Infertility in females refers to the incapacity to conceive and give birth to a living baby. Infertility or failure to reproduce must be distinguished from frigidity which denotes failure to perform the sex act or performing it imperfectly.
Female infertility symptoms
Psychological factors can result in various female sterility symptoms
Psychological factors like emotional stress, tension, mental depression, anxiety, and fear may also result in psychosomatic sterility. This condition is generally temporary and can be corrected by psychotherapy
Causes Of Infertility In Men:
1.Any current medical illness.
2.Medical history (mumps, sexually transmitted diseases).
3.Surgical history (operations on testes, inguinal hernia repair).
4.Occupation (exposure to excessive heat, toxins).
6.Smoking, alcohol indigestion.
7.Erectile or ejaculatory difficulties.
Causes Of Infertility In Women:
Age is an important factor in female sub-fertility.Increasing age reduces fertility in women and also the likelihood of successful treatment.Even in a younger woman, a depleted ovarian reserve will reduce natural fertility.
1.Gynaecological conditions-ovulation failure-oligomenorrhoea or amenorrhoea, tubal damage, cervical mucous defects, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, etc.
2.Coital infrequency and poor timing.
4.Pelvic infection(current or past).
5.Current medical illness like Tuberculosis.
6.Smoking, alcohol indigestion.
Female infertility due to physical disability
Female infertility may be due to physical defects, physical debility, and functional faults. Sterility due to physical debility can result from poor health as a consequence of certain acute or chronic diseases. Complaints like gonorrhoea, syphilis, and inflammation of the fallopian tubes also come under this category.
Other causes of female infertility
Chronic anaemia, constipation, and leucorrhoea aggravate these conditions. Sterility may also be caused by loss of essential glands or organs of reproduction, or a decrease in their functions. Obesity or emaciation due either to dietetic errors or faulty metabolism are other factors which call contribute to female infertility.
Female infertility treatment
Female infertility treatment using Banyan Roots
The tender roots of the banyan tree are one of the valuable remedies found beneficial in the treatment of female sterility where there are no organic defect or congenital deformities. These roots should be dried in the shade and finely powdered. About twenty grams of this powder should be mixed with milk, which should be five times the weight of this powder, and taken at night for three consecutive nights after the monthly periods are over. When this remedy is administered, no other food should be eaten for a short while thereafter. This remedy should be repeated after the completion of the menstrual cycle every month till conception takes place.
Female sterility treatment using Jambul Leaves
An infusion of the fresh tender leaves of jambul fruit is an excellent remedy for sterility or miscarriage due to an ovarian or endometrium functional disorder. The infusion can be prepared by pouring 250 ml of boiling water over 20 gm of fresh jambul leaves, and allowing it to steep for two hours. The infusion may be taken with either two teaspoons of honey or 200 ml of buttermilk.
Female infertility treatment using Winter Cherry
The herb winter cherry is another valuable remedy found helpful in sterility. The herb should be powdered and six grams of this powder should be taken with one cup of milk for five to six nights after menstruation.
Female sterility treatment using Nutrients
Certain nutrients, especially vitamins C and E, and zinc, have been found helpful in some cases of sterility. A woman who is unable to conceive should take 1000 mg of vitamin C, 100 I.U. of vitamin E and 30 mg of zinc daily.
Seeds, nuts, curd and cottage cheese.
Physical debility and functional faults of organic nature can be cured by simple and effective methods of natural treatment, of which optimum nutrition is an essential part. Fasting is the best remedy for the treatment of disorders resulting from toxins in the system. A short fast of two or three day should be undertaken at regular intervals by women who are unable to bear children. Diet is an important factor in the treatment of infertility. It should contain seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits. These foods should be supplemented with milk, vegetable oils, and honey. Curd and cottage cheese are also recommended. About seventy to eighty per cent of the diet should consist of foods in their natural uncooked state, because cooking destroys much of the nutritional value of most foods. Sprouting is an excellent way of consuming seeds, beans, and grains in their raw form, as in the process of sprouting, the nutritional value is multiplied, new vitamins are created and the protein quality is improved.
Food to be avoided
Excessive fat, spicy foods, strong tea, coffee, white sugar, white flour, refined cereals, flesh foods, greasy or fried foods should all be avoided.
Other female infertilty treatment
The bowels should be cleansed by a warm-water enema during the period of fasting and afterwards when necessary. This will have a beneficial effect not only on the digestive system but also on the surrounding organs of the urinary and genital system.
