try to conceive a child with their partner.
There are plenty of symptoms of a potential infertility problem for males. These may include changes in hair growth, changes in libido, pain, lumps or swelling of the testicles, problems with erections, and/or problems with ejaculation.
Even though many of these symptoms can be indicative of infertility, they can also be indicative of other health related issues. This means that these symptoms may be altogether unrelated to fertility.
Many other things can also lead to infertility, and in many cases, there is no exact single pin-pointed cause. Sometimes, the only way to know if there is an infertility issue is to try conceiving or to see a doctor.
Causes of infertility
Suspected causes of infertility are numerous. In many cases, the cause is comprised of a number of factors and variables. These factors and variables may range from hereditary and genetic dispositions, to dietary related issues, or perhaps even stress.
For many people, stress is a common component of infertility, which can cause other disorders that contribute to infertility.
For men, the most common causes of infertility are abnormal sperm production, difficulties with sperm delivery, overexposure to harmful chemicals and toxins, and damage related to cancer and cancer treatments. Some of these causes are easier to treat than others, while others may be very difficult to treat.
For women, the most common causes of infertility are disorders pertaining to ovulation, abnormalities of the uterus or cervix, damages or blockages of the fallopian tubes, endometriosis, menopause, exposure to harmful toxins and chemicals, and damage related to cancer or the treatment thereof.
Another potential cause of infertility in women may be attributed to a thyroid problem. Disorders pertaining to the thyroid can adversely affect a woman’s menstrual cycle and cause infertility. Thyroid disorders are caused by an improper balance of thyroid hormones.
One other thing that can cause infertility, but which is perhaps less common, are prescription drugs. Certain medications can have damaging side effects, which may cause other issues pertaining to fertility. If a man or a woman is regularly taking prescription drugs of any kind and experiencing infertility problems, the drugs may in fact be the reason why.
Treatments for infertility
Treatments for fertility problems will vary based on gender and on specific causes. Sometimes, the causes are not known and the proper treatment will need to take a more general approach.
In the West, some of the most common treatments for infertility take place in the doctor’s office. Prescriptions of fertility drugs are common, as well as surgical procedures. Other things like artificial insemination and hormone therapy are examples of typical treatments.
For those people who want to go a different route, there are other methods of treatment which take a more natural and less invasive approach. Among these are acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, dietary changes, and increased exercise.
Some of these treatments options are less well-known, but can be just as effective as common treatments from the perspective of Western medicine. For example, in the East, acupuncture is a very well-respected form of medicine. It is less common in the Western world, but in the East, it is very common.
Thankfully, with the advent of the internet and increased communication between all parts of the world, alternative treatments are becoming more well-known and respected. In the past, it may have been somewhat taboo or uncommon for a Westerner to go for acupuncture. Today however, it is much more common, well-known, and respected.
For men, women and couples who are experiencing infertility issues, the most important thing is to try and first identify the cause of the problem. Once the cause is known, the proper treatment options should be easier to choose.
If the cause of infertility is unknown, alternative treatments which aim to treat the entire body are suggested. If you are experiencing infertility problems, consider making dietary changes, exercising more or other lifestyle changes. In some cases, infertility can be remedied just by practicing healthier living and taking better care of your body.