Most couples decide to be together in order to build a family. Early on in their relationship, they have imagined how many kids they would want to have. But this dream doesn’t always come to be realized, leaving couples frustrated. They start to lose hope, and some relationships can even turn sour when no pregnancy occurs even after years of trying. Infertility becomes a suspect and sometimes the culprit of a breakup.
Infertility is the inability of the reproductive system to conceive or carry a pregnancy after a year of trying. The problem can either be from the woman or man or both of them. Ten to fifteen percent of couples in the United States are affected by this condition.
According to Jan Elman Stout, PsyD, “What a parent wants is to nurture and form attachments and share values and activities with a child.”
In some cases, infertility can be treatable so couples are advised to seek medical assistance if no pregnancy occurs after a year of their unprotected sex. Both partners have to submit to an examination to know the state of their health overall and to see if they both have problems that hinder the woman to get pregnant.
Testing As Early As Possible
One way to find out the reason for infertility is to x-ray the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus (womb). The fallopian tube is the path where the eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus.
Semen analysis or the sperm count test is also another test being done. It is to evaluate the health and capability of the male sperm. Semen is the liquid containing sugar, protein substances, and sperm that comes out during ejaculation.
Once the doctor finds out the underlying cause of infertility, drug therapy or surgery is recommended to correct the problem.
Kate Stone, PsyD asks “Have you felt frustrated or irritated when someone says, “Just relax, and you’ll get pregnant!” –Don’t we all wish it were this easy? Anyone who has experienced infertility knows can be stressful, but is the opposite true—can stress cause infertility?”
Infertility In Men
Azoospermia is the most common infertility condition in a man where he produces no sperm.
When a man produces not enough amount of sperm, the condition is called oligospermia.
There are also cases where sperm cells are too weak that they die before they reach the egg. Some sperm cells may also be deformed.
Infertility In Women
Infertility in a woman is caused by many factors which can damage or block the fallopian tube such as
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Previous infection
- Defect at birth
- Previous ectopic pregnancy
Other causes of infertility in a woman can also be
- lack or irregular ovulation
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- inferior quality of egg cell
- poor immune system
- chronic illness that is left untreated such as diabetes, kidney disease as well as a thyroid disorder
- substance abuse
- exposure to toxins in the environment
- advanced age; women over the age of 35 have lower chances of conceiving
- sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea that is not treated
- obesity or cases of being underweight
Once these conditions above are corrected, there is a big possibility of conception in the future. But if treatment of such disease still fails, the doctor can explain to you other options that couples can explore. There are drugs that can stimulate the production of much healthier eggs and the use of in vitro fertilization. These options may be costly but have higher chances of success.
Infertility is said to be most common in women than men, but the reality is that only one-third of infertility can be attributed to women, another one-third of infertility cases are problems related to men, and the last one-third can be due to both couples and other causes that are still yet unknown.
To build a family is one of the reasons why a man and a woman get married, but failing to get pregnant can be frustrating to both of them that infertility slowly becomes a couple’s nightmare. Partners should consider getting an examination if the woman is unable to conceive after a year of trying to get pregnant in order to address the problem early on.
Insurers know that to have children and become parents is the essence of being a couple, that is why there are insurance companies who currently cover portions of infertility treatment. Check your policy or talk to your insurer to find out.
In this time of difficulty, remember what Lindsay Sortor, PsyD said, “Finding support from others along a similar path also is helpful.”