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Infertility describes the inability of a person to become pregnant or conceive a child after one year of trying. In about 30% of all cases a couple cannot conceive a child because the female has some problems, in 30% of cases this happens because of the man, while in all the rest cases it can be either because of both partners or the cause is unknown. Due to the great technological and scientific progress, however, most couples have hope – about 65% of them can be successfully treated for infertility and have kids. If a woman is infertile the first thing to do is test the ovaries to make sure they are working properly. For a pregnancy to occur an ovulation must take place (one of the ovaries must release an egg). The egg then travels through the fallopian tube to get into the uterus where it will be fertilized by the man’s sperm. Once the egg is fertilized is must attach to the lining of the uterus. If any of these steps is not going right infertility occurs. Female infertility may be caused by problems with the eggs or ovaries. The ovaries might not produce the eggs, the eggs are unable to attach to the lining of the uterus or move from the ovaries to the uterus, the fertilized egg may not be able to survive due to what is called «hostile environment». These effects can have to do with infections, diseases affecting the ovaries, exposure to certain chemicals and medications, clotting disorders, hormone imbalance, some chronic disease (diabetes), sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis, eating disorders, poor nutrition, obesity and autoimmune disorders. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common cause of female infertility – it is a hormonal problem that interferes with hormonal balance and makes conception impossible. Male infertility may be caused by the decreased number of sperm, sperm blocked from being released or not working properly once released. Male infertility may have to do with ecological situation, impotence, exposure to high heat, infections, older age, use of drugs or alcohol, hormone deficiency, genetic abnormalities, smoking, surgery or scarring because of a sexually transmitted disease.

A couple that has been trying to conceive for a year (this is the period usually recommended before testing is done, as healthy couples under age 30 have only a 30% chance of getting pregnant) with no results can be tested in order for the problem to be established and treated. To increase their chances of getting pregnant the couples should have sex at least three times a week, and more often during the days of ovulation that normally occurs 2 weeks before your next period begins. The treatment for infertility depends on the cause and can include counseling, taking special drugs to promote ovulation and medical procedures, such as medical insemination and in vitro insemination. Intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination is a special kind of infertility treatment when a woman is injected with some specially prepared sperm. It is used for cases of unexplained infertility and women with cervical mucus problems. In vitro fertilization (used when fallopian tubes are blocked or the man is unable to produce sperm), surrogacy and gestational carrier (a woman that agrees to carry the baby but her egg is not used for the fertilization) are other options available to infertile couples.

These days women are more likely to try to get pregnant later when they achieve success in their career. Aging can significantly decrease the woman’s chances of having a baby because fewer eggs are released, there are fewer eggs or they are not healthy enough. Older women are also more likely to have a miscarriage. In general, women older than 35 can experience more serious problems when trying to get pregnant. Infertility drugs are used to induce ovulation and are helpful in most cases of infertility except for the cases when it’s caused by blocked fallopian tubes, as the egg cannot meet the sperm anyway. If you experience certain health problems that are likely to lead to infertility it’s important that you consult your health care provider as soon as possible. The following health problems should be considered: endometriosis, a history of miscarriage, irregular periods, lack of menstrual periods, painful periods and pelvic inflammatory disease. You will be prescribed a specific kind of treatment based on the results of your blood tests, the age of you and your partner and how long you have been trying to get pregnant.
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