What causes infertility and what can you do about it?

Infertility is a condition that prevents women from getting pregnant after trying to conceive for at least one year.

There may be various reasons that can cause infertility in women, from uterine fibroids, hormone imbalances, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, thyroid and adrenal issues, and many more. Men can also have fertility problems that may stem from low testosterone or low sperm count. Infertility can become more prevalent as a person ages.

What Causes Infertility?

In women, an issue with ovulation can be an underlying cause of infertility. This is when an egg is released by one of the ovaries and can stem from issues with:

  • Problems with the uterus
  • PCOS
  • Congested or obstructed fallopian tubes
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency
  • Age and genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Weight issues
  • Exposure to lead and pesticides
  • Cancer therapy
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Stress

Keep in mind that the quantity and quality of a woman’s eggs start to decrease in her thirties and forties.

Men can also experience conditions that can impact fertility, such as:

  • Infections that affect sperm creation
  • Issues with sperm movement
  • Swollen veins in the testicles
  • Hormone disorders

How to Treat Infertility

There are several avenues that men and women can undertake to help treat fertility issues.

Visiting a Doctor or Specialist

A fertility specialist is a good choice for women older than 35 or who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year.

Finding a doctor you can trust is invaluable, so it’s OK to take your time until you do.

Specialists can help recommend treatments and strategies that can address your specific needs. You may be advised to start using a home ovulation kit to record your ovulation.

Surgery and Treatments

Your fertility specialist or doctor night recommend further treatments to address issues like:

  • Fibroids
  • Polyps
  • Damaged fallopian tubes
  • Varicocele
  • Uterine malformation
  • Hormone imbalances

Medication

Fertility medication can help increase the likelihood that a couple will conceive. Fertility pills, either natural or medications, can help make follicle-stimulating hormones, which can help with growing multiple eggs (for example clomid, Vitex chasteberry, inositol, metformin, berberin etc)

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF allows a REI (Reproductive Endocrinology Infertility) specialist to combine an egg and sperm in a laboratory for fertilization. Once fertilized, the embryo is placed in the uterus.

Often, multiple rounds of IVF may be necessary.

Looking for a Holistic Approach? You might want to consider these ideas:

  • Acupuncture may help with conditions that affect fertility, such as PCOS and endometriosis
  • Certain diets are fertility friendly – consider the spleen Qi diet
  • Do you lead a stressful life? Try management techniques to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, like yoga, breathing techniques, meditation, Tai-Qi.
  • Do you suffer from hormonal imbalances? Consider a detox program and a special cleanse. Consider checking for food sensitivities with a specialized lab.
  • Exercise regularly as it promotes blood flow to your pelvic organs, helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, helps support a healthy mood, and helps a better digestion and hormone elimination.
  • If you are in your late 30s and early 40s and have not conceived yet consider checking ovarian reserve – a simple blood test can determine if your ovarian reserve is low or appropriate or excellent for your age.

Preventing Infertility for Men and Women

There are small lifestyle changes that can help with fertility issues:

  • Eat a nutritious and healthy diet – avoid processed foods and sugar
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce stress in your life
  • Avoid drinking or smoking
  • Check for STDs
  • Stay healthy and active

Infertility can be challenging and stressful. Your doctor or specialist can help figure out the cause of infertility. Treatment can help couples succeed in expanding their family. Your doctor can go over all of your options together.

If you are in the Thousand Oaks area, please visit Dr. Mirela Cernaianu to receive infertility support and detailed evaluations at HERA Healthcare. Contact her office in the Westlake Village area at 805-379-9110.