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Reproduction is a natural process where all the living beings produce the young ones of their species through one or another method of reproduction. Humans reproduce through fertilization process that happen between males and females after the fusion of sperm and egg cells. This is a very natural process and most of the human couples are able to carry it out and enjoy parenthood.
In some cases, it may not be as pleasant and natural as it is with others. The inability of either the male or the female to produce the young ones is referred to as infertility. The causes and treatments of both male and female infertility are different because of the difference in their reproductive systems.
- Infertility In Males
- Causes Of Male Infertility
- Infertility In Females
- Causes Of Female Infertility
- Treatments And Alternatives To Infertility
Infertility In Males
As mentioned above, when the sperm is unable to fertilise the egg cell, it is called infertility. Thus, male fertility depends upon the quantity and quality of the semen produced after the ejaculation. Male infertility may have two conditions, either there are not enough sperms in the semen on ejaculation or not even the one sperm is able to survive to reach the egg. In both the conditions, fertilisation will not happen, even if the couple had satisfactory intercourse.
Also, there are no obvious symptoms that can identify male infertility. Even if the male is infertile, he can still continue to have intercourse with normal erection and ejaculation. It is only after his semen is unable to fertilise the egg of a fertile female that the infertility is identified.
Causes Of Male Infertility
• The deficiency of testosterone may lead to the low sperm count.
• Similarly, medical conditions such as some kind of surgery, cancer or a testicular infection may also cause low or abnormal sperm production.
• Sometimes, there is a development of overhead testicles occuring because of exercising in a hot environment, wearing tight clothes, excess use of saunas and hot tubs, and varicose veins in the scrotum. These overhead testicles also lead to low sperm count.
• In few cases, the low sperm count may be a genetic condition.
• Consumption of alcohol and drugs also results in male infertility.
• One of the new causes has also been recently found in the studies. A new part being referred as 'atypical centriole' has been found. It is being speculated that this might be the reason behind the developmental abnormalities in the zygote and the miscarriage.
Infertility In Females
One of the natural factors of female infertility is age. The ability to conceive starts decreasing in women as they age. Apart from the age factor, other conditions which are common among females are damage to the fallopian tube, ovulation problem or damage to the uterus. All these conditions prevent the fertilisation even if a healthy sperm reaches the egg cell and is ready for fertilisation.
Causes Of Female Infertility
There are many reasons that cause infertility in females.
• Hormonal imbalance due to imbalanced thyroid gland and too much of stress may cause the ovulation problem.
• Irregular and improper menstrual cycle also causes abnormal ovulation.
• Excessive weight gain or weight loss, are also responsible for infertility.
• Formation of tumour or cyst in the uterus or the ovaries may damage them leading to infertility.
• Children of the women who were given the DES medication when they were pregnant may also lead to infertility.
• Consumption of alcohol, nicotine and other drugs also causes infertility in women.
Treatments And Alternatives To Infertility
There are various tests that can identify infertility in both males and females. Urine or the blood tests are the most common ones and often detect infertility. In many cases treatments for infertility are possible and people have been treated successfully to enjoy parenthood.
Treatment in males: In case of low sperm count, artificial insemination can also be used where sperm is artificially injected inside the female uterus. In vitro fertilisation is another method where sperm and egg cells are artificially fertilised in the laboratory and then placed in the female uterus. Medication and hormone injections are also used to treat low sperm count or any infection.
Treatment in females: In case of any infection causing infertility, antibiotics are used to remove the infection. For hormonal imbalances, hormones can be injected from outside to correct the imbalance. Also, there are different supplements available that can enhance fertility and stimulate ovulation.