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What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause?

The journey through menopause is unique to each woman, and there is frequently no beginning or end point that can be pinpointed. For some, it’s over in a reasonably short amount of time. It may be some years for some people before they experience their final period.

There are approximately 34 symptoms and signs of menopause that are said to be experienced by women when they reach this stage of life, even though menopause can have a variety of effects on different people.

These are the primary alterations in both one’s physical and mental state that take place during menopause. Some of these are more prevalent than others, and the severity with which they are experienced can range from moderate to severe.

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause?

1. Hot flushes

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - heat flushes

One of the most common symptoms of menopause is a condition known as hot flushes. When you suddenly get a flush of heat, it can feel like your body is heating up to dangerous levels.

It makes you feel hot and flustered, and it’s possible for the redness to appear on your face, neck, and chest—something that can make some women feel embarrassed.

Sometimes it may seem like this occurs for no apparent reason, and other times it may be linked to particular triggers such as hot beverages or spicy foods.

It is unknown why hot flushes occur, but they are believed to be related to the fluctuations in estrogen levels during menopause. These may affect the hypothalamus, which is responsible for regulating the body’s temperature.

2. Night sweats

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause -

Night sweats are a term used to describe hot flushes during the night. These things can occur while you are sleeping, causing you to start sweating heavily and suddenly jolt awake.

The occurrence of night sweats can be very disruptive to a woman’s sleeping routine. Night sweats, like hot flushes, are brought on by hormonal imbalances that interfere with the body’s ability to regulate its temperature.

3. Irregular periods

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - irregular periods

A woman enters menopause when she has stopped having periods and cannot get pregnant naturally. One of the earliest symptoms of menopause that you might notice is a change in the regularity of your menstrual cycle.

You will first notice a change in your periods, which will then progress to becoming more unpredictable before finally ceasing altogether. Because this process can take years, you may have period problems for a considerable time.

4. Mood swings

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - mood swing

The transition into menopause can bring on a variety of mood shifts and swings for many women.

These can be much more severe than those experienced during your period, and they can hurt your mood, leaving you feeling down, anxious, irritable, sad, or angry. They can also hurt your fertility, making it important to recognize the signs of high fertility in women to manage your reproductive health effectively.

5. Breast soreness

Symptoms of menopause can include breast tenderness or soreness, similar to those experienced during pregnancy or periods. This is a consequence of stress and fluctuations in hormone levels.

You might feel achy, have a dull ache, or experience sharper pains due to this.

6. Decreased libido

what are the 34 symptomes of menopause- Decreased libido

During menopause, it is common for a woman’s sexual drive to shift. However, some women do experience an increase in their sex drive, while others report a decrease in either their sex drive or their libido as a result of menopause.

7. Vaginal dryness

what are the 34 symptoms of menopause- vaginal dryness

Dryness in the vaginal area is a very common symptom of menopause. This is because there are lower levels of the hormone estrogen in the body, which is responsible for the natural lubrication of the vagina.

As estrogen levels drop, vaginal dryness increases. In the absence of it, vaginal tissues gradually thin out and become more prone to irritation, both of which can make sexual activity unpleasant and even painful.

8. Headaches

what are the 34 symptoms of menopause- head ache

Hormonal shifts may contribute to headaches by setting the stage for their onset. These headaches, while common, can sometimes be quite debilitating.

Suppose you suffer from what is known as “hormone headaches” during your period. In that case, you have a greater chance of also experiencing headaches during menopause because hormones play a role in both of these conditions.

9. Tingling extremities

what are the 34 symptoms os 34 menopause-Tingling extremities

Pins and needles, also known as tingling, can be caused by hormones that have an effect on the nervous system. This can manifest itself in your hands and feet. This may feel like tingling or numbness to you.

10. Burning mouth

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - burning mouth

It may sound unusual, but a hot mouth is one of the 34 signs of menopause to look out for. This can affect the roof of your mouth, tongue, and lips, causing a burning sensation, hot mouth, or metallic taste.
This symptom is thought to result from reduced saliva production during menopause and is sometimes called ‘burning mouth syndrome.’

11. Changes in taste

Menopause can occasionally cause changes in a person’s sense of taste. Changing hormone levels can be to blame for this problem, as they can influence your mouth’s environment.

12. Fatigue

Another common symptom of menopause is extreme fatigue, also known as chronic tiredness. If night sweats prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, you will almost certainly be exhausted during the day.

Your fluctuating hormone levels, such as those of estrogen and progesterone, can have an effect on your energy levels, leaving you with a lethargic and exhausted feeling.

13. Bloating

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause- bloating

It’s not uncommon for women to experience bloating during menopause, whether due to water retention or gas. Due to this, you might notice that your feet and ankles are puffy or swollen.

Try to drink a lot of water and reduce the amount of salt you eat so you don’t get bloated.

14. Other digestive changes

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - other digestive changes

If you have noticed gas bloating as a menopause symptom, you may also experience digestive problems such as stomach aches and pains, cramping, nausea, constipation, and diarrhea.

Various factors, including the change in hormone levels during menopause, can cause these symptoms.

The natural rhythms of our digestive process can be disrupted by fluctuating hormone levels, which can also cause us to feel stressed. The elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol can also harm our digestive processes.

15. Joint pain

Joint discomfort, including stiffness, aches, and pains, is a common menopause symptom brought on by a decline in estrogen levels.

16. Muscle tension and aches

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - muscle tension

The onset of muscle tension is another potential side effect of menopause. It is believed that this is because of the increased levels of stress that occur during menopause.

Because a lot of this tension and anxiety can be carried in the muscles, it can cause you to tense up, causing you to feel tight or sore.

17. Electric shock sensations

Electric shocks are one of the 34 symptoms of menopause that sound the most peculiar to the average person. Electric shocks are a symptom that has been reported by some women who are going through menopause.

The exact cause of these shocks is unknown, but researchers believe it may be due to estrogen’s effect on the nervous system, which causes neurons to misfire. You may get electric shocks before you start having hot flushes.

18. Itchiness

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - itching

Oestrogen has a role in the hydration and creation of natural oils and collagen that keep our skin looking young and healthy. Estrogen levels in the body have an impact on the health of our skin.

When estrogen levels drop, the skin may become dry, itchy, sensitive, and irritating.

19. Sleep disturbance

what are the 34 symptoms of menopause - sleep disturbance

Insomnia and trouble falling asleep are definite indicators of menopause. Hot flashes and night sweats are frequently to blame for sleep issues, but menopausal women also frequently experience difficulty falling asleep, non-restorative sleep, and early morning awakenings.

20. Difficulty concentrating

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - difficult concentration

It’s not uncommon for women going through menopause to struggle to concentrate and lose focus during this transitional period. Suppose you have trouble concentrating on tasks at work or daily activities.

In that case, this may result from decreasing estrogen, affecting your brain’s energy levels and ability to concentrate.

