Tag - infertility causes

Challenges during infertility treatments

Pregnancy is itself a very complex biological process. Even in this modern age, often all advanced fertility treatments fail to achieve the result.
Let’s discuss the challenges during infertility treatments –For any successful pregnancy three factors are important :
1. A healthy egg

The human egg has a very complex structure. Natural aging lowers the quality of eggs in women. Mostly abnormalities of eggs are observed in women in their 40s. If the egg is normal, you will have a healthy pregnancy but if it’s abnormal, there will be a problem in its fertilization & implantation in the uterus.

2. A healthy sperm

The structure of normal sperm is having an oval head with a long tail. If the sperm is abnormal, it may have wrong shaped head or twisted or curved tail. Due to an abnormal structure of sperm, it can’t reach to woman’s egg & fails in fertilization. In addition, the sperm count, its movement etc are also important factors for fertilization.

3. A uterus capable of nurturing the growth of a baby

Any abnormality of uterus includes – improper shape of the uterus which may cause preterm birth or miscarriage. Apart from that, uterine fibroids, endometriosis etc. can make complications in pregnancy.

With all these important factors in pregnancy, the other things which impact are the availability of all modern lab techniques & the expertise of infertility specialist.

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Endometrium & Pregnancy

 

A hormone called estrogen plays an important role in a woman’s menstruation & pregnancy. It is responsible to thickening uterine lining each month. When the estrogen level is drop-down, the lining is released from the uterus and you get your period.

Endometrium goes through three phases during the typically 28-day menstrual cycle –

  1. Menstrual phase (days 1-5)

Typical thickness is 1-4mm

     2. Proliferative phase (days 6-14)

Typical thickness is 5-7mm

    3. Secretory phase (days 15-28)

Typical thickness is 7-14mm

Endometrium, the innermost layer of the uterus thus is an important factor during pregnancy. If it is less than 7mm, medical treatment is needed for a successful pregnancy.

In case of the thin uterine lining, conceiving is not a problem but continuation of the pregnancy is sometimes difficult. Fortunately, there are medicines available for increasing the endometrial thickening.

Some medical conditions like cancer, fibroids, and polyps can also cause the uterine walls to thicken.

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Why infertility is increasing?

What is infertility?

Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile.

 

Factors-

  • Age

There are many reasons behind the rise. Some are related to changes in our society. A few decades ago, most women had their first child at about 21. Today, that age is closer to 26 or 27. Many couples are waiting longer to start their families – they may want to finish their educations first, or get established in their careers. When people delay having a family, the passing years may include more exposure to environmental toxins and sexually transmitted diseases. Also, the older partners are, the more likely they are to have health problems and to get treated for them.

  • Physical incompetence in Women-

1.     Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

2.     Hormonal Factors

3.     Endometriosis

4.     STIs, other infections

5.     Unhealthy body weight

6.     Other unknown causes

  • Physical incompetence in Men-
  1.  Sperm transport disorder
  2.  Pre-existing genetic conditions 
  3. Hormone disorders 
  4. Injury to the groin area 
  5. Previous surgeries, such as hernia repair or vasectomy 
  6. Previous infections, especially STDs, urinary tract infections or a severe mumps infection after puberty. 
  7. Exposure to poisonous chemicals or radiation (most common in cancer survivors.) 
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Effects of Smoking on Fertility-

 

Smoking causes serious fertility problems in both men and women.
• Chemicals in a cigarette can lead to a loss of eggs. Also, the woman who smoke experience menopause a few years earlier than women who don’t smoke.
• In males, smoking can reduce sperm count, their quality & ability to move.
• It can increase numbers of abnormally shaped sperms.
• Not only this, but smoking also decreases the sperm’s ability to fertilize eggs.
• The risk of fertility problems increases with the number of cigarettes smoked daily.
• It can increase miscarriage rates, premature birth & results in unhealthy pregnancy
Quitting smoking seems to be very difficult to smokers but it’s essential to take an expert’s advice to get out of this. It will not only boosts the chances of conceiving but improve your overall health.
Let’s Pledge on World No Tobacco Day (31st May)-
STOP SMOKING !!

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Post embryo transfer –

 Things you should remember after an embryo transfer

1. Avoid processed foods.
2. Stay well hydrated-Drink 7-8 glasses of water.
3. Eat healthy food which includes fresh fruit, vegetables, yoghurt and milk.
4. Avoid white carbs like confectioneries.
5. Completely stop smoking and alcohol.
6. You can carry on with routine activities but not overexert your self
7. Eat good carbohydrates.
8. Don’t neglect proteins and pulses.
9. No heavy exercise for a couple of weeks unless your embryo takes a safe place in the womb
10. Do not take too much stress. Invest quality time on meditation and pranayama.
11. Some might suggest you to take bed rest, for a day or two after the procedure.
12. Do not take any other medication without your fertility doctor’s advice.
13. You cannot change the outcome – all you can do is gracefully let nature take its own job!

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