What is Infertility and What are It’s Main Causes?

peterhutch asked:

What is Infertility ?

Infertility is defined as the failure to become pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse. There are two types of infertility; Primary infertility, which is infertility without any previous pregnancy; and secondary infertility, when there has been a previous pregnancy.

A couple can say that they have an infertility problem after they try to conceive for an year without a result. Lots of women panic if they can conceive after only three month of trying. If the infertility problem can’t be resolved with treatment then it is also called sterility. A woman who can get pregnant but has repeated miscarriages is also considered infertile.

It is the inability of a couple to become pregnant (regardless of cause) after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse (using no birth control methods).

Infertility affects about 6.1 million people in the United States, about 10% of men and women of reproductive age.

Infertility affects men and women equally.

What are the main causes of infertility?

The most common causes of male infertility include azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced) and oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced). Sometimes, sperm cells are malformed or they die before they can reach the egg. In rare cases, male infertility is caused by a genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis or a chromosomal abnormality.

The most common cause of female infertility is an ovulation disorder. Other causes of female infertility include blocked fallopian tubes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis. Repeated miscarriages may be caused by congenital anomalies (birth defects) involving the structure of the uterus and uterine fibroids.

There are many potential causes of both male and female infertility. Approximately 15% of couples are infertile. Of this 15%, male infertility counts for approximately 20% of the cases. Female infertility accounts for up to 70% of these cases, largely due to the very complex processes involved in the female reproductive system.

Most women are unaware that they may be infertile until they begin trying to get pregnant. Some signals of potential difficulties can be irregular menstrual periods or other conditions that cause pain during intercourse or menstruation.

Age is the single most important factor affecting a woman’s fertility. As she matures, the chance for pregnancy decreases and the odds for miscarriage increase. At 25, a woman has a 25% of becoming pregnant during unprotected sexual intercourse

Infertility can be caused by poor sexual or lifestyle habits that are easily remedied. For example, the couple may be using a sexual lubricant that interferes with the survival of the man’s sperm. Or, they may not be having sex often enough. Other easily treated illnesses or lifestyle habits that may contribute to infertility are:

Heavy use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

Starvation diets or anorexia in the woman.

Tight underwear or pants in the man, which raises the crotch temperature and reduces sperm count.

Weight: Women who are substantially heavier or lighter than their ideal body weight are more likely to be anovulatory, and consequently infertile, than women who are within their normal body weight range. It has been shown that in obese patients, weight loss of even 10% can significantly improve pregnancy outcomes.

Tobacco smoking. Men who smoke may have a lower sperm count than do those who don’t smoke.

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Breeding Dogs And Infertility

Cindy Heller asked:

Dog infertility most likely sounds like something that is not that serious. Dog infertility is certainly not like human infertility. For dog breeders, it is devastating to find out that the male and female dogs that were purchased for that purpose can’t have babies. They are unfavorable to the livelihood of the dog breeder.

There a quite a bunch of different variants to factor in when you are considering the breeding dogs and the infertility problems you can experience. You will need to have a good veterinarian that you can trust ready to assist you before, during, and after the pregnancy to make sure that all goes as close to the plans you have for the experience as possible.

The reproductive process in dogs is much more complicated than what you can imagine. You need to learn everything you can about the dogs reproductive organs and system before you decide to breed them. Breeding dog’s problems can be better understood if you have a clear understanding of how things are supposed to work. You must study and learn to know about when your dog is in normal cycles and when will the dog going into the heat cycle. You will also need to be familiar with the roll of pregnancy ad all the problems and other things that can and will go wrong in breeding. Breeding dogs and infertility can be fixed when you can catch it before it gets to be a really bad situation. Learning how to care for the puppies after the birth will get you wonderful animals that you might be able to make into breeding dogs and infertility will be past.

To make sure that your breeding dogs and infertility don’t come together. You need to visit the veterinarian to have your dog tested and scan for any problems with disease or with bacterial infections that can cause your breeding dog and infection to meet. There are a lot of problems of the medical variety that will be an obstacle to the natural order of conception in your animals.

Causes of Dogs Infertility

The major reason of dog infertility is the timing of the breeding. Just as with human breeding, you will have to do the act at the right time or pregnancy will not occur. Your dogs could be fine but, the period of ovulation was miscalculated. This means that you may just need to have the female and male dog try again on the next cycle. This problem attributes about eighty percent of the amount of female dogs that do not get pregnant. The second largest reason for dog infertility is that the male dog that the female is being bred with is infertile himself. In this case, you will not know until you have the male dog tested. This is usually not done until the breeder or owner has problems with them conceiving. Dog infertility in males is rather common.

Female cycles are just as important as a women cycle is. If the female dog is not coming into heat the way she should, she will also experience dog infertility. There are a few different other medical causes that lead to dog infertility problems. Some are structural in nature and some of them are bacterial. Whatever the problem is that is causing the dog infertility, the veterinarian can help you to decide how to best treat it.

Puppies Everywhere

Breeders and some pet owners would like to have puppies running around everywhere. It is not possible if the male and female dog that you have has infertility. When you make a decision to breed your dog, you need to learn about every aspect of the job. It is not as simple as letting the animals go at it and puppies are born. There are tiny details that can not be overlooked for the best set of puppies you can have. Breeding dogs and infertility can cause very costly problems for you and medical problems for the dog. It is very important for the veterinarian to be involved in every stage of breeding dogs so that everything runs can run smoothly as possible. If dog infertility is something you may be concerned about for your animal, have them check out.

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Different Types Of Infertility Drugs Treatment

Cindy Heller asked:

Infertility drugs are the major forms of treatment for infertility. They are prescribed either on their own or in conjunction with other methods of infertility treatments. Infertility drugs are meant to increase the chance of conceiving a baby. They do this by stimulating the body to produce more of needed hormones for conception. Female infertility drugs also help the body to produce better quality eggs. The same drug used on a man will help his body to produce more testosterone. There are many different types of infertility drugs available on the market.