21. Memory lapses

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause -memory lapse

Temporary memory loss is another effect of menopause brought on by the brain’s decreased estrogen levels. Fatigue may also make you more forgetful than usual, worsening the situation.

22. Thinning hair

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - thinning hair

During menopause, hair follicles become smaller due to a decrease in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, both of which contribute to the growth and maintenance of hair. This causes the hair to become thinner and eventually fall out.

23. Brittle nails

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - brittle nails

If you’ve noticed that your nails are chipping or breaking more easily than they used to, this could be another sign that you’re entering menopause. The keratin layer of our nails becomes more fragile due to fluctuating estrogen levels.

Because keratin is responsible for maintaining the strength, health, and hydration of our nails, a lack of it can cause our nails to become brittle and weak.

24. Weight gain

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - weight gain

Women who are going through menopause notice a drop in oestrogen levels. This decrease is responsible for a change in metabolism, which leads to a loss of muscle mass and an increase in fat, particularly around the middle. The body weight may rise as a result of this.

25. Stress incontinence

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - strees incontinence

Menopause may change the way you urinate. There is a possibility that you will experience an increase in the frequency or urgency of your urination. This is a common symptom experienced by women going through menopause, but it is treatable through physical therapy.

26. Dizzy spells

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - dizzy spell

Menopause is frequently accompanied by dizziness. Hot flushes, exhaustion, dehydration, and blood sugar levels may intensify this effect, making you feel dizzy.

27. Allergies

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - allergies

The symptoms of allergies and hay fever can become more severe during menopause, which may sound strange to some people. The connection between hormones and the immune system is blamed for this phenomenon.

If you are someone who suffers from allergies, you may be more likely to experience an increased reaction once you reach the age of menopause.

28. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a weakening of the bones, which in turn causes them to become more fragile, brittle, and susceptible to fractures.

The decrease in estrogen that occurs during menopause is a major factor in the development of osteoporosis. Oestrogen plays an important role in forming and preserving healthy, robust bones.

When there is less estrogen in the body, bone density decreases, and as a result, bones become less robust and more brittle. This indicates a correlation between menopause and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

29. Irregular heartbeat

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - irregular heartbeat

An irregular heartbeat or an elevated heart rate can occur during menopause. This results from an overstimulation of the neurological system brought on by low estrogen levels.

Generally speaking, this is nothing to be concerned about, but if your heart is a concern, talk to your doctor.

30. Body odor

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause -memory lapse

When a woman reaches the age of menopause, her hormones begin to change, affecting her natural scent and the amount of sweat she produces. This can result in a change in her body odor.

31. Irritability

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause -

Irritability is a symptom of menopause that affects a large majority of women. It’s normal for all of us to feel irritable occasionally, but if you’ve noticed that it’s happening to you much more frequently than it used to, it could be a sign of menopause.

Your mood, levels of stress, and blood sugar levels can all be affected by hormonal shifts, which is why this is happening.

32. Depression

What are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - depression

Because of the changes in hormone levels that occur during menopause, there is an increased likelihood that a woman will develop depression.

Talk to your primary care provider if you are concerned or observe that your depressed mood lasts for an extended period, is severe, or prevents you from enjoying things that you normally would or from going about your day-to-day life.

33. Anxiety

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - anxiety

In addition to severe mood swings, some women — roughly a quarter to a third of all women who go through menopause — experience anxiety during this time.

34. Panic disorder

what are the 34 Symptoms of Menopause - panic disorder

Menopause is said to cause panic attacks in certain women. Though not a typical symptom, this one can disturb menopausal women, especially when it occurs together with worry and heart palpitations.

Conclusion

These are the 34 signs and symptoms of menopause, which are the physical, psychological, and emotional effects of the shifts in hormone levels that occur in the body during this time.

Talking to your primary care physician or a chemist is a good idea if you’ve noticed a lot of these symptoms and are having trouble controlling the menopause symptoms that you’re experiencing.

Menopause symptoms can be distressing, but there are a variety of treatment options and lifestyle changes that can help support your body, make the symptoms easier to manage, and alleviate some of the distress.

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Fertility Treatment for High AMH Levels

What is AMH?

AMH, which stands for anti-mullerian hormone, is a hormone that is secreted by the reproductive tissues of both male and female bodies. It is also called the Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS).

In male foetuses, high levels of this hormone contribute to the development of the male reproductive organs, whereas in the case of female foetuses, low levels of the hormone are responsible for developing the female reproductive organs.

The antral follicles in the ovary, each of which has the potential to produce a mature egg, secrete an increased amount of the hormone adrenocorticotropic hormone (AMH) at the onset of puberty in females, which increases the overall level of AMH.

Significance of AMH testing

A straightforward blood test can be carried out whenever a patient chooses during their menstrual cycle.

The primary purpose of the test is to evaluate a female’s capacity to produce eggs capable of being fertilised and resulting in a pregnancy.

There is a correlation between the levels of AMH in the blood and the total number of eggs her body could produce. This concept is referred to as ovarian reserve. The levels of AMH in a woman’s blood and her ovarian reserve tend to fall as she ages.

This is also the case with testosterone levels. A woman with a high level of AMH has a greater chance of having a healthy pregnancy than a woman with low levels of the hormone.

What does a high AMH level Simply?

When measured in the blood, the levels of the hormone AMH should be between 2.2 and 3.9 ng/ml to indicate optimum fertility.

Values above four indicate a higher range and could be considered pathological in some contexts. Two conditions can cause AMH levels to rise above the normal range:

  1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS): This condition is characterised by irregular menstrual cycles, subfertility, obesity, excessive facial hair growth, and varying degrees of insulin resistance. PCOS is caused by an imbalance in the hormones that regulate ovulation.
  2. Certain ovarian tumours, such as granulosa cell tumours: Monitoring AMH levels in patients with these types of cancer helps determine how well they respond to treatment.

Fertility Treatment for High AMH Levels & PCOS

Even though the AMH test is not a test that can definitively diagnose PCOS, it is an extremely helpful instrument that can support its diagnosis when combined with other criteria such as delayed ovulation, ultrasound evidence of polycystic ovaries, and clinical features such as hirsutism, acne, obesity, and so on.

In women with PCOS, the AMH levels are invariably higher than what is considered normal. These women have an abnormally high number of antral follicles, which disrupts the normal menstrual function, which in turn causes irregular menstrual cycles, an arrest in the maturation of eggs, and, as a result, infertility.

These women frequently require the assistance of various assisted reproductive techniques to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

Importance of high AMH levels in IVF

If your levels of AMH are high, you will have more antral follicles and a higher yield of oocytes when your ovaries are stimulated. This can, in turn, result in the formation of more embryos.

It is important to remember that AMH is only a marker of the number of eggs, not their quality. The quality of the eggs is a more important factor in the formation of high-quality embryos and, ultimately, a healthy pregnancy. This is an essential point to keep in mind in this context.

