Insensitive and invasive questions on reproductive viability are commonplace for people perceived to be ‘of a certain age’. Oftentimes, people are questioned on when they’ll have children or why they haven’t had children forgetting that the decision is a very personal one; either way, it’s uncalled for that one’s achievements are narrowed down to whether or not a child is a part of them.
Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren talked to presenter Peter Travers about the topic and she said; “I was always too engaged in my life as an actress,” and goes on to further say that not having a family was never “an absolute conscious decision”.
For some it is by choice to focus on other aspects of life that they deem worthy of their time; but for others where it isn’t a conscious decision, poor health might be the hindrance. We will discuss male and female infertility as a health concern here.
Infertility is the inability of a person to reproduce by natural means. It is described as the inability to become pregnant after one year of intercourse without contraception involving both male and female partners. Male infertility is responsible for 20 -30% of infertility cases, while 20-35% are due to female infertility , and 25-40% are due to combined problems in both.
Male infertility: Causes are usually due to deficiencies in semen.
Female infertility: Causes are usually ovulatory problems presenting as sparse or absent menstrual periods.
Some other causes include DNA damage, General chronic conditions such as Diabetes, thyroid disorders.
The need to visit a doctor to highlight potential fertility problems in a young healthy heterosexual couple is often after they have been trying to conceive without success for a period of a year. In that event, doctors will usually have a physical examination after taking medical history. Some more specialized tests may be required before a medical practitioner’s narrows down on the most probable solution to the problem.
Treatment options are multifaceted; medical or otherwise. It may also include counseling. Treatment is most often entirely dependent on the cause; fertility treatments that also include in vitro fertilization. Medical treatments involve use of fertility medication, medical devices or surgery. Medicines include Clomiphene citrate, Human menopausal gonadotropin, human chorionic gonadotropin aromatase inhibitors and metformin.
There are supplements that have been used to this effect as we will discuss many of them in our next article.