Oct 5, 2010
Posted in Fertility
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The Dirty Dozen – Common Fertility Hampering Factors



Isn’t this a huge irony for sizeable numbers of adults across the globe – People try evading getting pregnant for several years & when they are ultimately ready to conceive and bear kids they are not able to do it. For any person intent on conceiving soon, or already attempting, promptly visiting a doctor becomes of utmost importance so that any issues affecting fertility and getting pregnant could be discussed and sorted out on the earliest. Here are twelve of the most widespread factors impacting both genders.

Heat

Enzymes needed for manufacturing sperms are vastly heat-sensitive. Males who frequently opt for hot tub, sauna; don constricted trousers; those with desk-bound jobs, or standing close to hot hobs might be unconsciously exposing their testicular area to such an extent of heat that they are not able to produce sperm which impedes pregnancy. Innately the testicles dangle out of the body which help in maintaining their temperature four degrees lesser as compared to the usual body temperature. This lower temperature is necessary for the sperms in thriving.

Recommendation
  • Do not allow the reproductive organs to overheat, hence steer clear from sauna, hot tub; avoid placing laptops on the lap.
  • In case one’s vocation necessitates one in being seated for protracted spans of time then take breaks for moving about at frequent intervals.
  • Also avoid being seated cross-legged and always wearing loose-fit undergarments and clothes.
Wrongly-Timed Sex

In case you are a mate in dual-career matrimony then it could be quite a challenge getting together at the most apt period of the month.

Recommendation
  • Charting your BBT (basal body temperature) or using OPKs (ovulation predictor kits) for accurately locating when one is ovulating.
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse on alternate days commencing no less than seven days pre-ovulation date since no sooner has a female ovulated then the opportunity has been missed.
Medicines

This could be affecting fertility in both genders and numerous prevalently employed medicines could hamper fertility. Males taking medications for ulcers like medicine cimetidine – Tagamet or cardiovascular medicines like digitalis has been found to contribute to squat sperm numbers; hypertension-lowering drugs might impact ejaculatory functioning, the motile capability of sperms or preventing the sperms from being able to reach the egg. At times even the use of antibiotic for treating UTI could hamper manufacture of sperms. Females using decongestant medications might be unintentionally contributing to dryness in the cervical mucus which is vital to get pregnant (though it is an atypical reason for infertility).

Recommendation
  • Notifying the obstetrician or gynaecologist regarding any drugs or also OTC medications which the couple take. There might be substitute medicines which women could continue taking when they are attempting to conceive.
  • In case of decongestant medications, women planning to conceive might require transitorily halting medication use.
Structural Issues

This problem could affect fertility in both sexes. Sperms as well as egg require a comparatively unobstructed pathway for the important meeting. In case the female is having some polyp or fibroid in the uterus; endometriosis or scar formations present in her reproductive system or the male does not have a vas deferens (inborn malformation) then it would make it trickier for the sperms and eggs in uniting.

Recommendation

Possibilities are that in case one falls in this group then one might have opted for fertility therapy for it. However in case one has been attempting conception and have not yet taken fertility therapy, one might be having such conditions many of which are asymptomatic.

Cancer Therapy

This factor impacts males and females. Cancer of the testes is a widespread cancer type afflicting males in the age band of fifteen to forty-five years of age which are deemed key fertility age band. Even though cancer does not make a man infertile the therapy for it can cause it.

Treatment course of several cancer types like blood cancer, tumors, lymphomas mostly make men temporarily sterile. The ideal means of ensuring sperm-preservation in a male undergoing treatment for cancer of the testis is cryopreservation of sperms (as much samples as they could perhaps do pre-therapy).

Recommendation

In case one is faced with cancer therapy, it is imperative that one discusses kin plans with the doctor so that it could be taken into consideration when outlining a therapy agenda for the person. Cryopreservation of sperms, egg, ovarian tissues, and embryos are options for a cancer patient so that he/she could become a parent in the future.

Varicocele

It is a conditon affecting males wherein there is enlargement or dilatation of the varicose veins in the scrotal area causing blood pooling that augments temperatures in that area. The resulting heat impacts manufacture of sperms. Varicoceles is the highly prevalent reason making males infertile and around fifteen percent of males have them sans being aware about its presence.

