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Infertility is a syndrome that affects the reproductive organs of both men and women. A couple is said to be infertile if they have been unable to conceive a child after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without using any contraceptives. Infertility weakens one of the body’s most basic functions—the ability to have children. A woman facing recurring miscarriages even after having one child is also said to have the problem of infertility. Many people are unaware of their infertility as they plan their reproduction. They might be infertile even during their reproductive years. In this case, the chance of pregnancy is just one percent.
Infertility can be further divided into three groups:
Primary Infertility: refers to women who have not achieved pregnancy in even once.
Secondary Infertility: refers to women who have conceived and given birth to one or more children in the past, but are having difficulty conceiving now.
Recurrent Miscarriage: Women are diagnosed of infertility if they experience two or more successive miscarriages.
Conception is a complicated process that takes place on the union of healthy sperm by the man and healthy eggs by the woman. The unblocked fallopian tubes allow the sperm to reach the egg and fertilize it. The embryo (fertilized egg) is implanted in the woman's uterus which grows over a period of nine months. For the pregnancy to continue to full term, the embryo must be healthy and the woman's hormonal environment adequate for its development. Infertility can result when even one of these factors is damaged.
There are some infertility myths prevailing in the society. However, people have to be made aware of certain facts like:
Infertility is not limited to women. It affects women and men equally. Infertility can also occur due to unexplainable reasons.
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system and is not all in your head.
It is not caused by avoiding conception due to some personal reasons. If not wanting a baby was enough to cause infertility, then there would be far fewer unplanned pregnancies in the world.
Infertility can occur even in case of people living a healthy lifestyle. It is not just limited to unhealthy people.
Older age is not the only factor hampering fertility. However, infertility can and does affect couple of all ages.
Ignoring infertility does not help, either. Infertility is not going to go away if you just relax and go on vacation. It is incorrect and hurtful to just stop thinking about infertility and rely on destiny. One or both of you may experience feelings of blame, anger, guilt, self-pity or jealously which may place stress on your relationship. Hence it is advisable to seek medical aid as soon as possible once you are diagnosed of infertility. This increases the chances of getting pregnant by 30-35%. Infertility treatments are a rollercoaster, especially for patients who fail to become pregnant inspite of a number of cycles. However couples are generally advised to be emotionally balanced while going through these treatments.