Infertility has become a very common problem among women as well as men these days. There are several reasons why a couple might not be able to conceive. A year or two is a good amount of time to suspect the chances of infertility. The first step is to visit a doctor when one suspects the chances of being infertile. Infertility is caused by a broad array of problems and maybe from the side of the male or the female. If you are also trying to conceive for a very long time but got no success, read this article as Dr. Anindita Singh, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility East, Kolkata tells reasons for not conceiving as well as tests that can identify the cause for not being able to conceive.
Female fertility problems
In females, age is the most common recorded cause of infertility. As women age their fertility declines. Endometriosis is also a reason for infertility in females. It is a condition where there is a development of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Endometriosis causes inflammation making the uterus an inhospitable environment and may end up damaging the embryo. In aggravated cases, this condition may block the fallopian tubes. Female infertility also includes problems with the:
- Damage to the fallopian tubes or the uterus
- Problems with ovulation
- PCOS or PCOD
- Thyroid problems
- Weight problems
- Large intake of alcohol/ junk food/ sedentary lifestyle
Male fertility problems
Reasons for infertility may arise from the male partner. It may be caused due to- abnormal sperm shape, low sperm count, abnormal sperm motility, etc. These factors may also impact sperm production and motility.
- Exposure to toxins like chemotherapy or radiation
- Large quantity intake of tobacco
- High intake of alcohol
- Chain smoking
- Other drugs
Few neurological factors, infectious diseases, and disorders that affect the lungs, kidneys, or liver may also lead to impairment of sperm production or delivery of sperm to the female genital tract.
Tests To Get Done If You Are Unable To Conceive
If a couple is unable to conceive even after trying for a year or two doctors recommend a few tests to understand the problem of infertility. Women planning pregnancy must consult the doctor and there are certain screening tests to be carried out. These tests enable the doctor to diagnose the real problem behind infertility or any other underlying medical conditions. The recommended tests before pregnancy are:
Semen analysis: This test is so that the doctor can check whether there are any problems with the semen. Through this test the doctor may see how healthy the semen is, what is the rate of motility, and the quantity of semen production.
Prolactin Test (PLR): This is a test that helps to see the level of prolactin that is released by the brain into the body.
AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) level test: AMH is a test to check your ovarian reserve which checks the level of fertility of a woman.
Tubal test: Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or Sonosalpingogram (SSG) do be done to see the patency of fallopian tubes.
Thyroid function test: This will diagnose the thyroid disorders like- hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
Scan/Ultrasound: This scan of your pelvic region is extremely important as the doctors will get to know the condition of the ovaries, if one has any ovarian cysts or fibroids, and any ovarian polyps. They will be able to see the thickness of the endometrial lining around the uterus.
Things couples need to know before they start their family
The pre-conception period for a couple is very crucial. Pre-conception health is very important.
Doctors recommend that one should start taking a vitamin that is known as folic acid when they know that they will be trying to conceive. Taking this vitamin may help prevent serious birth defects. Ideally, doctors recommend women take the folic acid tablets for at least 3 months before they start trying to conceive.
- Cut down caffeine intake/alcohol intake and smoking.
- Talk to your doctor about any pre-existing medical conditions or any previous pregnancy complications (as some medications may impact your fertility).
- Be sure that your vaccines are up to date so that you know you are protected. You can discuss with your doctor any additional vaccine that you may need, one being the MMR vaccine.
If you are trying to conceive for months but haven’t got any luck, you must consult a doctor to get some tests done. These would help in finding out the exact reason why you are not getting pregnant.
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