Infertility (or infertility) refers to the non-occurrence of pregnancy despite 12 months of unprotected and fertilization-oriented sexual intercourse.
The term infertility does not refer to an irreversible condition, but a situation that is usually solvable.
An (absolute) sterility exists when there are permanent physical disorders that make conception impossible.
In the Western world, the percentage of sterile couples or couples affected by absolute sterility is less than 10%.
Causes of infertility
The quality of health has deteriorated significantly due to increasing pollution, exposure to industrial waste, toxic pesticides, increase in temperature, radiation and other factors. This has a general effect on health and in some cases can have a direct effect on male fertility.
Psychological factors (such as stress, work pressure, responsibility, failures, and the influence of other negative forces) can further aggravate the situation or temporarily cause infertility.
There are many health-related factors that influence this problem. They can affect men and women and include:
- Fallopian tube and pelvic problems: occlusion or blockage of the fallopian tubes, adhesions in the pelvic area.
- Endometriosis: occurrence of uterine lining in other organs (bladder, intestines, etc.).
- Ovulation and hormonal disorders: absent or irregular ovulation, irregular menstrual periods, polycystic ovary syndrome.
- Problems of the cervix: Due to estrogen deficiency, infections, damage to the cervical glands or – very rarely – the female production of antibodies against sperm, cervical mucus can hinder the passage of sperm.
- Problems of the uterus: Congenital malformations, fibroids, adhesions or inflammatory factors of the uterine lining (endometrium).
- Genetic disorders: Turner syndrome or microdeletions of the X chromosome.
- Anti-sperm antibodies: They reduce the fertility of sperm and can hinder passage in the female genital canals.
- testicular problems
– high levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone);
– pain, swelling and imperfect development of the testicles;
– irregular size of the two testicles;
– trauma and torsion of the testicles, which can impair their functionality;
– premature ejaculation.
- sperm problems
– abnormal sperm;
– oligospermia (decreased number of sperm in the seminal fluid);
– low sperm mobility rate.
- hormonal problems
– low, high or absent testosterone production;
– difficulties in sexual intercourse;
- Erketile dysfunction.
- Medications: Drugs for tumor treatment, chemotherapy, high blood pressure or high cholesterol are a risk factor.
- STDs: Syphilis, gonorrhea, clamydiosis, papillomavirus – HPV can cause infertility.
- Uroseminal infections: Inflammation and infection of the seminal ducts can damage the sperm, seminal canals, prostate and seminal vesicles.
- Infertility in men can be caused by the following disorders:
– liver diseases, – autoimmune diseases, – sickle cell anemia, – cystic fibrosis,
Acquired or external factors
There are some acquired factors that should be discussed. Among these are decisions that are made mainly at a young age. Here are some of the causes:
- Smoking – affects the quality of sperm.
- Unhealthy lifestyle – this includes lack of exercise, nutrient-poor and unhealthy diet, poor sleep habits, etc.
- Cycling – there are studies showing reduced fertility in cyclists who cycle at least 5 hours a week.
Finally, there is idiopathic infertility, that is, there are no reasons that cause this disorder.
Causes of sterility
- Premature menopause
- Born without a uterus
- Azoospermia (absence of sperm)
Infertility of the couple
In some cases, both partners may be sterile or subfertile, and the couple’s infertility results from the combination of both conditions.
In other cases, both partners are fertile, but the couple does not conceive without medical help. The cause is probably immunological or genetic.
Lack of sleep and fertility
Lack of sexual desire and fertility problems are the most common side effects of sleep deprivation. Hormonal imbalances are observed in women with sleep interruptions.
Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating leptin, a hormone that increases ovulation.
Sleep duration affects leptin levels.
Thus, leptin levels drop when a woman sleeps insufficiently.
Ovulation is suppressed and fertility problems occur.
The ovaries do not work properly without the appropriate leptin level and this causes difficulty getting pregnant.