Types of Infertility Drugs

Clomid is one of many infertility drugs and it is normally prescribed for many infertile couples. Clomid is popular because it helps a woman’s body to start to ovulate properly. Clomid stimulates the ovaries to produce mature eggs. This is essential for increasing the success rate of pregnancy. Clomid is well known in the United Kingdom. It is readily available in the United Kingdom as well as in many online United States pharmacies.

Clomid can cause birth defects in unborn children. If you think that you are pregnant, you need to can stop the medication and consult your doctor immediately.

Clomid stimulates the receptors that regulate the production and release of the female hormones, estrogen. There are three hormones that the Clomid are designed to work on. They are the Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH), and the Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). These hormones are essential for the proper working of ovulation in the female and are vital for pregnancy to occur. Clomid is very effective in reproducing the effect of low estrogen levels. The brain senses the low estrogen levels and commands the production of the three hormones mentioned. The net effect is the production of mature eggs by the ovaries.

Clomid is also used to treat anovulation, PCOS, and irregular periods in women. The Clomid is usually taken for certain days of the menstrual cycle. The drug may be taken on days 3 to day 7 of the cycle or days 5 to day 9. The starting dosage of Clomid is 50 mg. More than one cycle of the medication before the result is apparent. If there is not effect in the ovulation, the doctor will need to consider increasing the dosage. Six cycles is usually the limit for Clomid. If unsuccessful, the usage of Clomid will need to be discontinued and the patient assessed for other options.

Progesterone

There is a direct linkage between the lack of progesterone and infertility in female. Progesterone is a naturally occurring hormone in female. It is necessary for regular menstrual cycle. Progesterone is created after ovulation. Progesterone is also essential for maintaining the twelve-week-old placenta during pregnancy. The combination of progesterone and infertility treatments is a good aid to pregnancy.

Progesterone is an integral part of in-vitro fertilization. Progesterone and infertility treatments are both required to bring about the fertilization of the egg. Progesterone is prescribed to cause the uterine lining to thicken in preparation for conception. It will make it easier for the fetus a chance to attach to the uterine lining. Thus, progesterone and infertility treatments work together. Progesterone is essential because it increases blood flow to the uterus lining.

Progesterone will cause some side effects such as a bloated feeling, breast tenderness, tiredness, nausea, headaches and experience of mood swings. For user of suppository, there may be additional vaginal discharge. However, the uses of progesterone and infertility treatments are generally safe. If you have any medical history, consult your doctor before using progesterone and infertility treatments.

Hypothyroidism Medication

If you are a female and have low thyroid or hypothyroidism, you will have abnormal ovulation cycles and are most likely overweight as well. You experience fatigue easily and have little drive for physical activities. All these contribute to conception problems. For the male, there can be erectile problems, premature ejaculation, and low testosterone level.

If you have low thyroid function you will be put on thyroid medication to tackle the problem. You can continue the medication if you get pregnant but you will need to watch your medication closely. The medicine will not go affect the placenta or go through mother’s milk to the baby.

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How to Handle the 7 Causes of Male Infertility

Eddy Kong asked:

In the 21st century, not only female are suffering from infertility issues, their male counterparts are also suffering from it. There are causes of male infertility that hinders reproduction, which can deprive one’s happiness.Based on a research, most men are experiencing this.

Then, what are the factors that causes male infertility? They are:

1) The inability to handle emotional stress. Nowadays, many men are suffering from emotional stress that could lead to male infertility; it can be personal or family problem.

Both of these contribute a lot. So try to integrate important activities into your schedule. Including time-out to unwind. Everyone has a choice to liven life with a happy and positive attitude.

2) The absence of sperm presence or low sperm count is one of the causes of male infertility. Factors such as physical, mental or emotional stress, which could lead to low sperm count, so learn how to balance life stress. If we cannot prevent this from happening, it depends upon the individual on how he faces everyday challenges.

3) There are sexual issues that are causing male infertility. This matter is not only focus on one individual, this issue is on how both husband and wife works this out together. So husband and wife play a vital role to lighten up this issue.

4) The issue on testicular overheating to bathing in a hot tub of water can cause the sperm count to be low, that leads to male infertility, so try to find other ways and means to pamper yourself, going for a spa, jacuzzi, sauna, so try to minimize this, to avoid male infertility.

5) The problem of drug abuse has been the fact of human infertility problems. If one engages in drug abuse by taking too much of these things, it really causes a lot of trouble.

Smoking for example mostly men cannot stop from this bad habit, so that’s why some also are experiencing male infertility because of these vices which is smoking.

So if you are aware of it, try to minimize it because base in the studies, smoking is one of the factors that could lead to male infertility.

6) Obesity and malnutrition is one of the factors that are causing male infertility. There are studies that these factors have a great impact that causes male infertility.

Malnutrition, if we know how to regain or put back the losses nutrients on our system or so called the proper nutrients and amount that needed on our body to perform well.

It also called proper balanced diet, in order to regain one’s metabolism. Eating the right amount of food that could result to proper nutrition, that could help you boost your immune system.

7) Obesity on the other hand is the result of poor eating habit or no proper diet. This is the most common problem that everybody faces nowadays.

Based on statistics, every year number of obesity keeps on going higher and higher, it really shows that this problem affects a lot to men, especially those who don’t know how to control themselves.

Now that you are more aware the 7 causes and factors of male infertility, still there are no specific treatment of male infertility.

So what we can do is to open our mind to some changes on how to discipline ourselves, in order to lessen this problem.

