Infertility; What is it? What causes it? How can in be treated?

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  • Created on: 12-04-11 13:19
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What is it?
Infertility is when a person, either male or female, is biologically
unable to contribute to a conception.
What causes it?
Infertility in women is most commonly caused by polycystic ovarian
syndrome (PCOS), which is a hormonal imbalance which interferes
with ovulation. It can also be caused by primary ovarian failure, when
the ovaries cease to function properly before the natural menopause.
Other causes include uterine fibroids (which interfere with the uterus'
normal functions), and problems with the fallopian tubes.
A woman's fertility can be affected by age, smoking, excessive alcohol
consumption, stress, poor diet, strenuous physical training, weight
issues (both overweight and underweight), sexually transmitted
infections (STIs), and changes in hormone levels.
Infertility in men is often caused by varicocele, which is when the
temperature inside the testicles is too high, and so the numbers and/or
shape of the sperm are affected. Damage or injury to the reproductive
system, cystic fibrosis, and irregular shape (and therefore low motility)
of sperm can also cause infertility.
Heavy alcohol use, drugs, smoking, age, exposure to toxins, such as
pesticides or lead, mumps, kidney disease, hormone problems, some
medicines, and radiation treatment and chemotherapy can all affect a
man's ability to conceive.
How can it be treated?
Infertility can be treated with medicine to regulate hormone levels,
surgery to correct problems with the reproductive system, artificial
insemination (in which sperm and egg are united outside the womb
and the implanted into the womb once fertilised), or assisted
reproductive technology. Many times these treatments are combined.


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