Certain Yogasanas which are said to tone up the gonads or ovaries should also be practised regularly for overcoming female sterility. These asanas are sarvangasana, matsyasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, paschimottanasana and shalabhasana. All these measures, along with clean habits, proper rest, and relaxation will go a long way in overcoming female sterility.
Mud packs and cold-water treatments
Other helpful measures in overcoming female sterility are mud packs and cold-water treatments like a hip bath and wet girdle pack. These treatments greatly improve internal circulation in the genital organs and relieve them of all kinds of inflammation and other abnormalities. Mud packs may be applied to the abdomen and sexual organs. The cold hip bath should be taken for ten minutes at a water temperature of 10degree C-18.3 degree C. For a wet girdle pack, a thin underwear wrung in cold water should be worn. Over this, a thick, dry cotton or woollen underwear should be worn. All cold treatments should be suspended during menstruation.
Here is what experts advise couples who are beginning to worry about their lack of success at conception.
Give it a year. If you're under 28, your sex life is wonderful, and there's nothing in your medical history that points to a possible reproductive problem, our experts say keep trying for a year.
"About 60 percent of couples conceive within six months and 90 percent within the year," says Mitchell Levine, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist with Woman-Care in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "When you get older, naturally, fertility decreases a bit."
Even women in their twenties don't ovulate every month, adds Joseph H. Bellina, M.D., Ph.D., director of Omega International Institute, a fertility clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana. In the thirties, the likelihood of monthly ovulation begins to lessen. That's why the older you are, the sooner you'll want to consult a specialist.
Talk it out. Are you both sure you want that baby, or is one of you ambivalent? Our experts have had plenty of stories about couples who try half-heartedly for years but don't conceive until after one partner's uncertainty is resolved.
"I had a couple where the man was older, he had children from another marriage, and he wasn't sure he wanted to be a father at this point in his life," says Dr. Levine. "After a couple of sessions of really talking it out, he got really excited about becoming a father again. And that's when they conceived."
"It's eerie," adds Marilyn Milkman, M.D., a San Francisco obstetrician/gynecologist and clinic faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco. "I've had four patients come in for fertility evaluations, walk out the door, and become pregnant within the month."
Let the passion take you. Forget about ovulatory charts, mucus charts, and scheduled sex until you absolutely have to worry about them. If you've got time, "let the passion take you," says Dr. Milkman. "Often that does better."
Ease up on your work schedule. Workaholism and constant pressure can put the squeeze on fertility, says Dr. Levine. "I see a lot of career people and I say to them 'take a look at what message you're giving to your body.' " For Dr. Levine, it makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. Your body knows that a period of extreme stress is not an ideal time to get pregnant.
Use the standard missionary position on days when you suspect the woman is fertile. The man-on-top style of intercourse is best for conception, says Dr. Bellina. The woman should remain lying down for 20 minutes after her partner ejaculates.
"I advise couples to have intercourse on those nights and then fall asleep," he says.
Stop smoking. Cigarettes can impair fertility in men and women. Studies of men have shown that smokers are more likely than nonsmokers to have sperm counts below the normal range, and to have less sperm motility. An English study of 17,032 women showed that the more cigarettes a woman smoked per day, the less fertile she was likely to be. Researchers suspect that smoking may alter hormone levels in a woman's body.
FOR WOMEN ONLY
Here are some helpful measures that women can take to help increase the chances of pregnancy.
Make sure you're ovulating. Are you having regular periods? If not, you may not ovulate.
"One key to ovulation is noticeable changes in cervical mucus midway through the cycle," says Dr. Milkman. "The mucus will be thin, watery, and clear." Other signs include premenstrual breast tenderness, cramps, and what the Germans call mittelschmerz—ovulation pain, she says.
Another way to test ovulation is with a kit you buy at the drugstore. The kit, which reads levels of the ovulation release hormone in your urine, is only about 50 percent effective when you use it morning and night, says Dr. Bellina. Kits available only through your doctor's office tend to be more accurate. The best time to test is between 10:00 a.m. and noon.
If you get a positive result the first month you use it, great. If three cycles pass without giving you a positive result, it could mean that either the kit isn't sensitive enough for you or you're not ovulating. Either way, consult your doctor.
If you want to be a fertility goddess, try to look like one. Some women can induce ovulation by putting on a few pounds or taking off a few. In general, the closer your actual weight is to the ideal weight listed in the Metropolitan Life statistical tables, the better. You want to be within 95 percent of that ideal but below 120 percent.
Researchers have found that body fat can actually produce and store estrogen, a hormone that primes the body for pregnancy. When total body estrogen is too high or too low, the system can be thrown off balance. The more fat, the more estrogen produced.
