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Infertility and Why it happens in Men and Women

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Nov 23, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

•  In most cases of infertility, the man is seen to be suffering from pathological difficulty.
•  Common contributors of infertility include smoking and alcohol consumption.
•  Environmental factors like exposure to certain chemicals can cause infertility.
•  Obesity may cause infertility in both men and women.

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Medically, infertility is referred to as a condition that occurs when a couple has been trying to have a baby with regular, unprotected sex for over 6 months to one year, but in vain.


infertility in men and womenWhile infertility is often thought of as a problem commonly occurring in women, it is not really so. To learn the opposite might be the biggest myth buster of infertility. But, it is true that in around 50 percent of the total infertility cases, it is the pathological difficulty detected in the male partner because of which infertility occurs.

In general, the reasons why a woman may be suffering from infertility are quite similar to those in a man, except for certain rare cases in which it may depend on particular aspects of the woman’s or man’s reproductive system.
Let’s take a look at the common causes of infertility in both men and women.

There are three types of basic factors which may cause infertility in men. They are:

•     genetic
•     environmental
•     psychological.


To investigate the cause of infertility, men and women should go for a physical assessment. If the woman menstruates regularly and does not have an unusual reproductive activity, then experts suggest that semen examination be made obligatory even if the male partner is sure that he is not the cause of infertility. It is seen that if a male is satisfied with his sexual intercourse act then he thinks that he simply cannot be the cause of infertility. However, doctors oppose to this fact. This is because in reality no sperms might have been ejaculated. The following could be weighed as possible causes of infertility.

Environmental factors:

•     Exposure to environmental toxins which might include lead and pesticides, known to be the most common cause of infertility.

•    Adopting illicit habits such as alcohol and drugs and taking certain medications can lead to temporary reduction of sperm quantity and quality. Women may experience a shift in their menstruation cycles with the number of eggs and the number of times an egg is released being reduced.

 

Genetic factors:

•    One of the main causes of infertility includes the inability to ejaculate in a normal fashion. This can be due to various factors such as diabetes, surgery of the prostate gland or urethra, blood pressure medication or impotence. This could be a problem that is running in the family.

•    Another cause can be the impedance in the drainage of veins from the testis. This condition is medically called as varicocele. At times there can be a blockage of the male reproductive tract.

•    Congenital conditions and testicular failure are also among some problems in men which can lead to infertility.

•    Obesity or anorexia can lead to infertility in women because fat cells produce the female hormone estrogen and when there is a lot of fat, the body will produce too much of the female hormone estrogen, making the immune system to act against it working towards birth control. If there is too little estrogen, the woman naturally loses her ability to reproduce.

Psychological Factors:

Stress can be linked to long hours of over working, smoking, lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle. All these practices can lead to the release of adrenocortical hormones which decrease production, maturation and flow of sperm. Stress is believed to produce auto-antibodies in male, however, the exact track of it is not scientifically well known.

Infections caused due to sexually transmitted diseases and few viral infections such as mumps, could result in damaging the testicles and can further cause male infertility.

Most women do not get pregnant because even if they put out their willingness to be a mother, they do not really want to have a baby. They are aversive to the whole concept of 9 months of pregnancy and imagine it to be a difficult phase post delivery; that of taking care of the child, giving in to the constant demands, etc. Several studies have even shown a positive relationship between the ambivalence towards pregnancy and infertility. Stress is also said to alter the hormone levels significantly, making it impossible for a woman to conceive.

Infertility is a common problem among men and women, especially of those who belong to the current generation and this has been linked to a sedentary and ignored lifestyle. But, there is nothing to worry about if you are suffering from it, because there are treatments available and work best if you seek them before it is too late.

Read more articles on Women's Health

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