When you were young, did you dream of meeting the love of your life, getting married and taking the next step of having children? Perhaps you played “grown-up” and pretended your dollies were your own little ones. But what if your dream of having children could not become a reality? The devastation of not being able to conceive is felt by a significant part of the population. Perhaps you are one of that percentage.
If you suffer from infertility, please don’t give up hope – there are options available.
What is Infertility?
Infertility is clinically defined as the inability to conceive a child after actively trying to do so for a year. Multiple miscarriages can also lead to an infertility diagnosis. Ten to fifteen percent of couples trying to conceive are diagnosed as infertile. The woman is infertile in up to 50 percent of those couples, while issues with the man’s sperm account for up to 40 percent. In the rest of the cases, it is either due to infertility on both sides or an explanation cannot be given.
Symptoms and Causes
Generally, there are no outward symptoms of infertility, though a prolonged, shortened or otherwise irregular menstrual cycle can be an early warning sign. Internally, causes among women typically include endometriosis (abnormal tissue growth in the uterus and other areas that interferes with conception), damaged fallopian tubes caused by ectopic pregnancy (when the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube instead of in the uterus), sexually-transmitted disease, abdominal or pelvic surgery, and other uterine or hormonal disorders. Women also experience a drop in fertility after the age of 30.
In men who are infertile, common culprits are STDs, blocked ejaculate ducts, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, diabetes, thyroid disease and anemia. Stress and other psychological factors can also lower sperm count, as can smoking, excessive drinking, frequent use of hot tubs and saunas, and the wearing of tight pants and underwear. For men, overall fertility tends to decline starting at the age of 35.
A rush to receive medical intervention with the use of surgery or fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate winds up being unnecessary in half of infertile couples, who typically go on to have a child three years after diagnosis.
Herbal remedies have long been used to increase the likelihood of successful egg fertilization. Teas made from black cohosh, licorice, wild yam and red clover blossom are popular treatments, as they are believed to stimulate production of the fertility-friendly hormone progesterone. Look for pre-made teas or add extracts or powdered formulations to your favorite tea blends.
Perhaps the most important advice of all when it comes to making a baby is to relax. When you concentrate on having romantic encounters instead of producing a child, you may be surprised by how much fun you have—and how quickly you conceive!
With this helpful information in your health arsenal, you have more options to consider when addressing infertility in your particular situation. Dreams do come true, so don’t give up on yours!