Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Infertility


Awareness Color: Blue/Pink gradiant
Awareness Month: April
Awareness Week: Last full week in April

Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full termInfertility is grouped into two categories: Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse). Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been pregnant at least once, but never again. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.


A wide range of physical and emotional factors can cause infertility. Infertility may be due to problems in the woman, man, or both.
Female infertility may occur when:
  • A fertilized egg or embryo does not survive once it sticks to the lining of the womb (uterus)
  • The fertilized egg does not attach to the lining of the uterus
  • The eggs cannot move from the ovaries to the womb
  • The ovaries have problems producing eggs
Female infertility may be caused by:
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
  • Cancer or tumor
  • Clotting disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Growths (such as fibroids or polyps) in the uterus and cervix
  • Birth defects that affect the reproductive tract
  • Excessive exercising
  • Eating disorders or poor nutrition
  • Use of certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pelvic infection or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Scarring from sexually transmitted infection or endometriosis
  • Surgery to prevent pregnancy (tubal ligation) or failure of tubal ligation reversal
  • Thyroid disease
  • Too little or too much of certain hormones
Male infertility may be due to:
  • A decrease in sperm count
  • Sperm being blocked from being released
  • Sperm that do not work properly
Male infertility can be caused by:
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Being in high heat for prolonged periods
  • Birth defects
  • Heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine
  • Too little or too much hormones
  • Impotence
  • Infection
  • Older age
  • Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation
  • Scarring from sexually transmitted diseases, injury, or surgery
  • Surgery to prevent pregnancy (vasectomy), or failure of vasectomy reversal
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Smoking
  • Use of certain drugs, such as cimetidine, spironolactone, and nitrofurantoin

    There is no cure for infertility. There are drugs and fertility treatments that can help to become pregnant and stay pregnant. However, these aren't guaranteed treatments. If you are struggling with infertility, make sure to talk to your partner AND your doctor. Infertility can cause severe depression, so please make sure the lines of communication remain open.
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