Infertility in Men and Women and Differences
Infertility is the inability to conceive after multiple attempts at unprotected intercourse for a prolonged period, usually one year or more. Infertility may be caused by a failure in either the male or female reproductive system, in some cases both. Infertility is a lot more common than we think. According to studies 1 in every 10 women is infertile and 1 out of every 6 couples suffers from infertility.
Unfortunately, many conservative people in our country believe that infertility is only a woman problem but that is not true, research shows that in one-third of the couples the female is infertile, in one-third of the couples the male is infertile, and in the remaining one-third both partners are infertile or some external factor is to blame.
Studies have shown that infertility is caused by women in 40-50% cases and caused by men in 30/40% cases; this means that although women are more susceptible to infertility, there is a large possibility that the man is infertile. Now one may ask as a woman, why do I need to know about male infertility? Well it’s simple, as a couple if you are unable to conceive then it is important to know that either of you could be the contributing factor, in which case one needs to identify what the problem is and then look for solutions, instead of just thinking the problem is definitely with the woman and aimlessly making multiple trips to your gynecologist.
Common causes of infertility in men
- Varicocele: This is the enlargement of veins within the scrotum. These veins are responsible for draining the testicle and hence affect sperm quality. This condition can affect one or both the unfortunate parts in that this condition exhibits no symptoms and hence is difficult to detect.
- Sperm maturity: This condition refers to the vast category of abnormal/ immotile sperm production. Normal quality of the male sperm means that the number of the sperm cell is above 20 million per ml. 30 percent of these should be normal-formed sperm and at least 50 percent should show good motility. If these levels are not met, the man’s ability to contribute to pregnancy is challenged.
- Ejaculation problems: This includes all disorders related to the excretion of semen. In this disorder, the semen enters the body rather than the tip of the penis and hence it does not enter the female body.
- Tumors: Cancers and nonmalignant tumors can affect the male reproductive organs directly, through the glands that release hormones related to reproduction. Tumors also come with an issue because of the treatment. The radiology/ chemotherapy involved damages cells which affect reproduction.
- Hormonal imbalances: Any imbalance in glands like the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal glands directly affects the fertility rates. These hormonal imbalances lower testosterone levels in the body and hence interfere with the process of pregnancy.
- Prior surgeries and medications: Certain surgeries may prevent you from having sperm in your ejaculate, including vasectomy, inguinal hernia repairs, scrotal or testicular surgeries, prostate surgeries, and large abdominal surgeries performed for testicular and rectal cancers, among others.Apart from this testosterone medications, post-cancer medications, etc all impact sperm production.
Common causes for infertility in women
Infertility for women can be caused by issues that are different from men like ovulation problems (production of eggs), fallopian tube blockages, any abnormalities in the uterus, pelvic adhesions, early menopause, cancer treatment etc. Some other non-biological reasons may also include obesity, alcohol and tobacco consumption etc. For more details on infertility in women please read this blog: How to deal with infertility in women?
Infertility is a curable condition. All you need is some medication and some basic lifestyle changes to get there. These basic lifestyle changes include quitting smoking, drinking and any sort of drugs; practicing meditation, yoga and exercising; limiting caffeine consumption etc.
To give women their best shot at pregnancy and has launched the all-new andMe OvaBoost. Plant-based andMe OvaBoost drink is filled with prenatal vitamins that help to conceive. It is made with the goodness of CoQ10, DHA, Shatavari, Zinc, Chasteberry, Vitamin B9, and Inositol helps with egg quality and egg health, fertilization, aids in preparing the body for pregnancy, helps to prepare uterus lining. By drinking andMe OvaBoost regularly from 8 to 12 weeks before planning to conceive helps to improve fertility. Also can be consumed in the 1st trimester which helps in preparing the body for pregnancy.