The basics of infertility

Struggling to have a baby is something many experience in their lives. While it used to be regarded as a largely female issue,  research shows that male infertility is as common as female infertility. But what exactly is infertility?

Doctors refer to infertility as not being able to fall pregnant after one year of actively trying to conceive through regular sexual intercourse without using birth control. Women over 35 are often diagnosed as suffering from infertility if they cannot fall pregnant after six months of trying to conceive through regular sexual intercourse.

The issue with infertility or subfertility (reduced fertility) is that you may not be aware of the condition until you attempt to conceive. Roughly one in six couples in the US will struggle with infertility, with one in four battling with the condition in developing countries. Globally, 9% of the population battle with infertility. 

It is important to know that being infertile does not mean you are sterile. Whereas sterility means it is impossible for a couple to have children, infertility, although a seemingly negative term when one is presented with the news, still holds some hope because while you may be unable to conceive a child naturally for whatever reason, you may still be able to with medical intervention.

Bear in mind, complex medical intervention is not always required and it is a common misconception amongst those struggling to conceive that IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is their only option. This, however, is not always the case. The treatment for infertility will depend on the cause of the condition. In some couples, one partner may be suffering from thyroid issues such as an underactive (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), this may have a direct impact on fertility as the hormones produced and regulated by the thyroid gland have an influence on ovulation and fertility. Cases such as these can be easily treated with oral medication. It is advised that you see a reproductive specialist to assist in correcting any abnormalities before more complex intervention is considered.

Infertility may be the result of various factors in either a male or female that interfere with conception. Thanks to advances in modern medicine, there are a number of possible solutions that are able to significantly improve your chances of falling pregnant.

The information in the navigation menu above explores everything you need to know about infertility in men and women, separating the two sexes in order to clearly differentiate between them. It is vital to note that this information is intended to serve only as a guideline and not as a professional opinion. It is always recommended that you consult with your doctor for that and any assistance and advice that you require.

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