Fertility is the natural ability of giving life. Fertility differs from fecundity, which is defined as the potential for reproduction (influenced by fertilisation and carrying a pregnancy to full term). Infertility is a deficient fertility. Human fertility depends on many factors such as nutrition, sexual behaviour, culture, individual instincts, fertility awareness, lifestyle and personal emotions.
Few Infertility Facts:
- Infertility affects millions of women and their partners — about 10 percent of the reproductive age population.
- Infertility is a disease that affects the male or female reproductive system with almost equal frequency.
- Recent improvements in medication, microsurgery and in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques make pregnancy possible for more than half of the couples pursuing treatment.
- Twenty-five percent of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility.
- In approximately 40 percent of infertile couples, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility.
- Fallopian tube blockage and/or peritoneal factors (abdominal wall) account for approximately 35 percent of all female infertility problems.
- Irregular or abnormal ovulation accounts for approximately 25 percent of all female infertility cases.
- Endometriosis is found in about 35 percent of infertile women who have laparoscopy as part of their infertility assessment.
- Approximately 30 percent of couples who have a complete assessment are diagnosed with unexplained infertility because no specific cause is identified.
- About 200 million sperm are mixed with semen to form the ejaculate. In most of the men, 15 to 45 million of these sperm are healthy enough to fertilize an egg, although only 400 survive after a man ejaculates. Only 40 of those 400 reach the vicinity of the egg, surviving the toxic environment of the semen and the hostile environment of the vagina.
Q1. At what age does a woman have peak fertility?
The fertility of a Woman is at its peak between the ages of 22 to 26, and it often declines after the age of 30: a typical 30 year old woman has about 12% of the ovarian reserve she was born with, and has only 3% at age 40. With a rise in women postponing pregnancy mostly for their career, this can create an infertility problem.
Q2. Does any complications arise by postponing my pregnancy ?
Birth defects, especially those involving chromosome number and arrangement, also increase with the age of the mother. According to the March of Dimes, "At age 25, a woman has about a 1-in-1,250 chance of having a baby with Down syndrome; at age 30, a 1-in-1,000 chance; at age 35, a 1-in-400 chance; at age 40, a 1-in-100 chance; and at 45, a 1-in-30 chance."
Q3. Do I have better chances for pregnancy using fertility drugs?
The use of fertility drugs and/or invitro fertilization can increase the chances of becoming pregnant at a later age. Successful pregnancies facilitated by fertility treatment have been documented in women as old as 67.
Q4. When is the right time to consult a fertility expert for achieving pregnancy?
Doctors recommend that women who are below 30 who have been unsuccessful in trying to conceive for more than 1 year without using any mode of contraceptives should consult a Fertility Expert. They also mention that those women who are below 35 and have been trying for more than 6 months should consult a fertility specialist immediately as their fertility drops keeps dropping after 30.
A Man’s part in the process of fertilization is quite an amazing fact to discuss. A man ejaculates about 200 million sperm that are mixed with semen to form the ejaculate. In most men, about 15 to 40 million of these 200 million sperm are sufficiently healthy to fertilize an egg, although only 400 survive after a man ejaculates. Of those 400, only 40 reach the vicinity of the egg, surviving the toxic environment of the semen and the hostile environment of the vagina. After all these struggle, only one lone sperm reaches the egg for fertilization and conception.
Q1. What are my chances for infertility?
About one in seven couples experience fertility problems at some point in their lives and look out for an expert’s help. They seek guidance from a doctor who can help them through this worrying situation. Recent studies show that about 30% to 50% of fertility problems are with the male partner. During any one year, millions of men all over the world struggle to father an offspring, and many more may not be aware of a fertility problem because they are not yet certain to start a family. Others may comprehend there is a problem and simply give up trying.
Q2. What is the cause of infertility?
Looking at the various factors and reasons why a man may not be able to father a child, the most common is that he simply does not produce enough sperm, or that the sperm he does ejaculate are of poor quality.
Q3. Is there anything that I can do to improve my semen count?
Discussing male infertility, a worry is that to see if this percentage has increased in recent years, and whether today's men are as fertile as their fathers were. When men are diagnosed and found that their sperm quality is poor, there is miserably very little that we can be done to turn round the situation. In contrast, recent developments in fertility drugs have helped women to stimulate the production of eggs.
Q4. What are the main causes of infertility in Men?
Main causes of Male Infertility are low sperm count, poor sperm motility (a good sperm should a rapidly progressive movement), abnormalities in its morphology (abnormal shape and size of sperm). Even though, through various researches, specialists have known the causes of male infertility, what's not always known is the cause behind the cause. There are many factors that contribute to infertility - lifestyle, genetics, physiology - that might explain low sperm count, slow sperm mobility, abnormal sperm shape, and so on.
It is vital that you develop mutually helpful and supportive friends. There are many people going through the struggles of infertility and it can be a big help to share your experiences with people who can communicate to your emotions. Support groups are also a useful resource, either online or at a local group. It can provide a chance to ask questions, share your thoughts and be open about frustrations and difficulties. If you find that you are not coping and are showing signs of depression, it is important to consult with a professional.