The term infertility is described as a condition whereby a female is unable to conceive children inspire of having unprotected sexual relations for duration of more than a year. A person having this condition is called infertile. Both the partners, either male or female, and even both may be the cause of infertility. It is generally recommended that he or she seeks the help of a doctor if conception has not happened within 12 months. More than 1 million such cases per year is common in India. It is treatable by a medical professional and is self diagnosable. Laboratory tests or imaging are a few procedures often required to solve this problem and takes a few months only.
Symptoms of infertility in men are vague in most cases and mostly go unnoticed until he tries to have a baby. A few of the commonest symptoms are as follows:
Desire to have sex may be affected
This is one of the most common signs in men. The desire for sex is controlled by hormones and poor hormonal health results in decreased virility and indicates infertility.
Presence of lumps and swollen and painful testicles
Multiple causes result in swollen or painful testicles leading to infertility. This can show up at any time and is best treated by a doctor who may recommend a semen analysis.
Problem in erection
Inability to maintain an erection before one tries for conception is a quite widespread and common symptom of infertility and needs to be treated promptly.
Problem in ejaculation
Inability to ejaculate results in problems with conception. Sperms exit through the male testes by this process and there will be no nature conception if there is an absence of sperms. Immediate treatment is required for a successful conception.
Abnormally shaped testicles
Ideally, testicles should be large, loose and should be hanging in an adult male. Small and firm testicles are a symptom of infertility and should be attended by a doctor. Some people still think that infertility is a ‘ woman’s problem ‘. But it has been seen that in 20 % of infertile couples, the problem is definitely with the male partner. It may be so that infertility in the man is the only reason why a couple is unable to conceive, or may be such that it adds on to the difficulties that is caused by infertility in his partner. A man’s infertility depends on the quantity and quality of sperms. If the sperm count of a man is low or of poor quality it might be difficult or impossible to cause pregnancy.
Therefore it is important that men also get tested along with women, and the earlier the better. Some men might put off getting tested to avoid embarrassment, but surely early testing van help their partners avoid a lot of unnecessary discomfort and expense. It is also easier to resolve potential problems. Therefore the first thing to do is go to a doctor. He will want asemen analysis, whereby, he will check the quality and quantity of the sperm in the semen. It is a common test and is necessary that the analysis takes place quickly to save you months of worry and anxiety.
An infertile woman has a hard time getting pregnant which might be due to some underlying health problems. This may include:
- Ovulation disorders which affect the release of eggs from ovaries due to hormonal disorders, excessive exercise, eating disorders or injury or tumors.
- Uterine or Cervical abnormalities eg. Presence of polyps or benign tumor.
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage caused by inflammation of the Fallopian tube due to sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.
- Endometriosis: that is endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus, thus affecting the function of ovaries, uterus and Fallopian tube.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency or early menopause which sets in when ovaries stop working before the age of 40. Factors leading to this disorder are genetic disorders, immune system diseases, radiation and chemotherapy treatment and smoking.
- Other conditions are delayed puberty or absence of menstruation, poorly controlled diabetes and genetic abnormalities.
Therefore it is best to see a doctor when one sees any change in the menstrual cycle which is the commonest problem and is quite alarming and easily noticeable. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
Irregular and abnormal bleeding during menstrual cycle
Irregularity in women’s menstrual cycle is largely indicative of infertility in women. Lack of consistency and conspicuous irregularity in the periods cycle is a cause of concern and needs to be checked by a gynecologist.
Absence of periods
Missing periods over the course of a few months can be indicative and should be treated by a gynecologist.
A painful period accompanied by heavy discharge is a symptom of infertility. Endometriosis can result in infertility and is characterized by painful periods and needs to be addressed immediately.
Change in desire of sex
Painful sex brings about a change in desire for sex. It is a symptom of hormonal imbalance and endometriosis and is also a common cause of infertility.
Hormonal fluctuations can largely affect the ability to conceive.
If you are facing this problem from long time, then talk to your doctor at the earliest if you are:
- Age 35-40 years of age and trying to conceive for more than 6 months.
- over the age of 40 years.
- menstruating irregularly or not at all,
- having painful periods .
- having any fertility problems.
- been suffering from endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.
- already had multiple miscarriages.
- Undergone treatment for cancer.
All the steps during overly and fertilization should happen correctly to get pregnant. Sometimes tie reasons of infertility in couples are present from birth, sometimes they develop later in life. Causes of infertility van be there in one or both partners. Some are treatable but some types of infertility are not preventable. There are several strategies which increase the chances of pregnancy.
Couples should have regular intercourse around the time of ovulation, beginning 5 days before and a day after ovulation as it has the highest pregnancy rate. Infertility is a very common problem that both men and women face across the world and there are symptoms already discussed that point to infertility. Fertility tests need to be carried out to diagnose the cause behind the problem of not being able to conceive. Modern medicine has made inroads into curing most diseases including infertility,so one has to see a doctor and not panic.