Infertility is on the rise all across the globe. More and more couples are facing difficulty in conceiving a child. In these turbulent situations, there are endless questions and seemingly not enough answers.
Many couples wonder why this is happening to them. Is it their fault? Is something wrong with them? Infertility can be troubling but there are known reasons for this condition. Knowing the cause of infertility is the first step towards treatment and fulfillment of the wish to have a child.
Approximately 5-10% of couples experience infertility worldwide, and infertility rates have been increasing by around 4% each year since the 1980s.
What Is Infertility?
Infertility is a condition in which a couple is unable to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse or after six months in special circumstances such as older age of the female partner.
Infertility can also be the inability to carry a pregnancy to full term.
Causes Of Infertility In Men
Men account for 20-30% of infertility cases. Infertility in men is commonly caused by disorders of the sperm. This can be evaluated with a semen analysis.
Causes of infertility in men are:
- Enlarged testicular veins called varicoceles which disrupt the natural temperature regulation of the testicles, causing them to heat up and this damages sperm cells.
- Exposure to ionising radiation or previous cancer treatment.
- Trauma to the testes.
- Hormonal disorders such as pituitary gland and adrenal gland disorders.
- Insufficient sperm production (low sperm count) or low-quality sperm.
- Lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Causes Of Infertility In Women
Women account for a further 20-35% of all infertility cases. Infertility in women is usually tied to disorders or disturbances in the menstrual cycle.
For a woman to get pregnant, an egg has to be released from the ovaries (ovulation), this egg has to be fertilized with a sperm cell, and then it has to travel to the uterus and implant there. A disturbance or problem in any one of these steps can result in an inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy.
The most common causes of infertility in women are:
- Diminished ovarian reserve which is a condition in which there are fewer egg cells in the ovaries than normal.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS in which there are multiple cysts on the ovaries and increased levels of male hormones resulting in abnormal menstrual patterns.
- Obstruction or blockage of the fallopian tubes which transport the egg from the ovaries to the uterus.
- Hormonal disorders such as disorders of the thyroid or pituitary glands.
- Abnormal uterine structures such as polyps and fibroids.
- Irregular menstrual cycles.
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
- Lifestyle factors such as obesity, smoking, poor nutrition, etc.
Other Causes Of Infertility
Approximately 20-40% of infertility cases are related to both male and female causes and 10-20% are caused by unknown factors.
Treatment Of Infertility
Infertility is not a doomed condition: there are a number of treatments for infertility. Infertility in both men and women can be treated with medications, surgery, lifestyle changes, and assisted reproduction techniques.
One of the most well-known forms of assisted reproduction technologies is In-vitro fertilization or IVF, commonly called ‘test-tube baby’. There are a number of centers for IVF treatment in Bangalore. Finding a fertility center in Bangalore can be difficult but choosing the best IVF centre in Bangalore is very important to ensure successful treatment.