Once you know the cause, so why not avoid it from happening or simply avoid it. What matters most is how you deal with it properly. We all know that dealing this kind of matter requires a lot of patience, especially with your partner, so try to work along together.

Once you are aware of the causes of male infertility, there are some solutions that couples can take. They can think of surrogacy or adoption or they can choose vitro fertilization. Having the faith of having a baby will overcome any fears of infertility.

Therefore, Eddy has started a information guide on how to help people to deal with infertility and offer good how to get pregnant solutions.

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Tips When Choosing Infertility IVF Clinic

MIKE SELVON asked:

Clinics that offer infertility IVF treatments aim to help couples who are in need of treatment for infertility. There are factors, however, that should be considered when looking into different clinics that offer in vitro fertilization and other fertility treatments.

Some of the factors will be dependent on your emotional needs and your own individual preferences. Other factors will depend on the type of procedure you need, the procedures that the clinic specialize in and the success rate that the clinic has had with such procedures.

One of the many factors that should be considered when choosing an appropriate infertility clinic is the percentage rate of live births per treatment cycle. This will tell you how successful the clinic is. Another thing to check is the rate of pregnancies that are produced by treatment at that particular clinic.

While unfortunately, not every treatment of infertility issues can end in a successful pregnancy, you will want to choose a clinic that does have a high success rate of helping couples with issues of infertility. If possible, it is always a good idea to find out how successful they are with the particular procedure that the patient will need.

One question that you should ask right away when looking to choose a clinic for infertility IVF procedures is about the independent infertility counseling that is offered there. The infertility counselor’s role is to aid couples with issues of infertility and help them deal with the range of emotions that comes with these infertility issues.

The counselors should always be able to give up-to-date information about different types of infertility treatments and also assisted reproductive treatments. The counselor will most likely be able to answer many of the questions about not only issues of infertility itself, but the procedures and treatments that the clinic offers and how high their success rates are.

Infertility issues can cause stress, feelings of anger and even guilt. Understanding that these issues affect the both of you and are probably causing stress on you both is a great start. The next step is asking questions to find an infertility IVF clinic that can suit both of your needs.

If you have the option of choosing between different clinics, then make sure that you investigate all of them. Gather as much information as you can to help you make a solid decision. Ask questions about the percentage of multiple births that are produced from procedures at that clinic. The more information that you have available to you, the less strain will be put on you and your partner when having a procedure to help you conceive.

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Natural Remedies for Male Infertility

JT Travis asked:

Male infertility is simply defined as the inability to produce healthy sperm. Although a man might be embarrassed to admit that he has a fertility problem, but it is equally important that he undergoes fertility testing. Male infertility is a highly manageable condition with current medical treatment. Male infertility is indicated when, after checking both partners, problems in reproductive function have been identified in the male partner.

Male infertility is the underlying reason for 40% of infertile couples using assisted reproduction technologies. Male infertility is caused by chronic prostatitis in 50-60% cases. Without effective treatment of this disease recovery of male fertility is unlikely.

Couples are generally advised to seek medical help if they are unable to achieve pregnancy after a year of unprotected intercourse. The doctor conducts a physical examination of both partners to determine their general state of health and to evaluate physical factors that may be causing infertility. Couples with antisperm antibodies should be referred to a reproductive endocrinologist for further evaluation and treatment.

Approximately 40% of reported cases of infertility are due to problems in the male; another 40% to problems in the female; the remaining 20% are of unknown cause or due to problems in both the male and female.

Sperm production is controlled by a series of hormones produced in a small gland called the pituitary. Most men have normal levels of these hormones but occasionally, the pituitary gland can malfunction and production of these hormones is affected. Spermatozoa ( sperm ) are relatively fragile cells and are easily damaged by a number of environmental and life style habits. Increased body temperature resulting from illness, prolonged periods of sitting in hot tubs, or tight clothing can affect sperm production and function.

Sperm require three months to develop and a semen analysis done today reflects conditions three months ago. One of the more common causes of male infertility is abnormal temperature increases in the testicles. Sperm count and motility are primarily bulk parameters, while newer measures address cell membrane integrity, sperm capacitation and ability to acrosome react as well as sperm-egg interaction. With the advent of in vitro fertilization, we can now directly assess sperm fertilizing ability. Sperm counts appear to differ by region. Temperature and climate may play some role in the differences seen from country to country and from year to year.

Zinc and folic acid are also great sperm builders. These additional nutrients to maca root and orange juice should all be taken in high-quality natural supplement form-as well as in diet form. Zinc deficiency can lead to reduced numbers of sperm and impotence in men, although the correlation between blood levels of zinc and sperm quality remains controversial. Reportedly, infertile men have lower levels of zinc in their semen, than men with normal fertility.

For those who are searching for natural ways to increase sperm and improve fertility, you may want to research and consider the following:

Lega-C was designed to increase fertility in men. While there can be more than one factor contributing to infertility, many of these factors can be successfully addressed with the use of herbs and vitamins. The herbs in the formula are used to increase the production, quality, and quantity in the areas of male fertility. The biggest successes have come from those who have combined herbs with the appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements. Many men seldom receive the essential vitamins and minerals that are pertinent to their reproductive health. Lega-C contains extracts of: Eleuthero Root, Tribulus Terrestris Fruit, Pygeum Bark, Horny Goat Weed Leaf and Astragalus Root.

Progentor IV is a natural solution to improve male responsiveness. It restores sustained ability and natural male performance. Those afflicted with cardiovascular disease, peptic ulcers, kidney malfunctions, or using tricyclic/anti-depressants should not use Yohimbe. Caution should be exercised when using anticoagulants such as Aspirin or Warfarin along with Ginkgo Biloba. Hypertension patients should not use large quantities of Ginseng as it can cause elevated blood pressure. Contains: Yohimbe Bark, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf, Horny Goat Weed, Ashwagandha Root, Eleuthero Root and Tribulus Terrestris Fruit.

