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Infertility affects roughly 20 percent of couples at any given time in the United States. There are two different kinds of infertility; primary and secondary. Primary infertility describes when a pregnancy has never been achieved. Secondary infertility describes cases where one or both partners have conceived a child in the past, but are unable to conceive a second time. According to Penn State, the number of infertility cases have appeared to increase over the past 30 years as of 2010, and the causes are still unknown; However, speculations land on social issues and the growing trend of women starting families later in life.
Knowing the symptoms of women's fertility issues gives you the opportunity to figure out whether or not you are having troubles conceiving a child. Infertility in women can be diagnosed and treated in a wide range of ways, making it possible to conceive even in some extreme scenarios. The more you know about infertility issues in women, the better suited you are to tackle this topic if it becomes one of your own.
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Causes of Infertility
The burden of infertility doesn't always fall on the woman's shoulders, but sometimes the issue does lie with the woman. Age, weight, dietary habits, smoking, drinking drugs and a wide range of environmental factors weigh in on a woman's constitution and weakens her chances of conceiving or carrying a child to term. Other issues that cause infertility in women include endometriosis, history of sexually transmitted diseases, poly-cystic ovaries and hormonal issues.
Diagnosing infertility is a strenuous process that requires the examination and observation of both partners in a relationship. 20 percent of the time infertility causes are diagnosed in both partners, and successfully overcoming the issue fails only 4 percent of the time. When the cause lies in the woman, which is 40 percent of the time, the physician can offer a variety of options and tests. If you are unsuccessful at conceiving after a year of trying, it is necessary to set up an appointment with a fertility specialist.
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Treating infertility is successful 96 percent of the time, using a varying degree of available treatments. Depending on the particular cause of the woman's infertility the specialist can aggressively combat it. Every woman is different, and so is her body, so the treatments do vary depending on each individual case, but the generalities of the treatments are the same.
Hormones and Medical Treatment
In cases where the woman's infertility issues are caused by hormonal imbalance, the specialist may prescribe a balancing medication. Depending on the severity of the issue the degree and type of medication given will vary. For example, in women with light to moderate hormonal imbalance due to PCOS or another issue that hinders ovulation, a regimen involving ordinary birth controls proves effective. Sometimes, however, the specialist may prescribe a medication known as Clompiphene, or Clomid. This fertility drug stimulates your body into ovulating, helping you conceive a child. The downside of these fertility drugs is that they increase the likelihood of delivering multiple children, i.e., twins, triplets etc.
In Vitro Fertilization
In vitro fertilization, or IVF, involves the stimulation and removal of several eggs from the woman. These eggs are then combined with a concentrated collection of sperm from the woman's partner or donor. These eggs are then reintroduced into the woman's ovaries, where they can develop if they are fertilized. Sometimes multiple eggs are fertilized, resulting the multiple live births.
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Although it is certainly not your fault if you are infertile, there are a several things a woman can do to take preventative measures against infertility. Some of the underlying causes of infertility are indeed preventable if a woman lives a healthy life that is free of risky behavior and damaging effects on your body.
Abstinence & Safer Sex Practices
Even though it is difficult to bridle your passion, the safest way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is to abstain from having sexual intercourse. According to Penn State and Epigee.com, the more sexual partners a woman has had in her life, the higher her chances are of becoming infertile. Pelvic inflammatory disease is common in women who have had multiple sex partners, and is indicative of untreated STDs such as chlamydia. This condition scars the fallopian tubes, rendering you infertile.
Healthy Dietary Habits
A healthy diet is mandatory in creating a suitable environment for developing a fetus. Sometimes simply changing your diet can improve your chances of fertility. If you suffer from a hormonal condition caused by PCOS or another similar issue, it is best to avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars. These substances can inspire androgen production in your body which hinders the ovulation process in those with hormonal imbalances.
In addition to watching what you eat, it is also a good idea to carefully choose which containers in which you eat your food. Plastic containers contain BPA, a toxic chemical that is ordinarily safe enough for humans; However, women with PCOS are found to have heightened levels of this toxic element in their bloodstreams. Therefore, eating out of plastic containers, especially ones in which you have microwaved your food, could lead to fertility issues in some cases.
Be a Model Patient
It is recommended that women of reproductive age, and are sexually active, get at least one pap smear every year; Every six months in some cases. Doing so helps you detect and treat any conditions before they become too complicated to repair. This included issues that effect your fertility.
In addition to keeping your regularly scheduled pelvic exams, you should contact your mother, grandmother or other living female relative to discuss medical history. Finding out the reproductive history of those who share your DNA is a good step in taking preventative measures against infertility.