Infertility and Sterility

Between 10% and 15% of couples in the United States experience fertility problems in trying to become parents, either by infertility or sterility. In a third of cases, the problem women, presents him while the man is responsible for another third, and the remaining third both have factors that hinder conception.

Although they are often used as synonyms, infertility and sterility are actually two different aspects of the difficulties to have babies. Infertility is the inability to conceive or pregnant. With infertility, you can conceive, but you do not have the ability to carry a pregnancy to term.

To qualify as problems of fertility, sterility and infertility should persist after a year of trying to get pregnant, or after six months if you have more than 35 years.

Types of infertility and sterility

Fertility problems are divided into:

  • Primary. When do not have couples have a baby after a year of trying.
  • Side. When they have already had babies earlier, but it is impossible to conceive or carry another pregnancy to term.

Both men and women, fertility problems may be caused by internal body, such as the problems of ovulation or varicoceles (in men), or external factors, such as exposure to chemicals, diet, weight, malnutrition, use of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, excessive exercise, age and stress. The good news is that most can be treat or prevent, or you can use reproduction techniques (such as artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization) to become a mother.

Sterility and infertility in women

According to the centers for Control and detection of diseases (CDC for its acronym in English), 10% of women in the United States have difficulty becoming pregnant.

These are the most common causes of fertility problems in women:

Ovulation problems. The absence of ovulation (Anovulation) can be taken for stress, obesity, malnutrition, excessive exercise, hormonal imbalances or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Irregularities in the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes, also called uterine tubes, connecting the ovaries with the uterus, and part of the route of a fertilized egg. Obstruction, adhesions or inflammation in the fallopian tubes blocking the transmission of the nutfah into the uterus.

Endometriosis. It is a disease in which a material similar to the layer that covers the inside of the uterus and is clear when you have menstruation (endometrium), begins to grow in other parts of your body or your reproductive system.

Problems of the uterus. Cysts, fibroids, tumors and imbalances in the uterus can prevent the embryo will implant.

Age. The female fertility begins its decline from the 35 years (see pregnancy after age 40, is a high-risk pregnancy?).

Causes of infertility and male infertility

The fertility problems in men are often caused by:

Low or no sperm production. Problems in sperm count may result from blockages in the vas deferens, which are small ducts that carry sperm to the ejaculatory ducts. There may also be difficulties in the production of sperm in the testicles.

Low sperm motility. Motility refers to the ability of the sperm move properly to reach the egg.

Varicoceles. Varicoceles are blocked and dilated (similar to varicose veins) veins that surround the spermatic cord. To collect blood, cause an increase in temperature, which leads to a decline in sperm production.

Ejaculatory dysfunction. It’s difficulties to ejaculate inside the vagina during intercourse.

Infections of the male reproductive system. Infections can be caused by sexually transmitted diseases. In some cases, the male reproductive system infections can cause the presence of antisperm antibodies.

Defects of the male reproductive system. Whether congenital or result from trauma, defects can affect the production or transport of sperm to the ejaculatory canal. Examples are Undescended Testicles, male impotence, obstruction of the ducts, or cysts.

How are diagnosed fertility problems?

The first sign that you have fertility problems is the inability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term when you’ve been trying for over one year (with regular menstrual cycles and organized intercourse to ovulation pattern), or six months if you are 35 years old. From that moment, you should consult a specialist.

Diagnosis begins with a history of your family history, your health, your sexual and family life, and a physical examination. If there are no signs pointing towards a possible cause, you continue with testing.

The tests tend to practice first in men, since the process is less invasive. It starts with the analysis of a sample of semen, which may indicate a low count or motility of the sperm. Hormone tests can also be performed.

For women, the cause of fertility problems can be found by monitoring the menstrual cycle and ovulation, by means of an ultrasound or blood tests to measure hormone levels. Occasionally, it may be necessary to perform a laparoscopy, which is one minor surgery that your doctor uses a tiny camera to observe your internal reproductive system. Another common procedure is the hysterosalpingogram, which consists of an x-ray of your pelvic area with the help of a substance to check the flow between the different parts of your reproductive system.

 

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