Infertility means not being able to become pregnant after a year of trying. If a woman can get pregnant but keeps having miscarriages or stillbirths, that’s also called infertility. Infertility is fairly common. After one year of having unprotected sex, about 15 per cent of couples are unable to get pregnant. About a third of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman. In another third of cases, it is because of the man. The rest of the time, it is because of both partners or no cause can be found. There are two kinds of infertility – primary and secondary:
Primary infertility means that the couple has never conceived. Secondary infertility means that the couple has experienced a pregnancy before and failed to conceive later. Globally, most infertile couples suffer from primary infertility.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the leading preventable cause of infertility by causing 70% of pelvic inflammatory diseases responsible for tubal damage. Low fertility is becoming more common worldwide, particularly in many urban settings where women are planning their first babies at older ages.
Infertility affects up to 15% of reproductive-aged couples worldwide. According to the World Health Organization estimate the overall prevalence of primary infertility in India is between 3.9 to 16.8%.
Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner, or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective therapies that significantly improve your chances of getting pregnant. But before getting into that let’s just understand infertility a bit more.
The main symptom of infertility is not getting pregnant. There may be no other obvious symptoms. Sometimes, a woman with infertility may have irregular or absent menstrual periods. In some cases, a man with infertility may have some signs of hormonal problems, such as changes in hair growth or sexual function.
Most couples will eventually conceive, with or without treatment.
You probably don’t need to see a doctor about infertility unless you have been trying regularly to get pregnant for at least one year.
Women should talk with a doctor earlier, however, if they:
Are age 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months or longer
Have irregular or absent periods
Have very painful periods
Have known fertility problems
Have been diagnosed with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
Have had multiple miscarriages
Have undergone treatment for cancer
Men should talk to a doctor if they have:
A low sperm count or other problems with sperm
A history of testicular, prostate or sexual problems
Undergone treatment for cancer
Small testicles or swelling in the scrotum
Others in your family with infertility problems
Causes of male infertility:
Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes, or STDs
Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation and certain genetic diseases’
Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides and other chemicals, and radiation.
Damage related to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely.
Causes of female infertility
Ovulation disorders, which affect the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the shape of the uterus. Noncancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage, often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis or adhesions.
Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause), when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40.
Pelvic adhesions, bands of scar tissue that bind organs that can form after pelvic infection, appendicitis, endometriosis or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Cancer and its treatment. Certain cancers — particularly reproductive cancers — often impair female fertility. Both radiation and chemotherapy may affect fertility.
Many of the risk factors for both male and female infertility are the same. They include:
Age — Women’s fertility gradually declines with age, especially in the mid-30s, and it drops rapidly after age 37. Infertility in older women is likely due to the lower number and quality of eggs, and can also be due to health problems that affect fertility. Men over age 40 may be less fertile than younger men.
Tobacco use — Smoking tobacco or marijuana by either partner may reduce the likelihood of pregnancy. Smoking also reduces the possible effectiveness of fertility treatment. Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke. Smoking can increase the risk of erectile dysfunction and a low sperm count in men.
Alcohol use — For women, there’s no safe level of alcohol use during conception or pregnancy. Alcohol use may contribute to infertility. For men, heavy alcohol use can decrease sperm count and motility.
Being overweight — Among American women, an inactive lifestyle and being overweight may increase the risk of infertility. For men, sperm count also may be affected by being overweight.
Being underweight — Women at risk of fertility problems include those with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, and those who follow a very low-calorie or restrictive diet.
Exercise issues — A lack of exercise contributes to obesity, which increases the risk of infertility. Less often, ovulation problems may be associated with frequent strenuous, intense exercise in women who are not overweight.
Although most types of infertility aren’t preventable in men, these strategies may help:
Avoid drug and tobacco use and drinking too much alcohol, which may contribute to male infertility.
Avoid high temperatures found in hot tubs and hot baths, as they can temporarily affect sperm production and motility.
Avoid exposure to industrial or environmental toxins, which can affect sperm production.
Limit medications that may impact fertility, both prescription and nonprescription drugs. Talk with your doctor about any medications you take regularly, but don’t stop taking prescription medications without medical advice.
Exercise moderately. Regular exercise may improve sperm quality and increase the chances for achieving a pregnancy.
Limit caffeine. Women trying to get pregnant may want to limit caffeine intake. Ask your doctor for guidance on the safe use of caffeine.
Avoid weight extremes. Being overweight or underweight can affect your hormone production and cause infertility.
As you may have gathered, the origin of infertility stems from problems in the kidney and liver.
Here are some natural ways of addressing these organs to cure issues related to infertility:
1) Kidney deficiency causes infertility with loss of libido, delayed and decreased menstruation with pale menses:
Group 1: K 3, 7, CV 4, 6, GV 4, UB 23, 47 (L & R) ↑ all
Group 2: K 3, 6, CV 4, GV 4, 14, 20, UB 11, 15, 23, GB 39 (L & R) ↑ all
After 3 months stop this treatment. Give the following treatment for kidney essence deficiency.
2) Stagnation of liver Qi may cause infertility with premenstrual breast distension, decreased and dark coloured menses containing clots or irregular menses
Group 1: CV 3, 4, 6, Sp 6, Liv 3 (L & R) ↓ all
Group 2: P 6, Tw 6, GB 34, Liv 3, 13, 14 (L & R) ↓all Treatment: Liv 3, Li 4, St 29, CV 6, 4, Sp 6, UB 20, 32 (L & R) ↓ all
NOTE: Lu, Lugs, P- pericardium, H- Heart, Liv- Liver, K- Kidney, Tw- Triple Warmer, UB- Urnary Bladder, GB- Gall Bladder, St- Stomack, CV- Conception Vessel, GV- Governing Vessel, are symbols of meridian.
Arrow (↑) indicates that the meridian energy needs to be increased therefore paste white side of the Byol magnet touching the Adhesive tape.
Arrow (↓) indicates that the meridian energy needs to be decreased therefore paste Yellow side of the Byol magnet touching the Adhesive tape.
There are more methods of Acupressure treatment and these could be advised, when the couple contacts the Lions Club of ACTION officers who will be too willing to help people in solving their problems at practically no cost. www.artofselfhealing.in
(The Free Press Journal along with the Lions Club of Mumbai ACTION would like to guide people on how to treat self through non-invasive, therapies like Sujok, Ayurvedic Acupressure and Mudra Yoga. This is complementary and will not override the treatment given by doctor. Please share your problems by writing to us at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also share the problem on WhatsApp at 9323178565.)