A woman undergoing treatment for having a high AMH level may also have the option of freezing any extra embryos created during a single IVF cycle for use later. This is an additional benefit of having a high AMH level.

Conclusion

There is a correlation between having high levels of AMH and having a low rate of cancellation, a higher rate of retrieval of eggs, a higher rate of live births, and an increased likelihood of cryopreservation.

Couples should not be dissuaded from trying in vitro fertilisation (IVF) solely based on low AMH levels because live birth rates were found to be reasonable. Thus it is always better to check with the IVF doctor for further steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. If your periods are consistent, you will produce one egg monthly even if you don’t get pregnant. Your chances of becoming pregnant will be comparable to those of a woman of the same age with a high AMH.

The fact that a woman’s ovary will mature and ovulate one egg every month, regardless of the amount of AMH present in her body, explains this phenomenon. Egg and embryo freezing should be considered for postponement.

Several treatments use the fact that your ovary can release multiple eggs during the same treatment month.

 In humans, the ovary naturally (and almost always) releases a single egg at ovulation; however, in other species, such as cats, dogs, and mice, the ovary releases multiple eggs simultaneously.

Predicting ovarian response and optimizing fertility drug dosage are essential for IVF success. Your AMH levels can predict the number of eggs likely to mature due to ovarian stimulation during a single IVF cycle.

Everything hinges on the objectives you have set for yourself in life. There is no need for concern if you have finished having children and have no interest in having any more.

Suppose you begin menopause at an earlier age. In that case, your fertility therapist can provide you with the appropriate hormone replacement therapy, and the fact that you do not have eggs is not abnormal. It happens to every woman who lives past the age when she can have children.

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8 Major Signs of high fertility in a woman

Signs of high fertility in a woman

It is essential for women who are trying to conceive a child to be familiar with the signs of high fertility in a woman, so that they can have an accurate picture of their chances of achieving their goal of becoming pregnant.

The following is a list of some of the signs that a woman has a high fertility level:

Sign #1: A Positive Result from Your Ovulation Predictor

Test strips known as ovulation predictor kits determine when the body experiences an increase in luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes the egg to be released from the ovary.

An ovulation prediction kit with a positive result indicates that you should ovulate in the next 36 hours. The day of the LH surge and the two days after are ideal for having sex.

Sign #2: Changes in cervical mucus

Nevertheless, as ovulation approaches, your body begins to create more estrogen, which makes your cervix swell. Your cervical discharge may appear sticky, hazy, or scarce if not ovulating.

Cervical mucus turns transparent and supple, much like egg whites. Consider any variations in your discharge as a potential indicator of fertility because this change in discharge makes it easier for sperm to reach the egg.

Sign #3: Increased Sex Drive

Your sexual desire will increase due to an increase in hormones such as estrogen and testosterone just before your fertile window, which is the time right before ovulation.

Mother Nature is pretty smart about these things. During this time, not only will your sexual drive kick into high gear, but your body will also undergo subtle changes that will make you feel sexier and make your partner feel more drawn to you.

During this time, your sex drive will shift into high gear. These changes may include slightly fuller lips, a higher-pitched voice, a change in the structure of your face, and a change in how you walk and your hips move.

Sign #4: Increased Sense of Smell

It was discovered that women’s sense of smell becomes more acute as they get closer to the time of ovulation and that during this time, they are especially sensitive to smoky odors as well as male pheromones like androsterone.

This heightened sense of smell may be nature’s way of assisting women in selecting a suitable partner, although the exact reason for this is unknown.

Sign #5: Lower Abdominal Pain

It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours during a woman’s cycle and is a fertility symptom. Not all women feel this discomfort every month, but it can be a clue that ovulation is happening.

It is crucial to remember that not all women get these cramps every month, and it is acceptable never to get them.

Sign #6: Change in your Cervical Position

The process of labor and childbirth involves the cervix, the uppermost part of the vagina, and is what dilates.

It goes through various transitions during the menstrual cycle, but right before ovulation, it tends to become higher, softer, and more open. It is possible to self-check the cervix; however, it may take some practice to become proficient in the procedure.

Sign #7: Breast Tenderness

The hormone progesterone, which your body generates shortly after ovulation, causes sore breasts. This can be a comforting indication of fertility since it can signify that ovulation occurred that month.

Sign #8: Mid-Cycle Spotting

Because estrogen levels drop significantly after the egg is released, spotting in the middle of the cycle may indicate that you have recently ovulated. This temporary drop in estrogen levels might result in some spotting during the middle of your cycle, but it will usually go away within a day or two.

On the other hand, some women may have regular ovulation but never notice the spotting that occurs in the middle of their cycles.

Tests for fertility in women

Tests for fertility in women

There are several indicators of a woman’s fertility, as well as certain tests that medical professionals can perform to determine whether or not a woman is capable of bearing children. Examples include:

1. HSG or Hysterosalpingography

The HSG scan checks for fallopian tube obstructions and evaluates the uterus condition. If the fluid flows freely, assuming the fallopian tubes are unblocked is safe.

2. Ultrasound 

Doing ovulation studies, evaluating the existence of uterine and ovarian illnesses, and looking for minute details are all done using ultrasound. Advanced techniques like TVS and saline infusion sonography are also applied.

3. Hormonal tests

A woman’s fertility rate can be determined by urine or blood tests for hormones like FSH, LH, and progesterone.

4. Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure used to look for complications such as endometriosis and problems with the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This procedure can also be used to treat endometriosis. Additionally, it can be utilized in simultaneously diagnosing and treating the condition, including monitoring the second period after laparoscopy.

5. Hysteroscopy

A thin tube called a hysteroscope is inserted through the vagina as part of the hysteroscopy procedure, which examines the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes for abnormalities. It also allows the practitioner to remove a small portion of the organ, which makes it possible to sample the tissue.

Ways to promote fertility in women

The most crucial concept is that there are numerous strategies to increase female fertility, including enhancing the reproductive system:

1. Keeping a healthy weight is crucial for reproductive health because obesity can cause irregular periods and decreased fertility.

2. To increase the likelihood of conception, avoiding stress and obtaining enough sleep is critical. Stress can have a negative impact on female fertility.

3. Medications, including birth control pills, seizures, and thyroid conditions, should all be considered to ensure they are safe for reproductive health.

4. Women should eat more proteins, antioxidants, and multivitamins to increase fertility. They should also eat regularly and properly in the morning to lower their insulin levels.

Wrap up

Several factors, including a healthy reproductive system, can indicate a woman’s high fertility. When considering pregnancy, a woman aware of these signs may find that the process goes much more smoothly.

In addition, it is always best to conduct an internal assessment of one’s level of fertility before adversity comes knocking on the door. Even though the vast majority of fertile women exhibit these signs, there is still a chance that some women will not exhibit or observe the aforementioned physical changes (besides regular menses and hormonal balance).

