Infertility means unable to conceive even after trying for one year, or for six months if a woman is of 35 years of age or older. Infertility also refers to the situation when a woman is unable to continue her pregnancy until the full term, repeatedly. In men, it is due to the low sperm count.
Pregnancy is the result of a process which includes many steps.
In order to get pregnant:
- A woman’s body should undergo with an ovulation stage. It means that her body must release an egg from one of the ovaries.
- That released egg should reach the uterus through the Fallopian tube.
- Along the way, a man’s sperm should fertilise the egg.
- Now this fertilized egg should reach to an implantation, i.e., the fertilized egg should get attached to the uterus.
If there is any problem with the above steps, then it results in fertility.
According to an article published at Deccan Chronicle, dated January 19, 2018 “infertility both in men and women has become quite common these days and is on the rise in India. As per estimates, there has been a 20% to 30% rise in infertility in the country in the last five years.”
However, if we talk about female infertility, it contributes to approximately 50% of all cases of infertility. The most common cause of female infertility includes the problem during ovulation, a damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or a cervix related problem which plays an important role during implantation. In some of the cases, age contributes to infertility too. After a certain age, the fertility naturally tends to get decreased.
Female infertility is diagnosed through a physical examination, which includes the complete medical history which can be a reason behind infertility. The healthcare providers generally take the help of several tests to evaluate fertility. This includes
- A urine or blood test to check for infections and hormonal problems.
- A sample of cervical mucus and tissue to ascertain that ovulation is happening or not.
- Laparoscopic tests to check the organs condition, any blockage or infection.
- An ultrasound test to check the ovaries and uterus.
- Menstrual history
- Pregnancy history
- Birth control history
- History of STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Current sexual patterns
- Surgical history
- Other significant health problems
- Work environment
Female infertility can be treated by one or more of the methods like, taking hormones (to solve hormonal imbalance, short menstrual cycle, etc.), taking medications (to stimulate ovulation), consumption of supplements to improve fertility, and having minor surgery (if there is any blockage or scar in the tissues).
Female infertility cannot be prevented if it been a hereditary problem, however, if not, then certain measures can be adopted to minimise the possibility of infertility.
These preventive measures are:
- Take necessary precautions against sexually transmitted disease.
- Avoid consuming illicit drugs or too much consumption of medicines.
- Stop alcohol consumption.
- Follow good personal hygiene and healthy activities.
- Have a routine and timely check-up with your gynaecologist when you are planning to get pregnant.