Infertility has become a common issues concerned by numerous couples and the entire society. It would be difficult for treatment if the causes are not identified in the early stage and assisted reproductive techniques are not applied properly in treatment, affecting to the patient’s health and ability of having child. Below are the most common causes of infertility that you should pay attention to.
Main causes of male infertility
There are various causes of infertility related to male factors, including:
– Quantity of sperm. Low sperm count means that semen contains fewer sperm or no sperm at all. Due to a lack of sperm, the female’s egg cannot be fertilized easily. Clinically, a low sperm count is defined as having less than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen.
– Quality of sperm. Quality of sperm refers to sperm mobility and morphology. Decreased sperm mobility and abnormal sperm shape make it difficult for the sperm to reach the egg and fertilized it.
– Testicular damage. Damage to your testicles which contain your sperm and protect delicate cells from the outside environment can seriously impact on your fertility by affecting the quantity and quality of sperm. Testicular damage could be caused by overheated testicles (by sitting down for too long or wearing too tight underwear), trauma from sport, infection, surgery, congenital defect,…
– Ejaculation disorders. Problems with ejaculation make your sperm not able to reach and fertilize the egg. Main ejaculation disorders include premature ejaculation, retrograde ejaculation (which occurs when the semen is forced back into the bladder), erection dysfunctions, and complications from radiation therapy or surgery.
– Lifestyle choices. Having healthy lifestyle choices is one of the most important and manageable ways to improve your fertility while numerous habits can damage sperm quality and quantity: consuming alcohol, tobacco, or drugs; having unhealthy diet, having unsafe sex leading to sexually transmitted infections, etc. Working environment also impacts much on sperm count if you are exposed to poisonous chemicals or radiation.
Main causes of infertility in female
Female infertility can have numerous causes. The most common causes of infertility in female include:
– Failure to Ovulate. Ovulation problems are among the most common causes of female infertility. Not ovulating can result from several causes such as ovarian or gynecological conditions, including primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); aging which leads to a low number of eggs; endocrine disorders that affect the hormones produced by the body.
– Problems in the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle includes several phases, problems in any phase could lead to infertility. The most common menstrual irregularities consists of absent menstrual periods, infrequent menstrual periods, prolonged menstrual bleeding, painful or heavy periods.
– Abnormal tissue in the fallopian tubes or uterus. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, eggs are not able to move from the ovaries to the uterus and sperm cannot reach the egg for fertilization. If there is abnormal tissue in the uterus can lead to infertility as it may affect to implantation. Some specific problems include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polyps on the inside surface of the uterus, scarring in the uterus, and unusually shaped uterus.
– Infections and diseases. Untreated gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted infections can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease and increases the risk for a pregnant woman to have a stillbirth. Women with gynecological diseases such as cervical cancer, cysts, vaginitis, and cervical inflammation have higher risk of infertility.
Identifying both male and female factors that lead to infertility is essential for you to protect yourself as well as decide the most appropriate assisted reproductive techniques to increase the success rate of having birth. Therefore, couples should actively learn infertility causes and visit prestigious IVF clinic for examinations and treatment if they cannot conceive after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse.
Advanced assisted reproductive techniques
Various assisted reproductive techniques have been widely applied to help infertile couples increase the opportunities of having birth. On the basis of the blood tests and scan findings that show the causes of infertility, doctors will devise a personalized treatment plan for each couple. The main techniques include:
– Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) in which sperm is injected directly into the partner’s uterus. This technique is usually applied for cases of male patients with low quantity and quality of sperm.
– Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in which sperm is injected directly into the egg cytoplasm using an apparatus. This technique would remarkably increase the rate of IVF.
– In vitro fertilization (IVF) in which the egg is fertilized by sperm in vitro and then transferred back to the woman’s uterus for implantation.
– Preimplantation generic diagnosis (PGD) using microarray testing to avoid transfer of affected embryos with genetic disorders.