Conjugal infertility is the name given by the WHO (World Health Organization) for the absence of pregnancy between a couple, fixed partners, after 12 months of attempts, without using any contraceptive method or barrier. The causes of infertility are similarly distributed to the couple, with men responsible for around 30% of the cases, and women 30% of the cases, another 30% being problems in both and only 10% infertility does not have a cause apparent .
As the couple’s definition of infertility is clinical and it is necessary to wait a period of at least 12 months of attempts to follow up, during this period some tests may be requested for evaluation and perhaps an early diagnosis. In some cases, the problem is already detected in a simple semen analysis , in the sperm test , indicating the absence of sperm in the semen. Some pre-existing illnesses and patients who have undergone some types of treatments and medical procedures can begin the analysis of fertility before the period of 12 months, according to the condition and indication of the specialist.
Main Causes of Male Infertility
- Changes in Sperm Production;
- Hormonal changes;
- Obstructions in the male reproductive system;
- Genetic Changes.
Changes in Sperm Production
Through the semen analysis exam, the spermogram, it is possible to check the conditions and quality of the sperm, as well as the indication of some diseases . The main changes and indications of infertility through seminal analysis are:
- Azoospermia – absence of sperm
- Oligozoospermia – low count or low number of sperm produced.
- Asthenozoospermia – low sperm motility.
- Teratozoospermia – Shape of the sperm produced inadequate, out of normal.
The male reproductive system and seminal production have their functioning completely influenced by hormonal disruptions. When the hormones testosterone, prolactin, LH hormone and FSH hormones are altered, sperm production and quality can be altered and cause momentary infertility.
Varicocele is the main and best known cause of male infertility. Characterized by the appearance of varicose veins in the scrotal region that begin to affect the production of sperm and even affect the testicular volume, reducing its size. Varicocele has a progressive effect and the longer the diagnosis and treatment, the more aggravating the condition. The correction of the condition is surgical.
Obstructions in the Male Reproductive System
The male infertility may be due to factors such as obstructions in the male reproductive system, such as genetic defects that cause anatomical changes in the penis and inside the computer . Some infections, inflammations or some surgical procedures can interrupt or partially or completely block the seminal passage .
Through seminal analysis and spermogram, it is possible to detect possible genetic changes, including microdeletions of Y chromosome, altered karyotype and even mutant genes such as cystic fibrosis.
In addition to the factors described above, which are identified as the main causes of male infertility, factors such as erectile dysfunction, spinal trauma or men who have undergone radiotherapy, chemotherapy or who have diabetes or some types of neuropathies and cryptorchidism (absence of testis within testicular bag), can cause male infertility.
Main Causes of Female Infertility
- Changes in the Uterus;
- Tubal Changes;
- Ovarian Changes;
- Cervical Changes;
- Immune Changes;
Changes in the Uterus
Changes in the anatomy of the uterus can hinder the entry and transport of sperm and embryonic development, as well as the adaptation and support to adapt to gestational development and any transformation caused by it.
Tubal changes can cause difficulties in the transport of sperm , as well as the egg, making fertilization difficult and also the movement of the embryo to the uterus, where it must be implanted for development. It can also affect the membranes that cover the uterine tubes, promoting a completely harmful adhesion to the capture of the egg to be fertilized, this factor is called peritoneal.
Changes, dysfunctions or even pathological conditions that may affect the production of eggs, as well as their development and maturation, in addition to ovarian expulsion, are very common causes of female infertility, which can be caused by uncontrolled hormone production. It is important to remember that the ovarian reserve of all women is produced before birth , and that they are released during the fertile life, until menopause . However, some factors, such as genetic problems and poor health habits, such as drinking and smoking, may influence the loss of this ovarian reserve , which is already being reduced naturally between 35 and 40 years of age.
Cervical changes are linked to dysfunction in the production of cervical mucus , as well as changes in the mucus itself, making it difficult for sperm to move and survive for them to reach the egg. It is one of the main causes of female infertility and can be reversed through specific treatments.
A tip for those who suffer from the problem of changes in the cervical mucus or absence of it, is to use fertility-friendly lubricating gels, such as FamiGel . In addition to improving vaginal lubrication, it increases the pleasure and even plays the role of cervical mucus, facilitating the arrival of sperm to the egg, as it has the consistency of egg white and a pleasant pH for their survival. You can purchase your lubricant here in our online store .
A cause that is still much discussed and with constant research being carried out, immunological changes can include several factors to cause female infertility. Problems related to the immunity of the female organism such as thrombophilia , endometritis and thyroiditis can be a problem. Allo immunity is also a factor analyzed, which is immunity to the partner. Cause identified as one of the main responsible for spontaneous abortions , causing rejection of the embryo by the woman’s own body, who interprets that the embryo is an invader and expels it as a protection. In the latter case, the treatment can be carried out through an immunization vaccine produced through the lymphocytes of the paternal blood, which will stimulate the production of antibodies that accept the father’s proteins and manage to maintain the pregnancy in a healthy way, without rejection.
The Endometriosis is a disease that in addition to affecting female fertility, causes troublesome symptoms and serious. In terms of fertility, it can cause anatomical changes in the uterus, thus altering its functions. It changes the conditions and functionality of the tubes and ovaries too, making it difficult to fertilize and implant an embryo.
Infertility Without Apparent Cause
It is not uncommon to find couples who report that after a year of trying, they started their evaluative exams and even after rigorous investigative exams, no cause of infertility was found, neither in men nor in women. This situation occurs in about 10% of cases of marital infertility and those who often end up giving up on the dream of motherhood for not being able to resolve or simply a pregnancy happens unexpectedly after some time of giving up on the couple. Some cases end up encountering problems in the gametes, previously not analyzed, when they choose alternative procedures, such as assisted reproduction.
How to Deal With Conjugal Infertility
The diagnosis of marital infertility, whoever is responsible, has a great impact on the relationship. This diagnosis can lead to the interruption of dreams or the realization of life projects for the couple, causing a marital crisis or even developing depressive and guilt situations. It is the moment that the couple most need togetherness and love, so that they can support the change of plans together , and that everything is recalculated for the new route to be followed. The diagnosis of infertility is not the end point of the dream of motherhood, but it can be the gateway to new possibilities and new achievements, such as adoption .
It takes time to digest the new information and don’t rush into solving it all in your head. Everyone needs time to get everything back into place! Family support, family love and spouse support is essential to be able to move forward and for new dreams and possibilities to be lived ! Be allowed!
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.