The Root of Infertility

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Infertility is considered to be present by most experts after at least one year of trying to conceive with no success. If pregnancies have occurred, but have resulted in repeat miscarriages, the woman is still considered to be infertile. Infertility occurs in about 12 percent of women, making it a somewhat common condition.

Though it is often mistaken, infertility occurs in both men and women. Approximately 30 percent of overall cases can be attributed to the man. Sometimes, it is a mixture of male and female factors that result in the inability to conceive. For men, infertility results either because of inability to make sperm, or through production of sperm which can't reach the egg to fertilize it due to abnormal shape, structure, or movement. There are many factors that can decrease a man's fertility. Things such as alcohol, drugs, smoking, health problems, radiation, environmental toxins, and other factors can cause a man to have problems with sperm production. Age can also play a role. It's a good idea to know the risks, so that as you enter the phase of your life where you want children you can avoid such behaviors and risk factors.

For women, the problem is often a bit more complex. The usual cause for infertility is a problem with ovulation, or egg production. Irregular or absent menstrual periods can indicate a problem with ovulation. Other causes of infertility in women include blocked fallopian tubes resulting from various other health problems, physical problems with the uterus, or uterine fibroids. There are also many risk factors for a woman to avoid when seeking to conceive a child. Poor diet, stress, smoking, weight problems, excessive alcohol, and hormonal disorders are just some of the things that might affect your fertility.

Another common challenge to a woman's fertility is age. As a woman's age increases, her ability to conceive naturally decreases. Also, a woman's risk of miscarriage increases with her age. Over 30 percent of couples over 35 have fertility issues. No matter what, it's wise to consider the risks of age when considering having a child.

The decision to start a family is an emotional one, and nothing can be more disappointing than realizing there are fertility issues in the way. It's a good idea to be aware of risk factors and avoid certain behaviors to maximize your chances of natural conception. If faced with infertility there are a good many treatment options and alternatives to consider.
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