In one study by reproductive endocrinologist G. William Bates, M.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and dean of the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine, 29 slim and nonovulatory women attained ovulation when they gained enough weight to put them within 95 percent of the ideal. Within three years of entering the program, 24 of the 29 became pregnant. In another study by Bates, 11 of 13 overweight and nonovulatory women regained ovulation after they lost weight: 10 conceived.
Go easy on the exercise. There are two reasons for this. If exercise causes you to lose too much body fat, you can stop ovulating. But even if you maintain normal body weight, you may still put yourself at risk if you spend more than an hour a day working hard at activities like running, cross-country skiing, or swimming.
In a study of 346 women with ovulatory dysfunction, Beverly Green, M.D., a maternal and infant health specialist in Silverdale, Washington, found some evidence that women who had never been pregnant and who exercised vigorously for more than an hour a day increased their risk of infertility. The study found that exercise exerted its effect on fertility through a means independent of its ability to promote weight loss.
What's going on here? Dr. Green is not sure. Dr. Bellina suspects the endorphins, brain chemicals released during vigorous exercise, may, like morphine, affect a woman's prolactin levels. Elevated prolactin levels may interfere with ovulation.
At any rate, Dr. Green, a marathon runner who had no difficulty bearing children, cautions against overinterpreting her study. Her advice to dedicated athletes? "Try to cut back and see if it makes a difference."
Time it just right. If ovulation is occurring normally, maybe you're just not making love when you're fertile. It could be that simple, says Dr. Levine.
"Sometimes you've got two career people, they're having intercourse maybe once or twice a week, and they're just not hitting it," he says.
How do you remedy this? Try to predict ovulation. If you don't want to fuss much, you can predict the date of your next period and count back 14 days. Then make love every night from day 11 through day 16. Or you can buy an over-the-counter ovulation test kit, which will give you about 24 to 36 hours advance warning of ovulation. When the test indicates ovulation, make love that night and the night after, advises Dr. Bellina.
Thou shalt not douche. Anything that interferes with the pH level of the vagina can make life unfriendly for sperm. That includes douches, lubrication agents, and jellies.
"I tell people never to douche," says Dr. Milkman. "If you leave the vagina alone, it will do just fine at cleaning itself."
Go easy on caffeine. More than a cup of coffee a day can hurt your chances of becoming pregnant. The same holds true if you ingest the equivalent amount of caffeine from chocolate, soft drinks, or other caffeinated beverages.
In a study of 104 women who were attempting to become pregnant, researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that those who drank more than the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee a day were half as likely to conceive as those who consumed less.
FOR MEN ONLY
And on the male side of the equation, there is more advice.
Give your sperm time to bounce back. Any viral illness associated with fever can depress sperm count for up to three months, says Neil Baum, M.D., director of the Male Infertility Clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a clinical assistant professor of urology at Tulane University School of Medicine. Bad colds can have the same effect.
Why is the effect so long-lasting? According to Dr. Baum, the normal cycle to produce a sperm is 78 days. It takes another 12 days for the sperm to mature. Healthy semen, by the way, contains in excess of 20 million sperm per teaspoon. If you looked at the sample under a microscope, more than 60 percent would appear to be swimming forward.
If your sperm count is healthy, a cold or flu probably won't knock it out of the fertility range. But if it's borderline, an illness may.
Say no to steroids. Anabolic steroids can shut off the pituitary gland and alter the body's natural hormone balance, says Dr. Baum. "It's not uncommon for athletes to have infertility problems," he adds. "Long-time use of steroids can permanently damage the testicles."
Be wary of drugs and alcohol. Various over-the-counter and prescription drugs can depress sperm count. If you're not sure about the medications you use, consult your pharmacists or doctor. Tagamet, an ulcer medication, is one to watch out for. Others include chemotherapeutic agents and certain antibiotics. And various studies over the years show that chronic drinking and habitual marijuana use can be at fault, too.
Keep 'em cool. Nature's way of keeping your testicles a half-degree cooler than your core body temperature is to house them outside the body. But if you heat the core temperature too much, or heat the testes themselves, you can affect sperm production.
Dr. Baum advises you to be careful about excessive physical activity, temperature extremes, hot tubs, and close-fitting underwear if you want to father a child.
Remember that abstinence makes the sperm grow stronger. If a baby is what you're after, daily intercourse can be too much of a good thing because it can decrease your sperm count.
"For the average couple, this doesn't matter," says Dr. Levine. "But in a borderline case, this may do it." Most experts recommend you abstain for two days prior to the woman's fertile period to let the sperm build up, then make love every other day.