SemenRX is an all natural supplement that increases not only the volume of the semen, but the way semen looks and is ejaculated from the penis. It promises more powerful orgasms and an increase in sexual desire and energy. Semen Trigonellae Foenum-Graecum or Fenugreek seed help reduce urinary glucose levels: Studies on diabetic animals have found fenugreek seed to help reduce urinary glucose levels. The seeds contain the alkaloid trogonelline, nicotinic acid and coumarin.

Semenax has been formulated with the exact blend and proportions to give the astonishing effects that you desired including an increase semen production. These astonishing effects include longer and more intense orgasms every time, bigger and more impressive loads of semen, superior ejaculation, whiter and more robust texture and appearance of semen, increased contraction strength, and overall improved sexual function and response. Semenax has consistently scored high points in comparison with the many male enhancement products available on the market.

Prostalex Plus is the natural solution for infertility due to prostitis. Prostalex Plus is an all-natural, non-prescription supplement that dramatically reduces an enlarged prostate and helps relieve uncomfortable, frequent and other related urination issues. The formula contains 11 hand-selected, high-quality ingredients that work together to restore proper prostate function and health. Prostalex Plus is a natural supplement that relieves discomfort from an enlarged prostate.

Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained within this site is intended solely for general educational purposes and is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice relative to your specific medical condition or question. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.

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Causes And Treatments For Male Infertility

Cindy Heller asked:

Infertility is often thought as related to female but the facts are otherwise as up to fifty percent of the causes are due to male. From the underlying statistics, it is essential for the male to get tested as much as it is for the female. It could put men in a very compromising and embarrassing situation but early testing can save the women a lot of unnecessary pain and provide the couples with ready and definite answers to their infertility.

Many solutions are available for men who are infertile and you just need to know where to seek help. For conception to take place, the male have to be able to fertilize the egg in the right manner. If this does not take place, the causes are numerous and varied, therefore seeking solutions and treatments are essential in order for the couples to conceive.

There are wide varieties of treatment choices that can be found in today context and whichever treatments are dependable on the kind of infertility problems that you are encountering. In order for the right kind of treatments to be applied, you and your physician have to understand the type of infertility problem you are facing.

The infertility cause has to be indentified and not some unknown causes. Once the cause is found, the physician will have to determine how defective the sperm is and then the age of the female partner. Upon determination, the course of male infertility treatment can begin.

Certain causes of infertility are because of problems with the sperm and the seminal fluid or what is known as the reproductive organs. Generally there are definite causes and the right male infertility treatments are applied. A very widespread cause of male infertility is Varicocele and it is the result of problem with the varicose veins that are located in the path of the spermatic journey.

The varicose veins will be bigger than usual and do not dilate like before and there are a few signs to look out for. One of the symptoms is bigger than usual dilated veins that are found in the scrotum. Another symptom is a big swell, protuberance or inflammation on the scrotum area that is unproblematic.

Some do not show any signs but for those problems, get an examination and remove the blockages to let the blood to flow normally. Surgical procedure is also used to repair the problem veins. With that the rate of pregnancy can be up to forty percent and it can take place in nine month after undergoing the treatment.

Another common problem is low sperm count and it is known as oligiospermis. With that a test will be carried out to determine the right sperm count, in addition to seeking out abnormality in shape and movement of the sperm. For those with low sperm count, wearing loose clothing, doing on diet, abstaining from smoking and stop taking hot bath and saunas will be helpful. Absence of sperm is known as azoospermia but most issues can be treated if the right infertility treatment is applied.

For that form of male infertility treatment, an infertility pill known as Clomiphene citrate is used to stimulate the production of sperm in male as well as assisting the female to ovulate. Such treatment will greatly improve the sperm count in six months but there is a need to re-examine once every three months.

Besides that, a few changes in your behavior can be effective, such as lesser intercourse for low sperm count to make certain that the sperm is increase dramatically in the ensuing period.

One of the better treatments for male infertility is through artificial insemination where the sperm and eggs are taken out with the fertilization occurring outside the womb. It is usually for those with low sperm count as just one sperm is needed to be injected to the egg. The age of the female will also be a determining factor as women get older; the success rate is much lower. On the other hand a combination of infertility treatment can be effective.

Seek the help of the health care providers for your male infertility problem and with the right type of treatments and the proper diagnosis, conception can occur. With so many diverse treatment options available, the percentage of conceiving is greatly enhanced. If all else fail, there is always adoption and the joy you bought forth to the orphaned child can greatly compensate your inability to conceive.

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Options For Infertility Finances

Cindy Heller asked:

Infertility financial aid is an option that couples considering infertility will need to consider. Infertility treatments can be very costly depending on the type of treatments that you have selected as well as the amount of times the treatment needs to be repeated. An average estimate is that a series of treatments including over the counter prescriptions will cost a few thousands at least. You may or may not be able to pay for it out of your own funds. This is where the infertility financial aid programs come into view. Financial aid will give you more options to choose what sort of treatment plans you intend to take.

Infertility Financial Aid Options

A fair amount of couples will realize that the cost of infertility treatments is way beyond their means. The fact many don’t have a comprehensive medical plan that provides for these treatments only makes the issue worse. You may find that your specific infertility clinic has a financial aid advisor that can help you get the support you need. Make sure that you do some research into all options before settling on one. In fact many labs have special aid plans that they offer. Certain states also have a public fund that couples can tap on.

In-vitro-fertilization Refund Program.

