By Dr. Devi. R
Young couples have to deal with infertility as one of the major issues in today’s times. Simply defined, it is a condition when a couple is unable to conceive and become parents even after trying for a year or more. Contrary to the notion, both males and females can be infertile. In the case of women, the primary reasons are endometriosis, uterine fibroids, thyroid disease, and even hormonal imbalances. In the case of men, low sperm count or testosterone levels could be the major factors leading to infertility. Even age has a major role to play in one’s fertility. As you turn older, the risk of infertility increases exponentially. This happens because the number of eggs and sperm count reduces. Adding to it, the risk of having other health conditions also increases.
Factors leading to infertility
Infertility occurs when the reproductive systems aren’t functioning optimally. Various factors increase the infertility risk in all genders. These include underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or eating disorder, excessive alcohol, and smoking, exposure to toxic substances such as lead, STDs, stress, lack of nutritious diet, and even weight issues. In some cases, even radiotherapy and cancer treatments can cause infertility.
Specifically, in the case of females, irregular menstrual cycle, blockage in fallopian tubes, pelvic inflammatory diseases, ovarian cysts, anemia, uterine issues, and tubal pregnancy can lead to infertility. On the other hand, in the case of males, enlarged veins in the scrotum, cystic fibrosis, injury to the testicles or scrotum, low sperm count, low sperm motility, premature ejaculation, or ejaculation disorders, and undescended testicles could cause infertility. Furthermore, even high exposure to heat to the testicles from tight clothing or frequent use of hot tubs and saunas and testicular cancer as well as abnormal sperm could also lead to infertility.
To diagnose female infertility, one could go for a pelvic exam, blood tests, transvaginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, and laparoscopy. These tests help identify the actual problem that is posing as a hindrance in the way of the couple’s pregnancy. To rule out male infertility problems, semen analysis, blood tests, and scrotal ultrasounds are the examinations that one can undertake as per the guidance of the physician or the experts. Medications and surgery can treat infertility. However, it is strongly advised that you seek the guidance of an expert and opt for the line of treatment accordingly. In some cases, assistive conception methods such as intrauterine insemination, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection could help the couple get pregnant.
Maintaining reproductive health
Maintaining reproductive health is important to deal with infertility. The best way to take care of your sexual and reproductive health is to be proactive and listen to your body. Leading an unhealthy lifestyle and indulging in unprotected sex can cause impact your reproductive system. However, in the majority of cases, the problem of infertility can be solved at the initial stages with just a few modifications in lifestyle. Consuming a balanced diet that is packed with nutrients
Intake of a diet that is balanced will boost your overall health. It will ensure your body gets the vital nutrients and will ensure optimal functioning of your reproductive system. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and staying physically active. Staying healthy is important for the couple to conceive. Hence, leading an active lifestyle is important for the body’s health to be maintained which will eventually ensure the maintenance of the reproductive system.
Maintaining healthy weight
Consuming a nutritious diet along with indulging in physical activity can help in maintaining a healthy weight. This is essential as both being underweight and overweight can cause issues while conceiving. In the case of males, it can affect the testicles and lead to a reduction in sperm count. In the case of females, it can impact the ovulation process.
Avoiding excess alcohol and smoking
Anything of excess can be harmful for the body. Hence, one should consider quitting smoking and even refrain from consuming alcohol to maintain reproductive health.
Going for timely checkups Going for timely checkups will significantly help in ensuring your reproductive health is maintained. It will also prevent any medical issue to amplify and treat it at an early stage.
Battling with infertility: Maintaining reproductive health
Either of the partners could be the reason for infertility. Knowing the actual cause of infertility is important so that you can decide the course of action accordingly. Having access to fertility care comprising prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility is imperative. The more timely medical assistance is taken, the sooner the issue of infertility can be resolved. Post this, you need to consult the experts for the appropriate treatment for conceiving. You should also consider the complications associated and the success rate as well as risks associated with the chosen method. In today’s times, techniques such as IVF are equally viable options to experience parenthood. However, the first and foremost step is to eat a nutritious diet, stay active and go for timely screenings as these small steps could extend a major impact on your reproductive system and ensure its health is maintained.
(The author is Consultant Reproductive Medicine, Milann Fertility Hospital, Indiranagar, Bangalore. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)