Infertility is the inability to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Primary infertility is used to describe a couple who has never been able to conceive a pregnancy after at least 1 year of unprotected intercourse. Secondary infertility describes couples who have previously been pregnant at least once, but have not been able to achieve another pregnancy. Infertility, also known as subfertility, may be due to a single cause in either member of the couple, or a combination of factors that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring or continuing.
Infertility should not be confused with sterility. A diagnosis of infertility simply means that becoming pregnant may be a challenge rather than an impossibility. Infertility, which has increased as a problem over the past 30 years, affects at least one out of every 10 American couples.
How does infertility develop?
Becoming pregnant involves the intricate processes of ovulation and fertilization, which need to work together just right. Infertility occurs when something goes wrong with one or both of these complex processes in either the man and/or the woman. The most common causes of male infertility include abnormal sperm production or function; impaired delivery of sperm; conditions related to a man’s general health and lifestyle such as stress, hormonal imbalances, obesity and age; and overexposure to certain environmental elements. The most causes of female infertility, on the other hand, include fallopian tube damage or blockage; endometriosis; ovulation disorders; elevated prolactin; polycystic ovary syndrome; early menopause; benign uterine fibroids; and pelvic adhesions.
Risk factors for both male and female infertility include:
- chromosomal abnormalities
- tobacco smoking
- alcohol consumption
- multiple sexual partners, which increases the risk for sexually treansmitted diseases (STDs)
- a past history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- a past medical history that includes DES exposure (in men and women)
- body mass
- being either underweight or overweight
No cause for the infertility is discovered in 3 to 4 percent of “infertile” couples. About 40 percent of the time, the root of the couple’s infertility is due to a problem with the male partner; about 40 percent of the time, it is due to the female partner; and about 20 percent of the time, fertility problems involve both the man and the woman.
What are the symptoms of infertility?
Most men with fertility problems have no signs or symptoms. However, some men with hormonal problems may note a change in their voice or pattern of hair growth, breast enlargement or difficulty with sexual function. Infertility in women may be signaled by irregular menstrual periods or associated with conditions that cause pain during menstruation or intercourse. Infertility may also be accompanied by a wide range of emotions felt by one or both members of the couple. These painful emotions are usually greater among couples who are childless as compared to couples with at least one child.
While conventional medical treatments may result in the desired pregnancy, it is often at the cost of side effects, and often takes years of patience and persistence. By addressing the underlying physiological cause of the condition, as natural medicine treatments do, infertility may be reversed faster, with fewer health risks and often at a lower cost.
At Sunridge Medical, our highly-trained physicians are experts in providing an integrated approach to the treatment of cancer and chronic disease. Our treatment plans are individualized, and involve both traditional and alternative medicines.
The physicians at Sunridge Medical have found that symptoms frequently can be improved and even reversed with our natural treatments. We take a holistic approach to patient care and strive not only treat the disease, but also alleviate symptoms, increase quality of life and, most importantly, address the underlying cause of disease.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 855-303-4101 to speak with a Patient Care Representative. Let us help you get your life back