When a woman’s signs of good fertility are either absent or difficult to understand, she needs to reach out a Fertility professional. Concerning one’s reproductive health, it is generally recommended that one does not avoid complications or incorrect signals.

Frequently Asked Questions

After a woman reaches reproductive age, she starts to show fertility indicators. Your chances of getting pregnant are significantly increased if you have regular periods without any troubles, are the correct weight, do not smoke or drink, do not have a hormone imbalance, do not have a pelvic infection, and do not have issues like ovulation disorder.

Ovulation, which is the monthly release of an egg to be fertilized by the sperm, is indicated by regular menstruation. This could indicate a woman is highly fertile. Hence, when a woman menstruates regularly, her chances of getting pregnant are higher.

If a woman organizes sexual activity for the high ovulation days, her chances of getting pregnant increase. The crucial six days, or five days right before ovulation and the day of ovulation, are when fertility is at its peak.

The three most fertile days of the month are the two days before ovulation and the third day, the actual day of ovulation. The greatest three days of the month to have sex if you’re trying to have a kid are these three days.

The five days leading up to and the day an egg is released from the ovary (ovulation) are called the “fertile window.” The optimum time to get pregnant is to engage in sexual activity.

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Best Fertility Foods When Trying To Get Pregnant

Diet and fertility are both hot topics and foods that boost fertility are capitalizing on this trending interest. However, does eating certain foods increase your chances of becoming pregnant?

Eating a nourishing and balanced diet benefits both men and women. While there is no single meal or fertility diet that can instantly increase your chances of getting pregnant, both men and women can reap the benefits of doing so.

Without further ado, here is a list of 20 Fertility Foods you need to eat when trying to get pregnant.

20 Best Fertility Foods To Get Pregnant

1. Avocados

Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E, which, according to some research lines, may help improve the lining of the uterus. Because of this, avocados are an excellent food choice for improving fertility.

In addition, they contain a high quantity of potassium, folate, and vitamin K, all of which contribute to the body’s capacity for the correct absorption of other vitamins.

2. Sunflower seeds

Vitamin E is an essential component that has been demonstrated to improve sperm count and sperm motility in some persons. Roasted sunflower seed kernels that have not been salted are rich in vitamin E.

In addition, sunflower seeds are loaded with the essential minerals folate and selenium, which play a significant role in male and female fertility.

Apart from being an excellent supply of omega-6 fatty acids, sunflower seeds also provide a trace quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for fertility.

3. Dark leafy greens

Consuming dark green vegetables daily is beneficial for everyone, but it is especially important for women attempting to become pregnant.

Kale, spinach, and Swiss chard all contain prenatal minerals, such as calcium, iron, and folate, in addition to their high concentrations of the essential dietary fiber that is consumed daily.

4. Beets

If there are any underrated vegetables, they are beets and their greens. Beetroots are known to increase uterine blood flow and aid in embryo implantation.

A diet high in beets is extremely beneficial during IVF treatment. These should therefore be included in your list of fertility-boosting meals, even if you are not doing IVF.

However, be aware of potential side effects such as beeturia (red or pink urine), digestive discomfort, or kidney stones in susceptible individuals.

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain a high level of the carotenoid beta-carotene, which is thought to play a role in the increased production of the hormone progesterone.

Sweet potatoes may be a more nutrient-dense alternative to yams that still offers the same benefits.

6. Berries

Berries are one of the simplest foods to consume more of when it comes to increasing fertility. Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are rich in antioxidants such as folate and zinc.

You and your partner should both be concerned about that. Antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals in the body, which can damage both sperm and egg cells.

7. Salmon

Salmon is always included, whether it is a superfood list for fertility. And with good cause. Omega-3s and essential fatty acids, which have been demonstrated to be good for fertility, are abundant in salmon. It has a low mercury content as well.

Moreover, it is an excellent source of selenium and vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D tend to be linked to poor fertility in both men and women. Selenium is also crucial for the development of healthy sperm.

8. Sardines

Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in sardines. Sardines are a great source of pro-fertility, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, just like salmon.

They are also a fantastic source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D. Although they are a low-mercury food, limiting your sardine intake to one to three servings per week is recommended.

9. Walnuts

Walnuts are the perfect food if you want to promote fertility. According to Becker, they are another top omega-3 fats, vitamins E, B, and protein source.

These nut powerhouses are one of the few vegetarian foods that contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and are high in fibre. Not to mention magnesium, which is proven to reduce morning sickness and aid in enhancing progesterone.

10. Greek yoghurt

Why not choose Greek yoghurt if you’re looking for food that will improve your fertility and may have it first thing in the morning?

It has a lot of calcium and vitamin D, which support strong bones and aid in developing the follicles in your ovaries. You only need one serving to receive these necessary vitamins.

11. Pomegranates

Due to their abundance of seeds, pomegranates have been linked to birth and fertility for a long time. Pomegranates, which are high in antioxidants, are also a good source of several nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and several other vitamins and minerals that support fertility.

12. Eggs

Eggs contain a high volume of the essential nutrient choline, which is essential for women when they become pregnant. Eggs aren’t just a great source of protein; they can also help improve a couple’s chances of getting pregnant.

13. Bee Pollen

Another meal for fertility that’s wonderful for both men’s and women’s reproductive health is bee pollen. Bee pollen has demonstrated the potential to promote sperm production and enhance female fertility. However, purchase your bee pollen from a reliable source to ensure effectiveness.

14. Maca

Maca is a fertility superfood high in numerous vitamins and minerals needed to conceive, such as zinc, vitamins D, C, and B, and iron. Men who have it may also have more sperm.

It works well when you include it in your breakfast smoothie, including avocado, spinach, and possibly some Greek yogurt and bee pollen.

15. Asparagus

A superfood loaded with nutrients, asparagus. The whole daily value of vitamin K, 60% of your recommended daily intake of folate, and more than 20% of other critical nutrients like vitamins A, C, and B thiamin are all present in a one-cup serving of asparagus.

You can receive all of your recommended daily vitamin K intake and more than half of your daily folic acid intake from one cup of asparagus. Moreover, glutathione, an antioxidant that enhances egg quality, is found in asparagus.

16. Watermelon

Another excellent source of glutathione is watermelon. It’s healthy food on your plate even after you become pregnant because it’s also proven to relieve morning sickness, indigestion, swelling, and even third-trimester cramps.

Since it contains lycopene, an antioxidant promoting sperm motility, watermelon also aids male fertility.

17. Liver

Contrary to popular conception, the liver acts as a “detoxifier” rather than a “toxic organ.” It aids in the removal of pollutants from the body but does not retain them. Because it’s a fantastic source of folate, all your B vitamins, choline, and a tonne of antioxidants like inositol, it can aid in conception in women.

Add three ounces of the liver to your diet once a week, or take it as a supplement in the form of pills if you find it difficult to picture eating liver.

18. Lentils

Spermidine, a polyamine found in high lentil concentrations, may aid sperm in fertilizing the egg. In addition to being high in protein, lentils and beans can aid in healthy ovulation.

According to studies, the incidence of infertility caused by anovulation decreases by more than 50% when 5% of the calories consumed originate from vegetable protein rather than animal protein, particularly red meats. At the same time intake of 100g Chicken fulfills 50% of the daily protein of a pregnant women.

19. Cod liver oil

Although cod liver oil is technically a fish oil, it differs from ordinary fish oil in several ways. Both fish oil and cod liver oil are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but cod liver oil also has fat-soluble vitamins A and D, crucial for conception and pregnancy.

Instead of fish oil, choose cod liver oil if you have a vitamin D deficiency. You can consume liquid or capsule form of cod liver oil daily, but be sure to take an amount that provides 2,000 IUs of vitamin D.

20. Citrus Fruits

Grapefruits and oranges are two of the best citrus fruits to get your daily dose of vitamin C. Grapefruits, and oranges contain a polyamine called putrescine, which has been linked in some animal studies to the ability to improve the quality of eggs and sperm. Grapefruits and oranges are both good sources of putrescine.

Foods that increase Fertility in Females

Diet and fertility are trending themes, and foods that promote fertility are a part of this frenzy. A fertility diet includes whole foods, organic vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish, poultry, more omega-3 fatty acids, and fewer trans fats. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and fast food is recommended.

A woman’s diet can impact her hormone levels, estrogen production, and insulin sensitivity, all of which can affect her capacity to conceive.

Conclusion

It is essential to maintain a healthy diet while one is attempting to conceive a child. When it comes to eating for reproductive health, the most important foods are those that can lower levels of stress hormones and increase blood flow to the uterus.  Also, it is always better to get advice from a fertility doctor for better results.

Frequently Asked Questions

This food is rich in potassium, and in addition to helping to keep blood pressure under control, it can also improve fertility in both males and females.

Eating foods high in fertility-boosting nutrients like eggs should be at the top of your priority list when trying to conceive a child. Eggs are a fertility superfood. Eggs are an excellent source of fat, protein, and vitamins B12 and E, in addition to the mineral zinc.

Egg health can be improved in several ways, including through the practice of regular exercise, the management of stress, the development of healthier

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Significance of Epididymis in Male Fertility

The epididymis is an important organ in the male reproductive system that is responsible for the maturation and transportation of sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens.

This is where the sperm gets matured and are exposed to various fluids that aid with their motility. This article gives a detailed description of what epididymis is and its significance in male fertility. 

Significance of Epididymis in Male Fertility

The epididymis plays a crucial role in male fertility. It is a long, coiled tube that sits atop the testicle and is responsible for several key functions that are vital for sperm maturation and transport. Here are the significant aspects of the epididymis in relation to male fertility

Sperm Maturation

Storage: The epididymis serves as a storage site for sperm after they are produced in the testes. It provides an environment for the sperm to mature over several days.

Maturation Process: During their stay in the epididymis, sperm undergo important changes. They acquire motility and the ability to fertilize an egg. This maturation process is essential for the sperm to become fully functional.

Transport of Sperm

Conduits for Movement: The epididymis acts as a conduit through which sperm pass from the testes to the vas deferens and eventually to the outside of the body during ejaculation.

Peristaltic Movement: The smooth muscle in the epididymis walls helps in the peristaltic movement, facilitating the transport of sperm.

Protection and Nourishment

Nutrient Supply: The epididymis provides an environment rich in nutrients that are essential for maintaining the viability of sperm.

Protective Environment: It offers a protective environment against damage and prepares the sperm to withstand the acidic environment of the vagina.

Sperm Quality Control

Removal of Defective Sperm: The epididymis plays a role in removing defective sperm cells, ensuring that only the most viable and healthy sperm are stored and eventually ejaculated.

DNA Integrity: It contributes to the maintenance of DNA integrity in sperm cells, which is crucial for successful fertilization and normal embryo development.

Concentration of Sperm

Concentration for Ejaculation: By the time sperm reach the end of the epididymis, they are concentrated and ready for ejaculation. This concentration is important for increasing the chances of successful fertilization.

What Is Epididymis?

What is the significance of epididymis in male fertility? ​

An epididymis is a narrow, tightly-coiled tube in the male reproductive system. It is present inside the scrotum behind each testicle and connects them to the vas deferens. This is where the sperm are stored and reach the final stage of maturation after they are produced in the seminal vesicles. 

The epididymis is directly connected to the ejaculatory duct by the vas deferens. The mature sperm are moved to the vas deferens and into the pelvic cavity due to ejaculatory contractions. They are then combined with the semen in the ejaculatory duct and ejected through the urethra during orgasm. 

If the sperm are not ejaculated for a longer period, or if vasectomy is performed on the male, the sperm are eventually reabsorbed by the epididymis. 

The Epididymis: An Essential Reproductive Organ

The epididymis is one of the most important male reproductive organs that is responsible for the storing and maturation of sperm. The epididymis also includes

During the sperm’s journey through the epididymis, it matures and gains the ability to swim. The epididymis plays an important role in the maturation and transport of sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens. Thus, any structural and functional issues with this organ can cause infertility in men.

Epididymal Structure

What is the significance of epididymis in male fertility? ​

The epididymis is a convoluted, crescent-shaped organ present in all reptiles, birds, and mammals. It is about 3.8 cm long in humans and is divided into three main anatomical regions: the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda).

  • The head (Latin: caput)

The head is the largest part of the epididymis and is attached to the top surface of the testes. It receives sperm cells from the efferent ducts of the testicles. It is characterised by a thick epithelium with long stereocilia and a little smooth muscle. 

The concentration of the sperm here is dilute. Thus, the head is responsible for absorbing fluids to make them more concentrated.

  • The body (Latin: corpus)

As the sperm travels from the head to the body, the thickness of the muscle wall reduces, and more fluids are absorbed. The sperm starts to become more concentrated.

  • The tail (Latin: cauda)

The tail is the smallest and longest part of the epididymis. After the sperm are concentrated and matured in the head and body parts, they are stored in the tail region of the epididymis. 

A two-layered pseudostratified epithelium covers the epididymis. There are six types of cells present in the epithelium. They are

  • Principal cells
  • Basal cells
  • Apical cells
  • Clear cells
  • Intraepithelial lymphocytes, and
  • Intraepithelial macrophages. 

What are the Functions of the Epididymis?

Epididymis plays a major role in various roles regarding the maturation and transportation of sperm. Below are some of the major functions of the epididymis.

Sperm Transport

Sperm Transport ​

This is the first and foremost function of the epididymis. Since the organ connects the testes and the vas deferens, it is responsible for transporting sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens.

The epididymis is approximately 6-7 meters (20-23 ft) long. It may take the sperm up 4 to 6 weeks days to travel through the epididymis and become a fully mature and motile sperm. 

Sperm Concentration

Sperm Concentration

The epididymis is where sperm reaches maturity and gains other functions. This process occurs in the head and body parts of the epididymis, where they absorb fluids that make the sperm more concentrated. 

Increased sperm concentration of sperm is essential for sperm to be more concentrated in the semen. This is an important factor that can affect male fertility.

Sperm Protection

Sperm Transport

The epididymis is also responsible for the protection of sperm from the external environment. It excretes various antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase into the epididymal lumen to neutralise the reactive oxygen generated by the metabolic activity of the epithelial cells.

It also has a blood-epididymis barrier to shield the maturing sperm from the immune system and other harmful substances in the bloodstream.

Sperm Storage

Sperm Concentration

The tail (cauda) region of the epididymis is responsible for storing the mature sperm before ejaculation. At a given period, about 50-80% of the sperm are stored in the tail of the epididymis.

The epithelial cells present in the tail secrete factors that keep the environment luminal and maintain the sperm in an inactive state during storage. After ejaculation, sperm wake up from their quiescent state and regains motility. Their metabolic activity also increases by 3 to 5 times compared to when they were in the cauda epididymis (tail).

Sperm Maturation

Sperm Maturation ​

Sperm maturation is an essential part of male fertility. Only a mature sperm can fertilise an egg in natural conditions. 

During the time that the sperm travel through the epididymis, it undergoes various maturation changes. The fluid absorbed by the epididymis’s head (caput) and body (corpus) makes the sperm more concentrated and aids their maturation. They also undergo changes and acquire motility and other functions necessary for successful fertilisation

Acquisition of Motility

Acquisition of Motility

The immature sperm produced by the testicles are immobile. As the sperm travels through the epididymis and finally reaches the tail (cauda) region, they mature and are capable of progressive motility. 

Sperm can also mature and attain motility in artificial conditions. However, the epididymal lumen provides the best environment for the sperm to attain mobility. Sperm undergoes several morphological and structural changes to become motile and gain the ability to swim.

Fertilisation Capabilities

Fertilisation Capabilities

In addition to aiding sperm with maturation, epididymis also provides the sperm with the necessary factors for fertilisation. They acquire factors necessary to bind and penetrate the cumulus cells and zona pellucida. 

The carbohydrate-protein interactions between the oligosaccharides on the oocyte (egg) membrane and the receptor proteins on the sperm membrane is the primary mechanism responsible for sperm-oocyte binding.



Sperm Maturation and Reproduction

Sperm Maturation and Reproduction ​

It is a proven fact that proper maturation of the sperm is important for successful fertilisation and reproduction. Sperm that are not fully matured can have adverse effects on the reproductive potential and early embryogenesis.

Epididymis and male fertility

From the above article, it is clear that epididymis plays an important role in male fertility and the fertilization of oocytes. Only when the sperm are successfully matured and has good mobility can they swim through the uterus to reach the eggs in the fallopian tubes. Issues in Epididymis or any other Fertility issues must need an immediate attention. So, it is best get a consultation from a Fertility doctor if you undergone any fertility issues.

Frequently asked questions

That sperm takes about 4 to 6 weeks to travel through the epididymis until it reaches the tail (cauda) of the epididymis. During this time, the sperm reaches maturity and attains motility along with other factors necessary for successful fertilisation.  

The primary functions of the epididymis are sperm maturation and transport. Epididymis is present in several species. As the sperm travel through the epididymis, they are exposed to fluids that make them more concentrated and mature. 

Epididymitis is the inflammation of the epididymis and can cause intense pain in the testicles. It can occur in males of any age, but it is more common in men between the ages of 14 and 35.

Chronic epididymitis can affect sperm count and motility. It can cause sperm to not be mature enough for fertilisation of oocytes. In addition, it can affect sperm motility, resulting in atypical staining of sperm tails. 



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Embryo Transfer: Everything You Need to Know

Embryo transfer is the last and most important step of the IVF procedure. This is where the fertilised embryos are transferred into the uterus for further development. There are some things that patients should take note of before, during and after the embryo process. This article gives a detailed explanation of everything one needs to know about embryo transfers.

What is an embryo transfer?

Embryo transfer is the final stage of In Vitro Fertilisation, where the Fertilised eggs are transferred back into the uterus of the female so that they can implant and result in pregnancy. 

The embryo transfer is an important step in IVF treatment that determines the success of the process. Implantation of the embryos must be precise, so it is usually done with the help of an ultrasound scan.

Types of embryo transfer

There are two ways embryo transfer can be done. They are fresh embryo transfer and frozen embryo transfer.

  • Fresh embryo transfer is where eggs are fertilised and transferred into the uterus within 5 days of egg retrieval.
  • Frozen embryo transfer is when embryos are frozen and transferred into the uterus 1 or 2 months after egg retrieval.

Fresh embryo transfer

As the name implies, fresh embryo transfers are done within three to five days of egg retrieval. Once the eggs are retrieved and fertilised in a laboratory, they are monitored to determine which embryos have the best chance of pregnancy and their level of development. 

Based on the development of the embryos, they can be transferred back into the uterus on the third and fifth day of egg retrieval. 

Day 3 (Cleavage) embryo transfer

Also called Cleavage embryo transfer, these embryos are transferred when their cells are in the process of cleaving or dividing. The changes happen only in the cells, and the embryos don’t grow in size. Most embryos reach this stage on day 3,  but they may also occur on day 2 or 4.

Day 5 (Blastocyst) embryo transfer

Also called Blastocyst embryo transfer, these embryos are transferred when they have developed into a single-layered sphere of 60 to 120 cells encircling a fluid-filled cavity. Transferring an embryo in the blastocyst stage is often considered a better option than the ones in the Cleavage stage (day 3).

Benefits of fresh embryo transfer

  • Faster conception. This is a great option for couples who wish to have their baby sooner.
  • Cryopreservation techniques are often not covered by insurance. So couples can choose fresh embryo transfer for financial reasons. 

Frozen embryo transfer

The initial process is the same for both fresh and frozen embryo transfer. But while fresh embryos are transferred within 5 days of egg retrieval, frozen embryos are frozen using a technique called cryopreservation.

In this cryopreservation process, the embryos are kept viable, but in a stasis state so they can be thawed and used later. 

Benefits of using frozen embryos

  • Less medication. Frozen embryo transfer (FET) involves taking less medication than fresh embryo transfer. There will still be medication during embryo transfer, but ovary-stimulating medications can be avoided.
  • No doubts if the embryos are of good quality. If an embryo is selected to be frozen, it can be seen that the embryos are healthy without any problems. 
  • Store embryos and use them later. With frozen embryo transfer, you can choose to delay your pregnancy. 

The process of embryo transfer

Embryo transfer is the final stage of In Vitro Fertilisation. Before conducting embryo transfer, the best eggs with higher chances of pregnancy will be chosen by the embryologists to be implanted in the uterus. 

There are many non-invasive processes that can help select the best embryos, like PGT-A (Preimplantation Genetic Testing for Aneuploidy) and PGD (Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis). If more eggs are found to be of good quality, the remaining eggs can be frozen for future use. 

During embryo transfer

During the embryo transfer, the fertility doctor will insert a speculum into the woman’s vagina under the guidance of an ultrasound scan. This speculum helps keep the vaginal walls open for the catheter to move freely through the vagina. 

The embryo is collected in a tube and passed through the catheter into the female’s uterus. The embryos are then placed in the uterus for implantation. 

This process is minimally painful and does not require many sedatives. Inserting the speculum through the vagine or having a full bladder during the process may discomfort some women. Besides that, the whole process takes a short time and is not much painful.

After embryo transfer

If there are no symptoms after embryo transfer Patients should go for a follow-up treatment to check whether the embryo has implanted in the uterus. Women may experience some side effects like cramping, bloating, and vaginal discharge.

Patients must follow some safety precautions advised by the fertility doctor to ensure the embryo stays safe and healthy in the uterus. Below are some precautions they can follow after embryo transfer.

  • Patients can walk to their rooms 15 minutes to half an hour after the embryo transfer.
  • Patients can leave home for 3 to 4 hours. They can’t drive, so they must travel with someone else.
  • Climbing the stairs is not a problem, but not too often.
  • Patients can do their routine work. There is no need for a complete rest.
  • Patients should avoid strenuous exercise.
  • Hot water baths (bubble baths) should be avoided.

And finally, patients should take all the medicines prescribed by the doctor on time and have a stress-free and healthy atmosphere. 

How many embryos are transferred?

The number of embryos transferred varies according to the age and outlook of the female. In most cases, fertility doctors only transfer one embryo into the uterus. But some doctors believe that transferring two embryos can increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Based on the number of embryos transferred, the process can be classified into

  • SET/eSET (Single Embryo Transfer / Elective Single Embryo Transfer), and
  • Multiple Embryo Transfer

SET/eSET (Single Embryo Transfer)

SET/eSET is the process of transferring a single embryo with the highest chances of pregnancy into the woman’s uterus. 

Multiple Embryo Transfer

This is the process where more than one embryo is transferred into the uterus at the same time. This method is not usually used and is only done when the female’s chances of pregnancy are low.

Success rates of embryo transfers

Based on the transfer method used (fresh & frozen), the success rate of embryo transfer varies. There is no statistical difference between using fresh and frozen embryos. 

The patient can choose whether they want fresh or frozen embryo transfer. Studies have proved that frozen embryo transfer has a 15-20% increase in success rate than fresh embryo transfer. So most fertility centers prefer frozen embryo transfer. 

In addition, frozen embryos can be used for future embryo transfers where fresh embryos cannot. If the chances for pregnancy are low, doctors can use the additional frozen embryos for a second attempt at embryo transfer. To make your Embryo transfer success be aware of your regular food cycle.

Risks and precautions of embryo transfers

There are not any serious risks involved in embryo transfer. Women may experience some minor side effects after the process. Some of them are

  • Bloating,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Constipation,
  • Cramping,
  • Tender breasts (due to high estrogen levels),
  • Rapid weight gain, and
  • Low blood pressure.

Some of the risks involved in unsuccessful embryo transfers are

  • Multiple births: This is where more than one embryo implants in the uterus. It may lead to premature labour and low birth weight of the newborn. 
  • Miscarriage: Even though the rate of miscarriages in IVF is the same as that of unassisted pregnancies, there are more chances of miscarriage with the increase in maternal age. 
  • Premature delivery: Women may be at slightly more risk of having a premature delivery or having babies with lower birth weight.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: This is the condition where the fertilised embryos implant themselves outside the uterus, e.g., the fallopian tubes.
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): OHSS is a rare condition that causes nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, bloating, rapid weight gain, and the inability to urinate in women. 

Conclusion

Embryo transfer is the last and most important step of In Vitro Fertilisation. This step is where the success and failure of the IVF treatment are determined.

Even though this step is crucial, patients don’t need to worry much because they will be cared for and guided every step of the way by their IVF doctors and embryologists. 

Frequently asked questions

You can do a pregnancy test about 9 to 14 days after embryo transfer. You can visit your fertility doctor and do a checkup to see if the IVF treatment was a success.

The IVF process, as a whole, is not painful, though patients may experience slight discomfort or mild side effects during the medication, egg retrieval, and embryo transfer procedures.

IVF pregnancies are not considered high-risk unless the parent has an existing health condition or other factors that can weaken their body. For example, advanced maternal age, high blood pressure, or multiple births can be possible risk factors for the parent.

Women have the best chances of getting pregnant when they are in their 20s. This is the age when their body will produce a large number of healthy eggs.

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Secondary Infertility: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Most couples nowadays prefer to have two or more kids. They might think that conceiving a second or third child is easy because they have already given birth to a child. But that is not always the case.

Sometimes, infertility can affect couples or individuals who have already given birth to one or two kids. This condition is called secondary infertility.

Secondary infertility can be a shock to many couples who have given birth previously without any infertility issues. Fortunately, it is easy to rectify, and there are many fertility treatments that are available for patients with this condition.

What is secondary infertility?

Generally, there are two types of infertility, primary and secondary infertility. Primary infertility is where individuals or couples who have never given birth are unable to conceive. These people have trouble conceiving their first child.

Secondary infertility is when an individual or couple who have previously given birth naturally has trouble conceiving again. 

This is a common problem for most couples and can affect both men and women. In some cases of secondary infertility, the couple may succeed in conceiving the child but are unable to carry them.

What are the symptoms of secondary infertility?

When it comes to secondary infertility, the main giveaway is the patient’s inability to conceive or carry a baby after a prior successful natural pregnancy. 

Secondary infertility can be caused due to various reasons, and the symptoms are often related to its cause.

Suppose a couple who are under age 35 are unable to conceive after regular, unprotected sex, or couples over 35 who have been trying for 6 months but failed to conceive. In that case, they can be affected by secondary infertility.

Secondary infertility is more common in women who are older than 30 and have experienced painful periods, pelvic inflammatory diseases, irregular menstrual cycles, and miscarriages. For men, the main symptom is low sperm count.

What are the causes of secondary infertility?

Secondary infertility can be caused due to infertility problems in either or both partners. It is as common as primary infertility and can be caused due to various factors like,

What are the causes of secondary infertility in women?

Some possible factors that can cause secondary infertility in women are given below.

Age: The quality of the eggs highly depends upon the age and health of the female. As a woman ages, the quality of the eggs deteriorates, and they may have chromosomal problems.

Problems in the fallopian tubes: Any blockage or damage in the fallopian tube can cause infertility.