This specific infertility financial aid allows you to have a certain number of IVF cycles done and will repay you for those cycles if you do not get pregnant and have a child within a specific time frame. Should you fail to conceive within the stipulated timeline, close to 75% of your money will be refunded. Guidelines and apply and there are certain pre-qualifying guidelines. For example, you may have to fall under certain age groups, minimum number of cycles to undergo before getting refund, restriction on type of services covered, and any aid that may already be in place for the couple will be discounted.

There are a whole range of other infertility financial aid options. For example, unsecured loans, medical benefits, or even from public funding. For the wiser couple who had planned in advance, there are a whole range of insurance products that can assist you in covering the cost of medical bills.

Infertility Insurance – Paying for a certainty

Infertility insurance can be a piece of good fortune to couples that are not able to conceive and need infertility treatments. Certain prerequisites are necessary of the couple before they are regarded for the infertility insurance. In vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination are two clinical methods that are commonly used to treat infertility without infertility insurance, they are very expensive. If the couple requires a combination of treatment methods it can get very expensive. Also factor in the cost of medication and therapy, this are also sunk costs that have to be covered.

Insurance And Coverage

Many insurance companies offer the insured some form of coverage along with their basic medical insurance to cover for infertility treatments. Delve into the policy you hold to find out exactly what type of insurance coverage you have. Pay attention to the type of treatments covered and also the amount of times per treatments.

Certain credit facilities actually offer a medical attachment to their credit lines. So do check with your bank if you have a line of credit. Most clinics have links to insurers or credit houses that will provide a sort of coverage for couples seeking treatment.

The Need For Supplemental Infertility Insurance

Supplemental infertility insurance is a boon to those that have it. For couples that find that they are infertile and realize the cost of treatments, supplemental infertility insurance will cover part of that cost. Supplemental insurance is usually very affordable and it basically adds on to your basic coverage. Different insurers will provide coverage, so check carefully and do not assume on your protection.

Supplemental Infertility Insurance

Infertility affects millions of people world wide yearly. In the case of North America, different states have different laws that subject the payouts and claims for medical insurance. Therefore certain procedures might not be claimable in the area where you live in. Medical insurance has come a long way, especially in view of the rising cost of good health care. Infertility treatment is no different, as it is a subset of a medical issue.

As the rising cost of treatments take place, insurers have become more creative in their efforts to market their products.

Bear in mind that insurance companies are out to make profits as well, so the policies that they offer you will be more expensive depending on your general health condition.

A good rule of thumb is to pick up a good basic medical policy when young. Ensure that your basic policy is something that allows you to add on benefits to it no matter how long since inception. This will help keep premiums down in the long run.

Do remember, to keep costs of treatments low, have as much insurance coverage as possible.

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Causes of Infertility in Men

Adam Khan asked:

An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of male infertility.

Age

The effect of aging on male fertility is not totally clear. However, growing evidence suggests that it may be a factor (although not to the extent that it is in women). This evidence indicates that age-related sperm changes in men are not abrupt, but are a gradual process. Aging can adversely affect sperm counts and sperm motility (the sperm’s ability to swim quickly and move in a straight line). A 2006 study also suggested that the genetic quality of sperm declines as a man ages. The researchers found that poor sperm motility was associated with DNA fragmentation. This led to some older men having an increased risk of passing on gene mutations that cause dwarfism and possibly other genetic diseases.

Temporary and Lifestyle Causes of Low Sperm Count

Nearly any major physical or mental stress can temporarily reduce sperm count. Some common conditions that lower sperm count, temporarily in nearly all cases, include:

Emotional Stress. Stress may interfere with the hormone GnRH and reduce sperm counts.

Sexual Issues. In less than 1% of cases, impotence, premature ejaculation, or psychological or relationship problems contribute to male infertility, although these conditions are usually very treatable. Lubricants used with condoms, including spermicides, oils, and Vaseline, can affect fertility. Astroglide, Replens, or mineral oil may not be as harmful to sperm. However, oil-based lubricants can damage latex condoms and should be avoided.

Testicular Overheating. Overheating, such as from high fevers, saunas, and hot tubs, may temporarily lower sperm count. Persistent exposure to high temperatures during work may impair fertility. Several studies have found no negative effects on fertility from wearing tight trousers, briefs, or athletic supports, even every day.

Substance Abuse. Cocaine or heavy marijuana use appears to temporarily reduce the number and quality of sperm by as much as 50%. Sperm actually have receptors for certain compounds in marijuana that may impair the sperm’s ability to swim and also inhibit their ability to penetrate the egg. Alcohol does not appear to affect fertility, unless it is so abused that it causes liver damage.

Smoking. Smoking impairs sperm motility, reduces sperm lifespan, and may cause genetic changes that affect the offspring. One 2002 trial found that men or women who smoke have lower success rates with assisted reproductive technologies. An earlier study reported that men who smoke also have lower sex drives and less frequent sex.

Malnutrition and Nutrient Deficiencies. Deficiencies in certain nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and folate, may be particular risk factors for infertility

Obesity. Obesity may be a risk factor for male infertility. A 2006 epidemiological study found that a 20-pound increase in a man’s weight increased the chance for infertility by about 10 percent.

Bicycling. Exercise Bikes or Bicycling has been linked to impotence in men and also may affect fertility. Pressure from the bike seat may damage blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for erections. Mountain biking, which involves riding on off-road terrain, exposes the perineum (the region between the scrotum and the anus) to more extreme shocks and vibrations and increases the risk for injuries to the scrotum. One study found that men who mountain bike are far more likely to have scrotal abnormalities, including calcium deposits, cysts, and twisted veins. Men who cycle can reduce such risks by:

Taking frequent rests while biking

Wearing padded bike shorts

Using a padded or specially contoured bike seat that is raised high enough and sits at the proper angle

Genetic Factors

Problems in the genes that regulate male fertility and in the genetic material of sperm itself are important contributors to infertility problems in men. In fact, even in men with no known fertility problems, 19% of the sperm are genetically defective. Certain inherited medical conditions also contribute to male infertility. Defective genes themselves can be inherited, produced by environmental assaults (such radiation exposure), or both. Of some concern is the possibility that these mutations will be passed to offspring in men who undergo fertilization techniques that retrieve sperm and directly fertilize the egg. (Under natural conditions, genetically abnormal sperm would be very unlikely to reach and fertilize the egg.)

