What Is Infertility?
The medical definition of infertility is the inability to conceive via unprotected sex over the course of one year. About one in six couples is unsuccessful when trying to get pregnant for the first time. With such significant numbers of couples experiencing fertility issues, it’s evident that the self-blame that sometimes accompanies fertility issues is inappropriate.
While some couples who desire children have a reason to suspect problems in advance, others are surprised when they encounter difficulties. There is no completely inexplicable case of infertility, however doctors are unable to accurately isolate the true cause during the course of treatment in as many as one in four cases. Contrary to popular belief, the inability to become pregnant is not predominantly due to problems on the woman’s end. Up to 50 percent of the time infertility is caused by a problem that can be attributed to the man; and in up to 20 percent of cases, causes of infertility can be equally attributed to both the man and the woman.
Many Contributing Factors
Certain factors impair the ability of a woman to become pregnant, including irregularities in ovulation cycles, damaged egg follicles, inflammation, uterine diseases, past courses of reproductive medicine, different lifestyle factors and advancing age. An irregular period is responsible for 25 to 30 percent of women’s fertility disturbances, while another 50 percent fall under the categories of blocked fallopian tube, growths of the uterus mucous membranes (endometriosis), or abnormal uterus changes.
In many parts of the world, including the Western world, sperm quality as a whole is gradually deteriorating. About four out of every ten men of reproductive age exhibit reproductive impairments, but know very little about the causes. Male infertility can be partially attributed to factors which also put a significant strain on other organs. For example, erectile weakness is generally considered a warning sign that other circulation issues might be present. Men who are unable to have children for biological reasons have about a 17 percent higher risk of cardiac-related death. In both women and men, other medical issues can contribute to infertility. These can include thyroid problems, undiagnosed diabetes, or perhaps – yet not officially recognized – one of 15 sexually transmitted diseases.
While fertility concerns can often be addressed by simple changes in lifestyle and nutrition, at the same time, it is also of great importance to ensure that both the man and woman are receiving a chronobiological and optimal supply of selected micro-nutrients. There are many contributing factors that can result in a couple’s difficulty conceiving.
While new information is being discovered by leading researchers every day, here are some of the most common deficiencies for both men and women when it comes to infertility: