Infertility can be defined as failure to conceive after frequent intercourse. Both female and male reproductive functionality disorders are equally responsible for infertility in the young generation. In the present era, vastly modified lifestyle to cope-up with the trend can be a considerable factor for infertility.
Female infertility causes
Females carry the fetus and deliver the child after completion of full-term. Therefore, reproductive health is a very important factor in female fertility. Following are some common causes of female infertility:
Unable to ovulate: Aging, certain reproductive disorders including PCOS, POI, and hormonal disorders including thyroid problems are some common pathophysiological factors influence insufficient ovulation. Apart from these, in present century obesity as well as underweight both are common clinical findings in females, which also reduce ovulation rate. To maintain the toned figure, females often join a gym and perform the different strenuous physical exercise. Excessive exercise also harmful for ovulation.
Menstrual cycle disorders: Absence of menstrual periods or amenorrhea or irregular menstrual periods or oligomenorrhea both can cause infertility.
Defective reproductive anatomy: Blockage of fallopian tubes unable to move the egg to the uterus for fertilization, whereas defective uterus structure can interfere with implantation.
Infection in the reproductive organ: Gonorrhea and chlamydia lead to pelvic inflammation and that can block fallopian tubes. Cervix infection, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can reduce cervical mucus quality. Delayed intervention and the untreated condition can cause infertility.
Malfunctioning of egg maturation: Obesity and certain other conditions like PCOS can cause malfunctioning of egg maturation.
Implantation failure: Genetic defect in the embryo, progesterone resistance, thin endometrium are different cause to restrict fertilized egg to implant in the uterine wall.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Adrenal glands and ovarian hormonal disorders lead to defective secretion of female hormones and cyst formed within the ovaries. Both the genetic factor and environmental condition trigger PCOS development.
Endometriosis: In this condition, the lining of the uterus which is also known as endometrium extend outside the uterus. The changes chemical nature of uterus lining causes difficulty to become pregnant after conception.
Primary ovary insufficiency (POI): Hormonal disorders of the pituitary gland and ovarian gland can cause failure to egg formation in the female ovaries.
Uterine fibroids: More than 6cm sized fibroids can block the sperm entrance into the uterus, or blockade fallopian tubes, and even cause implantation problem.
Autoimmune disorders: Certain autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis interfere with female fertility.
Male infertility causes
Only 1 in 4 men has optimum semen quality in this present century. Semen quality depends upon numbers of sperm and sperm mobility. The recent lifestyle patterns often induce male infertility by altering scrotal thermoregulation and sex steroidal activities and resultant of these cause poor spermatogenesis and reduce semen quality. Moreover, oxidative stress enhancement due to faulty lifestyle and undesirable environmental factors tear down the cellular structure of spermatozoa and also induce DNA damage. Altogether, these lead to abnormal spermatozoa production, poor sperm viability, and impaired sperm motility.
- In recent days, males often feel happy to wear tight outfit and undergarments during their office hours. But prolong sitting posture in the office desk with wearing tight garments enhance male genital organ’s temperature.
- Employees working in the metal, glass, ceramic industrial occupation often exposed to high temperature. Excessive heat exposure imbalance the temperature equilibrium in male genital organs.
- Scrotal temperature alters due to frequent showering habit instead of taking bath.
- Application of pesticides in harvesting and agriculture sector increase the scope of ingesting harmful chemicals through food ingestion, which can cause low quality semen.
- Most of the males prefer to eat animal fats instead of plant-based foods and that can increase the risk of metabolic disorders and impaired reproductive functioning. Hormonal treatment to animals for increasing production of animal-fat containing foods also decreases fertility.
- Prolong driving due to traveling jobs, long distance from the residential area to workplace and traffic jam increases body temperature and also increases the atmospheric pollutant contact occasions.
- Increasing soy products consumption enhances phytoestrogens level and alters human hormonal homeostasis.
- Processed foods and packed food items are rich sources of trans fat, which decreases sperm generation ability and poor semen quality by inducing metabolic disorders.
- Males have a higher tendency to drug abuse for muscle growth, sports activity or recreational purposes. Unnecessary intake of synthetic chemicals can cause infertility.
Both female and male fertility ability diminishes due to frequent exposure to chemotherapeutic agents to combat cancer and infections. Moreover, radiation therapy and antibiotics can adversely affect sperm and egg production in male and female reproductive system respectively.
Ravi Sharma is the director at ARTbaby Global (ARThealthcare). And a successful pharmacist and a marketer. He loves to write about IVF, Surrogacy and other ART (assisted reproductive technology) news, issues, and updates. He is a Pharmacy graduate and M.B.A (marketing).