Defective Genetic Material. Sperm carry half the genetic material necessary to make a human being. Infertile men have been reported to have a relatively high percentage of sperm with broken or damaged DNA (the molecular chain that makes up a gene).

Genetic Factors Specifically Affecting Sperm Production or Quality. Abnormalities in genes that specifically regulate sperm production and quality are major factors in male infertility. Some research suggests that about 10% of cases of male infertility may be due to problems, most likely genetic, in the acrosome. The acrosome is the enzyme-filled membrane cap on the sperm — its warhead — that is critical for piercing the egg. In one study, pregnancy was impaired if 7% or more of sperm had abnormalities in the acrosome.

Inherited Disorders that Affect Fertility. Certain inherited disorders can impair fertility. Examples include:

Cystic fibrosis patients often have missing or obstructed vas deferens (the tubes that carry sperm). In fact, men whose infertility is caused by an inborn missing vas deferens have a 60% chance that they carry the gene for cystic fibrosis (even if they don’t have the disease itself).

Klinefelter syndrome patients carry two X and one Y chromosomes (the norm is one X and one Y), which leads to the destruction of the lining of the seminiferous tubules in the testicles during puberty, although most other male physical attributes are unimpaired.

Kartagener syndrome, a rare disorder that is associated with a reversed position of the major organs, also includes immotile cilia (hair-like cells in lungs and sinuses that have a structure similar to the tails of sperm). Sperm motility may also be impaired by this condition.

Polycystic kidney disease, a relatively common genetic disorder that causes large cysts to form on the kidneys and other organs during adulthood, may cause infertility as the first symptom if cysts develop in the reproductive tract.

Environmental Assaults

Exposure to toxins, chemicals, or infections may reduce sperm count either by direct effects on testicular function or by altering hormone systems, although the extent of the impact and specific environmental assaults involved are often controversial. Some experts believe it is contributing to a general worldwide decline in male fertility.

Free Radicals (Oxidants). The primary suspects in the link between environmental assaults and infertility are free radicals, also called oxidants. These are unstable molecules, usually containing oxygen, that are released as a by-product of many natural chemical processes in the body. Infections, chemicals, and other environmental assaults can produce high levels of these particles. High levels may even affect the genetic material in cells. Sperm are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of this oxidation process. There have been reports that significant levels of oxidants occur in the semen of about 25% of infertile men.

Exposure to Estrogen-Like and Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals. European studies have increasingly reported a worsening in male reproductive health and an increase in testicular and prostate cancers. Many investigators strongly suspect environmental causes, particularly excessive chemicals that disrupt hormones, as a major cause for both these events. Estrogen-like chemicals found in pesticides and other chemicals are of particular concern. Overexposure to estrogen in male animals reduces the number of Sertoli cells (the cells necessary for the initial development of sperm). Some hormone-disrupting chemicals under investigation include:

Treatment of prostate cancer varies depending on the stage of the cancer and may include surgical removal, radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal manipulation or a combination of these treatments.

Bisphenol A is a widely used chemical found in plastic food containers and bottles that has provoked concern. It has potent estrogen-like effects in low dose. Use of the chemical in female rats has produced prostate abnormalities in their male offspring.

Phthalates, chemicals used to soften plastics, are under particular scrutiny for their ability to disrupt hormones. Specific phylates of special concern include dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which is found in many products, including cosmetics and clay products sold to children (Fimo, Sculpey). Animals exposed to phylates have significantly impaired sperm count and abnormalities in their reproductive structures, such as the testes. In addition, there is some concern that exposure in pregnant women may affect the offspring,

Organochlorines are compounds that combine chlorine and organic substances — usually petrochemicals. Many have estrogen-like effects, including those previously used to make plastics (PCBs) and pesticides (DDT and p,p-DDE). Some, such as dioxins and furans, are byproducts of many chemical processes. Fortunately, most of these chemicals have been banned, but they were heavily used in manufacturing before 1970 and are still widespread in the environment. Studies report that when men had a history of moderate or high on-the-job exposure to pesticides containing organochlorines, their fertility rates were lower than men without such exposures. Studies have found a strong correlation between high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or p,p-DDE with reduced sperm quality and quantity. In one of the studies, even men with healthy sperm with high organochlorine levels had a lower sperm count than those with lower levels of these compounds.

Most evidence on the hormone of chemical estrogens has occurred in animals and birds. Tests of single chemicals containing estrogen have reported little danger for people. Some studies suggest, however, that exposure to more than one of these chemicals may be very harmful. At this time, there is no strong evidence supporting a serious harmful effect in people who have normal exposure to these chemicals. Major efforts are underway to determine the extent of any possible harm from these chemicals.

Hydrocarbons and Other Industrial Chemicals. In a 2000 study, workers in a rubber factory who were chronically exposed to hydrocarbons (ethylbenzene, benzene, toluene, and xylene) had lower than average sperm counts and sperm qualities. (In a 2001 study, men who smoked and worked in petrochemical plants had particularly poor sperm quality.) Still, not all major studies have confirmed the effects of these chemicals, and evidence showing any significant effect on fertility is weak.

Exposure to Heavy Metals. Chronic exposure to heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, or arsenic may affect sperm quality. Trace amounts of these metals in semen seem to inhibit the function of enzymes contained in the acrosome, the membrane that covers the head of the sperm.