Some other hormones associated with pregnancy that are depleted due to lack of sleep include progesterone, estrogen, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Diabetes and infertility
A study of male diabetic patients was conducted with 27 men suffering from type I diabetes (which occurs naturally as an autoimmune disease) and 29 male patients undergoing therapy for infertility. None of the patients were both diabetic and infertile.
The study showed that both groups had similar scores in terms of sperm count and motility. The diabetics had a slightly lower volume of sperm, but were still within acceptable limits.
The difference became apparent when the researchers examined the sperm for DNA damage. They found that the sperm in the diabetic group had more DNA damage than the sperm in the group treated for infertility. The female egg is able to repair some damage to the sperm, but the DNA damage of the diabetes group was too severe.
Even though not all of the diabetics’ sperm samples were damaged, it was a clear sign of a disrupted reproductive system that can cause infertility or sterility. The sperm of men who are neither diabetic nor subjected to fertility therapy is more likely to contain much healthier sperm.
The inability to conceive after one or more children are already present is called secondary sterility, while the inability to have children at all is defined as primary sterility.
Causes of secondary sterility in men
Even in men, the increased age can be responsible for infertility. After 35 years, the fertility rate in men decreases.
A low sperm count can be one of the main reasons for infertility.
In some cases, the sperm die or are unable to swim, making fertilization difficult or impossible.
Some diseases and hormonal disorders can cause an autoimmune response, in which the body develops antibodies against sperm that subsequently die.
Erectile dysfunction and ejaculation disorders can be a reason for infertility.
There may be a decrease in the quality of sperm, leading to infertility. The origin of the disorders can be a disease, a wrong diet and lifestyle.
Diagnosis of infertility
The doctor to turn to for problems of male infertility is the andrologist.
The doctor performs a detailed physical examination to assess the pelvic organs (penis, prostate, testicles and scrotum).
Laboratory tests for men and women include:
- Bacteriological examination and urinalysis — they can indicate the presence of infection.
- Hormone dosage FSH, LH — The hormone tests evaluate the levels of testosterone and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) to show the overall balance of the endocrine system and the specific status of sperm production. Other hormone tests that can be done are those of serum LH and prolactin.
If an investigation is inconclusive after the initial assessment, a new investigation may be necessary.
The doctor may recommend one or more of the following examinations:
- Spermiogram — the evaluation refers to motility, shape and maturity of the sperm, the volume, the ejaculation density and the number of currently present sperm.
- Examination of sperm fructose — to determine whether fructose has passed sufficiently from the seminal vesicles to the sperm.
- Urine test after ejaculation — to determine if there is an obstacle or retrograde ejaculation.
- Look for leukocytes in semen — to see if white blood cells are present in the semen.
- Morphology according to Kruger and the World Health Organization (WHO) — to closely study the shape and properties of sperm.
- Testing for sperm antibodies — to detect the presence of antibodies that may contribute to infertility.
- Sperm penetration test — to determine the ability of sperm to fertilize.
- Prostate vesicle echography — to detect varicocele (varicose veins) or narrowing in the prostate canal, scrotum, seminal vesicles and ejaculation canal.
- Testicular biopsy — to determine a change in sperm production or an existing blockage.
- Genetic testing — to rule out possible chromosomal abnormalities or to check for the presence of cystic fibrosis in men who are missing the vas deferens.
- Transvaginal ultrasound: To evaluate the anatomy of the female genital apparatus and to detect any malformations, fibroids, etc.
- Vaginal smear: To detect infections in the distal part of the genital apparatus (vagina and cervix).
- Hysterosonography: In this examination, a sterile saline solution is introduced into the uterus to evaluate its normality and the permeability of the fallopian tubes.
- 3D ultrasound of the uterus: An examination method that can be used to detect congenital malformations of the uterus.
- Hysterocontrast alpingos: With this procedure, malformations of the uterus can be visualized. It is an X-ray of the uterus with contrast medium.
How is it treated? Therapy and natural remedies for reversible infertility
Benefits of maca for fertility
Maca root is a supplement that contains many nutritious and valuable substances. In men and women, it serves to maintain hormonal balance and eliminate the causes of infertility.