Recommendation

Varicocele-reparative minor surgical method is the resolution wherein tying off of these veins is done.

Erratic Ovulation

It is a condition affecting fertility among females. The average menstruation cycle in women is twenty-eight days (however a period cycle in-between twenty-three and thirty-five days is deemed regular, as per ACOG guidelines). When a woman ovulates her egg travels via any of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus, occurring around fourteen days prior to the foremost day of a female’s subsequent menses. However there are several issues causing erratic ovulation like:

  • PCOS
  • Hyperthyroid or hypothyroid condition.
  • Imbalanced hormone levels (for instance, high testosterone levels).
  • Being obese, overweight or below normal weight.
  • Unhealthy dieting.
  • Being perimenopausal.
Recommendation

* Maintaining a BBT chart which would assist one in knowing when one ovulates and timing sex in accordance.
* One could procure OPKs intended for D.I.Y. purposes. Many function by checking urine samples at particular times in a period cycle and the strips pinpoint a rise in leutenizing hormone or LH indicative of ovulation soon to happen. Women having other conditions like PCOS could seek medical assistance as there are numerous medicines and therapies to assist in stimulating ovulation and helping one conceive.

Cigarette Smoking and Drinking

These habits affect fertility in both sexes. Alcohols are gonadotoxins acting alike poisons in the testicular area and unfavourably impacting manufacture of sperms. Males should ideally be restricting themselves to duo drinks no more than two times in a week’s time. Females must additionally be drinking in moderation when attempting conception and then totally abstaining from it once they conceive.

Smoking cigarettes & marijuana results in the manufacture of irregular sperms and marijuana smoked occasionally as once in a fortnight impacts sperms. Females smoking cigarettes lower their eggs at a rapid rate as compared to females not doing it. Manufacture of estrogen hormone gets negatively altered among females who smoke. Estrogen dons a key part in the manufacture of cervical mucus that then assists in delivering sperms to the egg. Nicotine presence in the mucus of the cervix among female smokers additionally obliterates sperms which makes conception unlikely.

Recommendation

Smokers or drugs users must cease the habit as soon as possible. Also intake of alcohol should be restricted to intermittent socially drinking.

Those who Over/Underweight

Females who are grossly below normal weight might not even have normal ovulation and overweight/obese ones additionally have imbalanced hormone levels inclusive of PCOS. Males who are below normal weight might have lesser than usual testosterone. Also men that are overweight or underweight have been noted to have less sperm numbers and strength.

Recommendation

In case one is not in the ideal weight band then making the requisite alterations for rectifying it. In case one is attempting conception then ensuring that one’s dietetic intake is nutritionally replete.

Being Stressed

Stressed males have been found to have lesser sperm numbers. Stress also increases the proportion of irregular sperms. Females under chronic stress release lesser GnRH hormone that commences a surge of hormone-linked alterations hampering ovulation.

Recommendation

Engaging in regular exercising and meditating for managing stress is advisable.

STD

When sexually transmitted diseases are not treated timely then it could be causal to scar formation in the reproductive organs of a female that could avert sperms from reaching the egg or also hamper the egg post-fertilization from reaching the uterus. Any scar formations in the tubes could additionally lead to tubal pregnancies. Among males, scar formations in the reproductive organs could obstruct the course which sperms need for travelling for reaching the egg and fertilizing it.

Recommendation

In case any one of the couple has had a past of STD then ensuring to notify the gynaecologist, doctor or urologists during appointments. During several scenarios, surgical excision of scar tissues could be done thus facilitating conception.

Age

Via menstruating and innate wear and tear there is loss of several of a female’s viable eggs once she has entered her mid thirties. A woman must ideally be getting pregnant, biologically in her twenties. Although males could theoretically be fathering kids even in their older age, the chances of bearing kids having chromosomal aberrations, particularly Down’s syndrome, augments among males post thirty-five years of age, similar to that in females.

Recommendation

For those below thirty-five years of age, majority of the gynaecologists would not be referring them to specialists for fertility therapy till they have tried conception for no less than a year’s time. For women above thirty-five years of age, they could be considering visiting a fertility expert sooner since it could improve chances of conception.

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