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While the exact causes of roughly a third of all fertility problems are still a medical mystery, there is much modern medicine understands and is able to do about known reproductive dysfunctions.

The most common factors of infertility can be nullified by simple changes, and it all starts with a diagnosis.

When pregnancy doesn’t happen easily, or takes a long time in coming couples begin to wonder about fertility issues and what can be done about them.  Presented below are some of the most common problems which create infertility and how to reverse the problems. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID, is among the top causes of preventable female infertility.  PID can be caused by a number of things: untreated STDs, infection and surgical procedures within the uterus, cervix or fallopian tubes.

PID causes an extreme swelling or inflammation of the fallopian tubes. This inhibits fertility by blocking access to the egg. If the egg can’t exit and sperm can’t enter there is no way for the “twain to meet” and kick the baby process in motion.

Treatment is fairly simple and ranges from simple antibiotics and shots to surgical procedures to drain infection.

Obesity

Excess fat does more than increase heart disease and diabetic risk factors.  For women especially, too much junk in the trunk has the potential to throw off the delicate hormone dance that dictates healthy reproductive cycles.

Many overweight women experience irregular periods as a side effect of obesity.  The recommendation to lose weight through healthy changes in lifestyle aimed at waistline reduction may seem trite, but many a mom to be finds her way to motherhood as a result of regulating her menstrual cycles after dropping a few pounds.

Tubal Problems

Tubal blockages are not solely a female infertility problem. Men can also have tubal damage, inflammations or road blocks preventing the effective delivery of sperm. 

Tubal problems need to be ruled out by simple tests administered by a doctor if baby dreams are to become reality. 

Irregular Periods

Conception is the ultimate blind hipshot at a moving target.  When menstrual cycles don’t follow a regular cycle from month to month the whole process becomes nearly impossible. 

Periods can be erratic for many reasons: poor nutrition, stress, hormone deficiencies and the list goes on.  Getting regular is the first must do accomplishment for any want-to-be momma.

Lack of Ovulation

Pregnancy becomes impossible when an egg is not released from the ovary each month in viable condition.  Many factors come into play to create healthy ovulation, and the presence of a regular menstrual cycle with a monthly period does not necessarily mean ovulation is happening on schedule or at all.

Ovulation problems can range from the release of immature ova (eggs) or the failure to release an ovum at all due to poor timing.  If the egg is released too late or too early in the reproductive cycle, even if conception occurs, the conceptus will arrive at the womb either too soon or too late for successful implantation to sustain pregnancy.

Women can find help with regulating ovulation issues via prescription medication and ovulation kits.  These tools often lead to successful pregnancy.

10 Fertility Fixes for Men and Women: part 2

Fertility problems come in all forms.  The woman accounts for 1/3 of conception difficulties while the man shoulders his fair share with 1/3 of cases attributable to male infertility. 

Immune System Malfunctions

There are plenty of crossed signals that can confuse the reproductive cycle.  One of the most serious is when the immune system gets it wrong.  There are times when either the male or female immune system assigns the title of “public enemy number one” to sperm. 

This means that upon entry to the uterus or exit from the scrotum, the immune system declares war and attacks the sperm at will to cause damage, immobilization or the outright death of sperm by the thousands. 

Treatments for this problem are controversial with results being mixed. The current preferred treatment for infertility caused by immunological disorders is to employ external fertilization options, usually injecting the sperm directly into the harvested eggs then implanting the fertilized eggs back inside the womb.

Advanced Maternal Age

It is not the most popular or convenient truth, but female fertility decreases significantly with age.  Fertility problems are increasing in regularity as the average age of first time mothers climbs higher and higher. 

When motherhood is a non-negotiable life’s desire, waiting isn’t in the woman’s favor.

Low Sperm Count

15-fertility-issues-2

About 90% of male fertility problems center on sperm count.  Sperm counts falling below 20 million per milliliter are considered to be low.  Sperm counts are not static and change frequently. To this end a single test is not enough to conclusively diagnose an insufficient sperm count.

The woman’s window of fertility is only open for about 12 hours each month.  When the troops being sent in to accomplish the mission of fertilization are too few in number the odds of success are significantly compromised.

There are many ways men can increase sperm count: cutting back or eliminating use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, reducing heat to scrotum (yes, this means that boxers really do increase sperm counts) and taking health supplements such as vitamin E and ginseng.

Irregular Sperm

Sometimes sperm problems have less to do with quantity than quality.  Having adequate sperm counts amounts to very little when the sperm present are malformed in one way or another.  The path way to fertilization is the equivalent of an ironman competition. Only the best swimmers even survive to get a glimpse of the prize. 

To increase the production of healthy sperm try taking more vitamin C. Increasing intake to about 2000-6000 mg each day has been shown to increase motility.  A traditional multivitamin is likewise beneficial.

Some prescription medications can also have a negative effect on sperm production.  Some of these drugs are very common, like Zantac. Talk to your doctor to be certain prescription medication isn’t adding to infertility woes.

Sexual Difficulties

Approximately 5% of couples find their fertility problems rooted in sexual dysfunction. This can range from failure or inability to ejaculate, problems achieving an erection or only maintaining one for a short duration, failure of the woman to achieve orgasm, backwards ejaculation (when the ejaculate retreats into the man’s system rather than being propelled outward) and poor timing of intercourse.

One of the best ways to fix fertility caused by sexual dysfunction is to increase the frequency of sex.  Statistically, 5 out of 6 couples who have sex 4 times weekly will achieve pregnancy over the duration of 6 months.

Increasing sexual encounters will help counteract certain sexual dysfunctions, while others may need more attention.

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