Radiation Treatments. X-rays and other forms of radiation affect any rapidly dividing cell, so cells that produce sperm are quite sensitive to radiation damage. Cells exposed to significant levels of radiation may take up to 2 years to resume normal sperm production and, in severe circumstances, may never recover.

Low Semen Levels

Men with fertility problems because of low semen levels when they ejaculate may have a structural abnormality in the tubes transporting the sperm. (A normal amount of semen is 2.5 – 5 mL, or about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon.)

Varicocele

A varicocele is an abnormally enlarged and twisted (varicose) vein in the spermatic cord that connects to the testicle. Varicoceles are found in 15 – 20% of all men and in 25 – 40% of infertile men, although it is not clear how or even if they affect fertility. They tend to occur more commonly (85%) on the left side. Some theories supporting their possible effect on infertility include:

Varicoceles may partially obstruct the passages through which sperm pass.

Varicoceles may elevate temperature in the testes.

Varicoceles may produce higher levels of nitric oxide, a substance that has beneficial effects on blood flow and other functions but which might, in excess, injure sperm.

Varicoceles may block oxygen supply to the sperm.

Varicoceles have been associated with abnormalities in cellular material in the sperm. One study suggested that some men may have genetic defects that cause both varicoceles and impaired sperm, rather than the varicocele itself causing infertility.

Some reports indicate that only varicoceles that are large enough to be felt (or palpable ) may impact fertility. On the other hand, however, an 8-year study of men with and without varicoceles found no differences in sperm quality or in the ability to conceive. Furthermore, the few well-conducted studies on repair of varicoceles suggest that the procedure does not improve pregnancy rates. Their effect on fertility remains unclear.

Testosterone Deficiencies and Hypogonadism.

Hypogonadism is the general name for a severe deficiency in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), the primary hormone that signals the process leading to the release of testosterone and other important reproductive hormones. Low levels of testosterone from any cause may result in defective sperm production.

Hypogonadism is uncommon and is most often present at the time of birth, usually the result of rare genetic diseases affecting the pituitary gland that may include selective deficiencies of the hormones FSH and LH, Kallman syndrome, or panhypopituitarism, in which the pituitary gland fails to make almost all hormones. It can also develop later in life from brain or pituitary gland tumors or as a result of radiation treatments. Defects in the gene on the X chromosome that regulates receptors that bind to androgens (male hormone) may also prove to be very important causes of male infertility.

Autoantibodies

Autoimmunity is a condition in which antibodies of the immune system attack specific cells in the body, mistaking them for foreign microinvaders. In the case of male infertility, these so-called autoantibodies (“self” antibodies) target the sperm. Antibodies bind to specific parts of the sperm, such as the head or tail and, depending on the site of attachment, cause various problems:

Sperm may stick together (agglutinate)

They may fail to interact with cervical mucous

They may be unable to penetrate the egg

Some experts believe that in most cases the presence of these antibodies will not prevent conception unless a large percentage of sperm are affected.

Vasectomy and Anti-Sperm Antibodies. Vasectomy, the primary sterility procedure in men, is the most common cause of sperm autoantibodies (also called anti-sperm antibodies). Experts believe their typical development is as follows:

Vasectomy works by severing the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the urethra (which leads out of the penis).

After vasectomy, sperm continue to be produced but, instead of being confined to the reproductive passages, they leak out into the body.

Here, the immune system may perceive them as foreign invaders and develop antibodies to attack them.

Such antibodies often persist, even if a man restores sperm flow by a successful reversal procedure (vasovasostomy). The persistence of anti-sperm antibodies may result in infertility.

Other Causes of Autoantibodies. Antibodies to sperm can also appear in men without previous vasectomies and have been reported to be present in 10% of all men with fertility problems. They may be linked to genital infections or injury, although the cause is usually not known.

Retrograde Ejaculation

Retrograde ejaculation occurs when the muscles of the urethra do not pump properly during orgasm and sperm are forced backward into the bladder instead of forward out of the urethra. Sperm quality is often impaired.

Retrograde ejaculation can be the consequence of several conditions:

Surgery to the lower part of the bladder or prostate (the most common cause of retrograde ejaculation)

Diabetes

Multiple sclerosis

Back surgery

Spinal cord injury

Medications such as tranquilizers, certain antipsychotics, or hypertension medications also may cause temporary retrograde ejaculation.

Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome and Other Physical or Structural Abnormalities

Any structural abnormalities that affect the testes, tubes, or other reproductive structures can have a profound effect on fertility.

Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome. Testicular dysgenesis syndrome is a recently observed occurrence of three conditions — impaired sperm production and quality, testicular cancer, and genital tract abnormalities. Environmental factors that increase damage from oxidants are believed to be responsible.

The genital abnormalities identified with this syndrome are undescended testes and hypospadias, each of which is associated with infertility:

Undescended Testes (Cryptorchidism). In some cases, there is a failure of the testes to descend from the abdomen into the scrotum during fetal life. Cryptorchidism is associated with mild to severe impairment of sperm production. In one survey, 38% of men who as youngsters had two undescended testicles and 10% of men with one undescended testicle were infertile, compared with 5% of men who had normal testes. Even one undescended testicle may impair fertility. In cryptorchidism, the testes are exposed to the higher internal body heat, but this may not totally explain the damage in sperm production that can occur. (Men who suffer from this condition should be aware that even if the testicle is surgically moved to the scrotum, their risk of testicular cancer is significantly increased, warranting careful self-exams and regular follow-up with a doctor.)

Hypospadias. This is a birth defect in which the urinary opening is on the underside of the penis, can prevent sperm from reaching the cervix if not surgically corrected. 

