An infertility diagnosis can pierce the heart, often leading to feelings of grief and depression for many women and men around the world. However, most people that are initially diagnosed with infertility do go on to become parents over time.
If you and your partner are unable to have children together without medical assistance, you are not alone. Over 7 million couples in the United States are experiencing fertility problems. This comes out to about 10 percent of couples in their childbearing years.
What is infertility?
Infertility is a condition that makes it harder, and often impossible, to get pregnant without medical assistance. If you thought that infertility was usually due to female fertility problems, think again. Almost half of all infertility cases are linked to women with another 40 percent of fertility problems linked to men. The other 20 percent of cases are due to both male and female factors.
There are numerous causes of infertility, ranging from medical problems that people are born with to age-related health problems. Some women have unexplained infertility, and no cause may ever be found.
Here are 10 of the most common causes of infertility.
1. Age (Fertility declines starting in a woman's 20s)
2. Weight (Being severely under- or overweight)
3. Issues with the reproductive organs
4. Sexually transmitted disease (STDs)
5. Issues with sperm
6. Genetic problems
7. Exposure to drugs, alcohol, toxins, and illness
9. Hormonal imbalances
10. Birth defects
Since there are a wide variety of fertility problems (as you can see above), there are also a wide variety of fertility treatments. To learn more about fertility treatments that might help you get pregnant, see a fertility specialist. Your fertility specialist will run tests, perform exams, and best be able to tell you which treatments will work for you.
Some treatments may be as simple as having sex with your partner on certain days each month. Your doctor may recommend fertility drugs to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Many times, couples become pregnant after using high-tech treatments, including:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- Fertility treatments that use donor eggs, donor sperm, or donor embryos
If you have questions about treatments, make an appointment at a fertility clinic near you.
While some cases of infertility are not preventable, you can take steps to protect your fertility health. Here are 5 things that boost fertility that you can start working on today:
1. Stop smoking.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
4. Get tested for STDs.
5. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
Get infertility support
Infertility can have a highly emotional impact on couples. If you are diagnosed with infertility, we highly recommend infertility support and counseling to help you along the way. Your local fertility clinic may offer counseling services by experts who have worked in the infertility field for years. Many fertility therapists have dealt with infertility in their own lives and know firsthand how difficult the journey can be.
Find infertility support online
Here at Attain Fertility, we also offer many articles to help you deal with infertility stress. To learn more about infertility, Attain Fertility offers education on a wide variety of infertility-related topics.