Regular consumption of maca root powder promotes remineralization of the body and is recommended for people with poorly nourished bodies. It helps to increase libido by increasing energy.
Those who regularly take maca may notice a significant increase in resistance.
This helps fight stress and depression and indirectly contributes to increased fertility.
Maca helps to increase physical resistance, which reduces the effects of trauma and anxiety.
The most important use of maca root is to promote hormonal balance, which is essential for maintaining fertility. It helps the body overcome hormone deficiency through synthesis. Women suffer from irregular cycles due to hormonal problems. Maca is the best solution to maintain the regularity of cycles and eliminate the causes of infertility.
Since maca is rich in nutritious substances, it improves all bodily functions. In men, it serves to improve problems of erectile dysfunction, decreased sperm count and disturbed circulation of sperm and significantly increases sexual desire.
Some scientific studies show that acupuncture increases the likelihood of conception for fertile women, both with in vitro fertilization and with natural fertilization.
Acupuncture helps women who suffer from anxiety and stress.
Nutrition and diet
Healthy and unprocessed foods are important. According to Shelton’s Natural Medicine and Health Hygiene, the main reason doctors have to work twice as much as they did 100 years ago is poor diet, which is high in sugar, dairy, meat, alcohol, and processed and refined products.
With the emergence of the food industry, the human diet has changed and moved from the countryside to the factories, but the body often suffers from a deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals.
According to the blood group diet, the main culprits for infertility are milk and dairy products.
It is recommended to eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes, which are rich in antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, etc.), and to consume little animal protein.
In this way, the body receives more energy and can better cope with everyday stress.
In addition, this type of diet has been shown to improve some less serious infertility conditions.
Crystals for male fertility
The blue pietersite is one of the best-known crystals for the fertility of men. Worn as a pendant, the pietersite can help solve sexual problems such as impotence.
It is said that the pyrite crystal awakens the male energy and stimulates the power of procreation. It is assumed that the pyrite promotes the healing of the reproductive system. It is believed to be an excellent remedy for male infertility and impotence.
It is said that this stone in the shape of a light brown egg is effective in healing infertility and impotence. It is said that the Linga stone, made of quartz, brings male energy, increases sexual energy and helps overcome fertility problems.
Ruby zoisite or anyolite
This rock is a combination of ruby and zoisite.
It is believed to provide energy for fertility.
It can help cure testicular problems that can affect fertility. This combination is considered one of the best to increase sexual energy.
✦ One of the easiest ways to use these crystals is to carry them with you. It is enough to have them in your pocket throughout the day and soon you can notice a positive change in your life.
✦ Many prefer to put the recommended stone under the pillow just before bedtime. If you want to wear the crystal as a piece of jewelry, it must touch the skin in order to transmit the energy.
✦ Another option is to put the crystal in the bathtub when bathing to take advantage of its healing properties.
Pharmacological and surgical therapy for infertility
Infertility treatments include:
Surgical intervention. For example, a varicocele can be corrected or a blocked vas deferens can be restored by surgery.
Treatment of infections. An antibiotic can heal an infection of the reproductive tract, but not always restore fertility.
Therapy for problems in sexual life. Medication or counseling can promote fertility in conditions such as erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
Drug and hormonal therapy. The doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy or medication in cases where infertility is due to too high or too low hormone levels, or where there are problems in the way the body uses the hormones.
Technologies for assisted reproduction (artificial insemination)
There are different degrees of fertility treatment:
- The first degree involves methods that favor natural conception, called in vivo fertilization. These include:
– ovulation induction,
– intrauterine insemination.
- The second and third degrees include the techniques of in vitro fertilization (fertilization in glass), i.e. the egg and sperm cells taken from the couple meet in the laboratory. The methods of in vitro fertilization include:
– IVF (classical in vitro fertilization): egg and sperm cells are brought together in a test tube and the sperm cells fertilize the egg in a natural way.
– ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection): injection of a single sperm cell directly into the egg.
1 pair of 5 diagnosed with infertility can get pregnant without therapy.
More than half of infertile couples have a child after treatment, without the use of advanced techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).