Blockage in the Tubes that Transport Sperm. Some men are born with a blockage in the epididymis or ejaculatory ducts or other problems that later affect fertility. One center reported that 2% of men seeking treatment had no vas deferens.

Anorchia. In the very rare condition known as anorchia, a man is born without any testes.

Syringomyelia . This is a disease of the spinal cord that results in no ejaculate at all (aspermia).

Cancer and Its Treatments

Birth rates among cancer survivors are only 40 – 85% of normal rates. Certain cancers, particularly testicular cancer, impair sperm production, often severely. Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can damage sperm quality and quantity, causing infertility. The closer radiation treatments are to reproductive organs, the higher the risk for infertility. Fortunately, while men may fail to produce sperm for as long as 5 years after radiation therapy, many men eventually recover their sperm production ability. Chemotherapy with drugs that harm reproductive function tends to affect fertility more severely in men than in women. New drug regimens are helping to improve fertility rates.

Adolescents and adult men undergoing cancer treatments who may want to father children should consider banking and freezing their sperm for later use in assisted reproductive therapies. This technique is called sperm cryopreservation. Sperm cryopreservation is recommended by the American Society of Clinical Oncology as the method with the highest likelihood of success for male cancer survivors. However, these banking methods are not appropriate for pre-adolescent boys being treated for childhood cancers such as leukemia. Researchers are investigating ways that stem cell transplantation may someday help these children regain their fertility while avoiding leukemia relapse.

Infections

There is some controversy over the effect of infections on infertility. Simply detecting the presence of an infection in infertile men does not necessarily mean that it has any relationship to the infertility itself. Some experts believe that the immune response to some infections may release inflammatory factors and oxidants, chemically unstable particles that can damage sperm. The exact impact of this process on sperm is unclear, however. Infections may alter the liquidity of semen and sperm motility, although these are likely to be temporary effects. Among the infections most implicated in infertility are:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Repeated Chlamydia trachomatis or gonorrhea infections are most often associated with male infertility. Such infections can cause scarring and block sperm passage. Human papillomaviruses, the cause of genital warts, may also impair sperm function.

Mycoplasma. Mycoplasma is an infectious organism that appears to fasten itself to sperm cells and render them less motile.

Mumps. When mumps develops after puberty, it damages the testicles in 25% of men afflicted with the disease. (Interferon, an anti-viral drug, may help prevent infertility in adult males with active mumps, but the drug is highly toxic and caution is essential.)

Glandular Infections in the Urinary Tract or Genitals. Glandular infections that may affect fertility include prostatitis (in the prostate gland), orchitis (in the testicle), semino-vesculitis (in the glands that produce semen), or urethritis (in the urethra), perhaps by altering sperm motility. Even after successful antibiotic treatment, infections in the testes may leave scar tissue that blocks the epididymis.

Other Conditions Associated with Infertility

Medical Conditions. Other medical conditions that can affect male fertility include any severe injury or major surgery, diabetes, HIV, thyroid disease, Cushing syndrome, heart attack, liver or kidney failure, and chronic anemia.

Medications

The effects of medications on sperm quality and count have not been rigorously studied, and many medicines are commonly prescribed without knowing whether they impair fertility. Anabolic steroids (which are often abused by weight lifters and other athletes) deserve special notice because they are known to severely impair sperm production. Among the other drugs that can affect male fertility are cimetidine (Tagamet), sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), salazopyrine, colchicine, methadone, methotrexate (Folex), phenytoin (Dilantin), corticosteroids, spironolactone (Aldactone), thioridazine (Mellaril), and calcium channel blockers.

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Reasons For Infertility – The Most Common Issues

Dean Caporella asked:

When trying to come up for the reasons for infertility a couple can quickly develop a negative mindset and begin to blame many circumstances. One of the main things they need to concentrate on is to stay positive and believe their time will come.

It’s only in the case of unexplained infertility cases where answers aren’t available that perhaps some tags such as unfair can be bandied about. Still, staying positive will keep your emotions in check and more importantly, keep a relationship on track.

Reasons For Infertility

Let’s examine some of the reasons someone may be infertile. In women, the obvious reason may be age. The older a woman gets then the less likely she is of becoming pregnant. In fact, fertility starts to decline as early as the 30’s and once a woman reaches forty, the odds are starting to be stacked against her.

Age brings with it natural changes in a woman’s ovaries and eggs. Eggs in particular diminish in quality with age not to mention in quantity. There is also no guarantee the ovaries will produce eggs on a regular basis as she gets older. Then comes the onset of menopause and if a child hasn’t been conceived by then, she’s run her race.

Other factors such as drinking, alcohol and other substance abuse is known to contribute to the quantity and quality of eggs produced each month by the ovaries.

Male Infertility

When looking for reasons for infertility in men, the most common factor is the quality, quantity and life span of his sperm. Sperm count can be affected in many ways and as with women, any abuse of substances such as alcohol, drugs and smoking can seriously impact the quality of a man’s sperm.

Other issues such as malformed sperm, erectile problems, ejaculation or issues with their ejaculation ducts can all play a part in infertility issues.

Other Issues

Other reasons for infertility have to do with health issues. Reproductive organs which are compromised because of diseases and conditions will seriously impact the ability to conceive. Fallopian tubes, the pathway for the eggs to make their way into the uterus, can be blocked.

Hormone issues are another area of concern. This affects both men and women and can either lead to infertility in women or have impotence repercussions in men.

We’ve presented just a few possible reasons for infertility but there are many more issues which can delay or prevent conception. This is one of the reasons why it sometimes takes years to get to the bottom of the problem. Conception is a delicate process and both men and women need to be functioning in the right alignment for it to take place.

Just one problem in either can cause issues. Good news is, in the majority of infertility cases, the problem is eventually sorted out through thorough testing procedures and that’s why you should never be discouraged at the first sign of infertile issues.

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