While some couples struggle to avoid unplanned pregnancies, others may experience infertility, the idea of not conceiving a child may be stressful, especially if the choice of having children becomes a dream. Not being able to conceive, may be caused by many factors, but with the help of the development of medical technology, the problem of infertility can be solved.
First, we need to emphasize the fact that infertility affects both, men and women, so partners should not blame each other. We listed eight causes of infertility:
1. Little sperm: Under 15 million.
2. Poor sperm motility: In this case, the sperm cannot move efficiently. Thus, the sperm is unable to fertilize the woman’s egg.
3. Teratospermia or abnormal morphology of sperm.
4. Overweight: Obesity may cause abnormal hormones.
5. Stress: Stress can affect fertility, it decreases the chances of conception.
6. Smoking & Alcohol: Both increase the risk of infertility.
7. Problems with ovulation: This can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome.
8. Blocked fallopian tubes: This can be a result of a sexually transmitted disease, history of abdominal surgery, past ectopic pregnancy.
Around 15% of couples have unexplained infertility, which means that after the diagnostic procedures, doctors figure out that there isn’t a clear reason to prevent the couple from having a child. The case of unexplained infertility may be stressful, but the role of the therapist is to comfort the couples and to tell them about couples who had a similar experience, but now they have children, and to accept that the fact of having children needs time and patience.
Types of infertility
Basically, There are two main types of infertility, the first is about couples who are unable to be pregnant after one year of having sexual intercourse without contraception. The second type is about couples who have one child and now they are unable to have more children.
1. Surgery: In case of a blockage in the fallopian tubes.
2. ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection): The injection of a single sperm cell directly into the cytoplasm of an egg.
3. The use of fertility medication: Most of the time doctors prescribe fertility drugs especially if the diagnosis shows ovulation disorders.
4. Vitro fertilization: When fertilization occurs outside the female body.
Check-ups are important in order to know the causes of infertility, there are tests for men as there are other ones for women, we listed some of those tests:
Sperm Antibodies Test: It is known that the immune system defends the body against invaders, so antibodies attack the foreign cell (sperm).
Hormone Tests: This test helps to evaluate the number of hormones and their level, a blood test is enough to know the status of hormones that are responsible for the formation of sperm.
Evaluation of sperm: This test is meant to detect any abnormalities in the sperm, it detects also the motility ( movement) of the sperm, the size, and the shape.
Ultrasound: The aim of this test is to evaluate the organs responsible for pregnancy through using sound waves to create an image of those organs, but sometimes this image is not clear, so doctors may use transvaginal ultrasound so that doctors may be able to have a comprehensive picture of the organs.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): This test is meant to diagnose blocked fallopian tubes and the structure of the uterus. The test consists of putting dye in a woman’s vagina to take an x-ray to reveal the structure of the woman’s reproductive organs. (HSG) is useful, it reveals also the abnormalities in woman’s organs. For example, if the dye failed in entering fallopian tubes, then it’s a sign of a blockage in one of the fallopian tubes or both of them.
Some tests may cause infection, allergic reaction and bleed, but this can be treated by medication.
Infertility from a psychological perspective
Repeated failure can cause depression and stress, the inability of conceiving a child became a challenge that consumes the financial, physical and emotional stability of the couples. Psychological effects may cause infertility and make fertilization decrease dramatically, which in turns have an impact on the relationship itself. Mental pressure prevent ovulation and considered to be one of the main causes of hormone disorder.
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