Infertility- Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What does infertility mean?

Infertility is when either of the partners cannot conceive, even after indulging in sexual activity for over a year without any contraception. 

Either one or both partners can be infertile. 

Fertility is of two kinds-

1. Primary infertility: This type is when a person cannot conceive or get pregnant.

2. Secondary infertility differs from primary infertility as the person cannot get pregnant but has given birth or got pregnant.

Causes of infertility in men-

  • They can have issues with semen and sperm: The penis releases semen, a milky fluid, during ejaculation. This milky substance consists of the sperms and fluids which help transport the sperms to the eggs. It can be a problem if the person has a sperm count below fifteen million or the sperms have low motility.
  • Varicocele: It is a state in which the nerves swell up and drain the testicle. More or less, varicocele infertility is because of abnormal blood flow.
  • Cancers and tumors: Cancers and tumors can directly cause male infertility. They can affect the male reproductive system, the glands, the hormones, the testicles, etc.
  • Problems in ejaculation: The semen must come out from the tip of the penis. But sometimes, due to diabetes, spinal injuries, and surgeries, the semen may enter the bladder. It is called retrograde ejaculation.
  • Hormonal imbalance: Hormonal imbalance can be a significant cause of male infertility. Due to diseases, hormonal glands like pituitary glands, thyroid glands, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands are affected. After this, these glands do not function properly and cannot produce hormones as required.
  • Celiac disease: The gluten found in wheat can affect some people’s digestive systems. This disease can also cause male infertility.
  • Genetic and chromosome defects: Some genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis and Kallmann’s syndrome exist. Also, conditions like Klinefelter’s syndrome are where the man has two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome instead of having one X and a Y chromosome.
  • Sexual intercourse: There can be some troubles during sexual intercourse, like erectile dysfunction, painful intercourse, psychological problems with the relationship and the partner, and premature ejaculation.

Causes of infertility in women-

  • Hormonal problems: The pituitary gland produces two hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH). These hormones are responsible for ovulation every month. But these hormones do not function as they should due to stress and emotional breakdown. Hormonal imbalances can cause irregular periods or no periods at all.
  • Excess amount of prolactin: Medicines can cause the pituitary gland to release an extra amount of prolactin. This problem, in turn, will reduce estrogen and cause infertility.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: PCOS is one of the leading causes of female infertility. It is a condition that occurs because of lifestyle problems. It causes many cysts in the ovaries, which create hormonal imbalances, and cause facial hair growth in females, acne, insulin resistance, and increases the person’s weight.
  • Tubal infertility: If the fallopian tubes are blocked, they do not let the sperm pass through the way and reach the egg. It may be because of pelvic inflammatory disease, a uterine infection due to sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Endometriosis: A condition in which extra tissues forming in the uterus also start forming in other places. It can destroy the implantation of the egg or damage the sperm.
  • Fibroids: Women who have fibroids find it very difficult to get pregnant. They block the fallopian tube and affect the implantation of the egg.
  • Genetic problems- Sometimes, the shape of the uterus or the cervix can be a problem in getting pregnant. In some females, the cervix cannot produce enough mucus, which helps the sperm to travel to the egg.

Symptoms of infertility

The symptoms and signs of infertility in males and females are different. 

Symptoms of infertility in females-

  • Pain during intercourse or dyspareunia can indicate infertility. It may be a result of infections, fibroids, or endometriosis.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle– A slight fluctuation in the monthly process is okay, but it may be a problem if your cycle is not regular. Irregular periods mean that the woman is not ovulating correctly.
  • Dark or pale menstrual blood: If your period shows paler blood than you always have, it signifies a problem. Even thicker, dark, or old blood during the first couple of days can indicate endometriosis.
  • Obesity– Obese women have a higher chance of infertility. They might even have a complication in delivering the baby.
  • Not getting pregnant– If you have been trying for a year or more, but you did not get pregnant, it is the primary signal of

Symptoms of infertility in males-

  • A problem in erecting: When men have hormonal issues, they cannot erect properly, which is a sign of infertility.
  • Sexual desire: Low sexual drive can also be a sign of infertility in males as the hormones control virility.
  • Gynecomastia: It is a condition where males develop abnormal breasts. It is also part of male infertility.
  • Sometimes as a sign of infertility, they can have pain, swelling, or even lumps in their testicle areas.
  • The symbol of no proper ejaculation.

Treatment of infertility-

  • If the male or female has any hormonal problem, the doctors give them pills to regulate their hormones.
  • If they have cancer in their reproductive organs, an oncologist will treat their problem accordingly.
  • IVF or In vitro fertilization- In this treatment, the doctors keep the egg and the sperm in a lab. After that, the sperm fertilizes the egg. Then very skillfully, the doctors place this fertilized egg in the uterus.
  • IUI or Intrauterine insemination- When the woman’s ovulating period goes on, the doctors collect and directly place the sperm inside her uterus.
  • Surgeries: If they have lumps, cysts, or tumors in their reproductive organs, they may require surgery for their treatment.
  • Third-person help- If you have a complicated reproductive system with no cure, you can take donor sperm or donor eggs to have your baby.

Every couple wants to become a parent. So if you think you are infertile or have any of these symptoms, visit Asian Hospital, Faridabad. It is one of the best hospitals for infertility in Delhi, NCR region.