Taking Control of Your Fertility
Infertility has numerous causes and coping with it can present challenges. Healthy people tend to take their natural fertility for granted, but for many, the consequences of infertility can be a real threat to their overall well-being. Learn how to protect your reproductive health and find solutions to your infertility problems with a good understanding of fertility and how it can be compromised.
For conception to occur, a woman must experience a hormonal balance, an egg must be released and then fertilized by a sperm within a relatively small time frame. Since fertilization depends on several processes to occur regularly and simultaneously, it is no surprise that one in seven couples have fertility problems.
Infertility affects both women and men, and stems from three major aspects of reproductive health. For women, hormonal imbalances can cause irregular ovulation and even failure to ovulate. The risk of fertility problems increases with age as well, as egg quality can begin to decrease after age 37. The last of the primary causes of female infertility involves scarred or blocked fallopian tubes that restrict the passage of sperm, resulting from conditions such as endometriosis or venereal diseases like chlamydia.
Male infertility typically results from a blockage that prevents the movement of sperm through the reproductive organs, or else poor sperm quality. In the first case, a sexually transmitted infection may produce scarring or discharge that blocks either the epidydimus or the vas deferens; poor sperm quality or mobility can be influenced by genetic or environmental factors.
Taking charge of your fertility involves understanding the root causes and taking a fertility test to determine your best course of action—past pregnancies, miscarriages and infections will all contribute to a couple's reproductive potential. Many couples have trouble conceiving despite having healthy reproductive systems, in which case natural fertility treatments are a good place to begin. A take-home conception kit that requires the use of a cervical cap is a good initial approach.
If natural treatments fail, fertility drugs are often recommended to stimulate the production and release of eggs from the ovaries. As a final resort, a couple may turn to egg or sperm donation to increase their chances of conception. Your approach to a fertility solution will rest on your reproductive history as much as your reproductive health.
Pregnant or planning a family? Mobile Mom is here to help. We have the tools you need from the friends you trust. Calculate when you’re most fertile, see if you might be pregnant, or get the support you need from other moms with apps by Mobile Mom.