Conception problems can be caused by ovulation disorders.
Ovulation disorders can cause the woman to never ovulate in their life or rarely
ovulate during their cycles, which can make it impossible or very difficult for
the woman to get pregnant naturally.
Ovulation disorders include:
(Polycystic ovary syndrome)/Stein-Lerenthal syndrome – PCOS is when the
ovaries function abnormally, it causes abnormally high levels of androgen and
irregular periods which means the ovaries don’t release eggs regularly. PCOS is
the most common causes of infertility in females.
ovarian failure/Primary ovarian insufficiency – This is when the woman’s
ovaries do not function normally before the age of 40, which causes reduced
amounts of oestrogen to be produced and irregular ovulation.
Hyperprolactinemia, poor egg quality, overactive thyroid
gland, underactive thyroid gland and chronic conditions (e.g. AIDS, cancer) can
also result in ovulation disorders and conception problems.
Erectile dysfunction is when the penis cannot develop or
maintain an erection during sexual interactions, therefore preventing
intercourse form taking place. This may be caused by atherosclerosis, diabetes,
a faulty vein, hormonal imbalances or operations that have resulted in
impotence. Erectile dysfunction can cause conception problems as it causes the
inability of sperm to be delivered to the egg, which means that it is difficult
for the egg to be fertilised in a natural way.
However erectile dysfunction can be treated with medications
such as Levitra, Viagra and Cialis which can enable the penis to develop and
maintain an erection for sexual activity, therefore increasing the ability for
the sperm to be delivered to the egg and conception occurring.
A blocked or damaged fallopian tube can prevent the
transportation of the egg to the sperm or the fertilized egg to the uterus
which means that the egg cannot develop. This can cause conception problems as
it makes it difficult for the egg to become fertilised naturally.
However there are surgeries that can be done to fix the
blocked or damaged fallopian tube such as Tubal reanastomosis, Salpingostomy
and Fimbrioplasty. These surgeries take place depending on where the damaged or
blocked part of the fallopian tube is. A surgery called Salpingectomy can also
be done to improve the IVF success rate. There is also a nonsurgical procedure
called Selective Tubal Cannulation that can fix blockage in the fallopian tube.
Menopause is when a female’s period stops, this usually
occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years. Menopause causes the inability for
females to conceive naturally due to the fact that they stop producing eggs.
There are many factors that can cause or increase the
risk of infertility in males and females, this includes:
Consumption of alcohol
Over exercising or not exercising at all
Being obese or overweight
Eating disorders such as anorexia
Age – The older the man/woman the less fertile
they are likely to be.
Sperm antibodies are found in both women and men. These
antibodies can affect the viability of the sperm and prevent the sperm from
moving which means the sperm cannot fertilise the egg. Sperm antibodies are
formed if the barrier (formed by Sertoli cells) between the blood and sperm
breaks meaning that the immune system will respond to the sperm and try to
destroy them. This can cause infertility problems.
Oligospermia – Oligospermia
is when a male has a low sperm count which causes infertility problems. To be
fertile a male must have a healthy sperm count, the average being above 15
million sperm per millilitre. If a male has a sperm count lower than the
average amount he may be diagnosed with oligospermia. A mild case of
oligospermia is 10 to 15 million sperm/mL, a moderate case of oligospermia is 5
to 10 million sperm/mL, and a severe case of oligospermia is 0 to 5 million
sperm/mL. Oligospermia may mean that it takes more attempts to conceive than
usual. Oligospermia can be caused by things such as infections, the use of
drugs and alcohol, weight problems and overheating testicles.
Asthenospermia – Asthenospermia
is the decrease of motility of sperm. This means that the sperm are poor
quality and do not move normally or at all which can prevent the sperm from
fertilising the egg. Asthenospermia can be caused by things such as the use of
drugs, smoking or a poor diet.
Teratospermia – Teratospermia
refers to abnormally shaped sperm cells. A sperm must have an oval-shaped head,
a cap covering the head, a normally shaped neck and midpiece with a tail to be
able to fertilize and egg successfully. A male with teratospermia may have
sperm with two tails, a neck and midpiece defect or a tail defect which may
make it unable for the sperm to swim towards the egg therefore it cannot be
fertilised. Teratospermia can be caused by things like smoking, alcohol use,
infections and exposure to heat.
Azoospermia – Azoospermia
is a male condition which refers to the absence of sperm in the semen
IVF (In Vitro
Fertilisation) – IVF is a technique that is used to help people with
fertility problems have a baby. An egg from the woman or donor’s ovaries is
removed and placed in a petri dish, a sperm from the man or donor is also
placed in the same petri dish so that it fertilises the egg. The fertilised egg
is then placed into the woman’s womb so that it can develop.
insemination) – IUI is a technique used to increase the chances of
fertilisation. It is when sperm is placed inside the woman’s uterus to
fertilise the egg.