Problems with the uterus: Any damage or scarring in the uterus that can be caused due to prior surgeries like D&C (Dilation & Curettage) or Cesaerean delivery can create adhesions that can affect future pregnancies.

Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a situation where the tissues lining the inner layer of the uterus grow outside the uterus, i.e., on the ovaries or bowel surfaces.

PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that causes irregular menstrual cycles in women. It affects the ovulation cycle and the production of eggs in the ovaries.

Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding can stop a woman’s body from ovulating and produce eggs for potential fertilization.

What are the causes of secondary infertility in men?

Below are some of the possible causes of secondary infertility in men.

Age: Testosterone levels play a major role in the production of sperm. Aging can affect the levels of testosterone produced.

Poor quality sperm: The quality of the sperm declines as a person ages. Abnormal sperm count, motility, and shape can affect fertility.

Prostate enlargement: Prostate enlargement can affect normal ejaculation and hinder sperm count.

Prostate removal: This condition is caused due to cancer or other health conditions. It can cause semen to flow backward (retrograde ejaculation).

Certain drugs can affect sperm quality: Certain drugs used to treat conditions like high blood pressure can affect sperm quality.

What are treatment options for secondary infertility?

Secondary infertility is an unwelcome visitor that can affect anyone. But it is not untreatable. There are some treatments that can be done to rectify secondary fertility in couples.

Medication

high-tech doctors equipment icon

Hormonal medications such as Clomid or Letrozole can be administered to women to induce ovulation. 
Drugs like anti-ageing supplements and antioxidants can increase fertility in men, and drug treatments can also increase the quality of sperm.

Surgery

Surgery

Surgery can be done for both men and women. In men, surgery can be done to treat varicocele and hydrocele, prior vasectomy and repair vas deferens.
For women, surgeries can be done to repair problems like uterine polyps, fibroids and open blocked fallopian tubes.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART):

Assisted Reproductive Technology is where eggs and sperm are retrieved, and fertilization occurs in a laboratory under artificial conditions. Artificial reproductive treatments like IVF, ICSI, and IUI come under ART. Couples who have problems conceiving can opt for any of these fertility treatments. 

In Vitro fertilisation (IVF)

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

IVF is where sperm and egg are collected and fertilised in a laboratory. The fertilised embryos are then transferred back into the uterus for further development. 

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Ovulation Induction

ICSI is a type of IVF where instead of placing the eggs among many sperm, a single, healthy sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of the egg.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Embryo Transfer.

In IUI, fertilisation happens within the female reproductive system. Sperm is collected and placed directly into the uterus using a long, thin tube. 

Conclusion

Secondary infertility can be a surprising factor for many couples who had no problems conceiving their first child. Even though they already have a child, not being able to conceive another child can be stressful for many. These couples can consult a fertility specialist and find the causes and adequate treatment for secondary infertility.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some tests that can be done on a female to diagnose the cause of infertility. Given below are some of the tests that are done on a woman. 

Below are some tests that can be done on a male to diagnose the cause of infertility. 

  • Sperm analysis
  • Specialised Sperm Function Tests
  • DNA Fragmentation Tests (DFI)

Environmental and health factors play an important role in infertility. Here are some of the measures you can take to prevent infertility. 

  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Do regular exercises
  • Reduce alcohol, smoking, and drugs
  • Treat STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) if you have any

Infertility is a big issue affecting millions of people of reproductive age worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO), almost 186 million individuals and 48 million couples have fertility problems globally.

Women have the best chance of getting pregnant in their 20s. This is the age when their body will produce a large number of healthy eggs.

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Infertility: Symptoms and Causes

Infertility is the inability to produce offspring through sexual intercourse. Any person who has difficulty or is unable to reproduce naturally is called infertile. 

Infertility is a global issue, with over 48 to 186 million people in the world being infertile. A person is considered infertile when they cannot get pregnant after one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.

What causes infertility?

Infertility may result from either or both partners having problems with their reproductive systems. There are many causes of infertility in both males and females. 

Sometimes, the cause of infertility cannot be found. Some known causes for female and male fertility problems are listed below.

What causes infertility in women?

Ovulation disorder: Ovarian disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), hypo- or hyperthyroidism, and hyperprolactinemia can affect ovulation, disrupting the menstrual cycle and causing infertility. While these conditions significantly impact reproductive health, it is a common misconception that female masturbation can also affect ovulation. In reality, masturbation does not influence the ovulation process or disrupt the menstrual cycle.

Age: Aging is a major cause of infertility in women. As women age, the quality and the number of eggs produced deteriorate. 

Endometriosis: A situation where tissues that grow inside the uterus start growing outside the uterus.

Uterine disorders: Any abnormalities with the structure of the uterus can cause infertility. E.g., uterine fibroids and uterine septum. 

Fallopian tube damage: Damage in the fallopian tubes caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or ectopic pregnancy can cause infertility.  

Cancer and treatments: Cancer, especially those related to reproductive organs (breast and cervical cancers), and the following treatments (radiation & chemotherapy) can affect a woman’s fertility. 

What causes infertility in men?

Hormonal issues that arise due to problems with hormonal glands, including the pituitary, thyroid, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands, can affect the functions of the male reproductive system. 

Immunity problems, where your body creates anti-sperm antibodies against your own sperm.

Infections or inflammatory diseases like epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis) and orchitis (inflammation of testicles).

Heredity and genetic diseases like hemochromatosis and cystic fibrosis.

Environmental factors include heavy exposure to industrial chemicals (pesticides, organic solvents, etc.), radiation (X-Ray), and heat.

Lifestyle factors like usage of alcohol, tobacco, steroids or marijuana. Obesity can also cause infertility by causing hormonal changes in the body.

What are the types of infertility?

There are two types of infertility. They are primary and secondary infertility.

Primary infertility: Primary infertility is when a person who has never had a child can’t conceive even after regular, unprotected intercourse for a year.

Secondary infertility: Secondary fertility is when a person who has had at least one successful pregnancy is unable to have a child again. 

What are the risk factors for infertility?

It’s common for people to discover their fertility issues only when they fail to conceive after a year of trying. Infertility doesn’t have obvious symptoms. But some signs can indicate infertility. 

  • Age can be a crucial factor for infertility issues in men and women (35 for women, 40 for men).
  • Excessive alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
  • Hormonal issues such as thyroid, adrenal glands, etc.,
  • Chronic diseases like diabetes, lupus, hypertension, etc.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals (pesticides, organic solvents, etc.), heat, and radiation (X-Ray).
  • Being Overweight (obesity) can also cause infertility in both men and women.

What are the risk factors for male infertility?

Some risk factors that can cause infertility in men are

  • Varicocele – a lump or swelling caused by dilated or enlarged veins that drain the testicle,
  • Hydrocele – a lump or swelling in the scrotum that occurs when fluid collects in the fold of the mucous membrane that surrounds the testicle,
  • Exposure of testicles to high temperature from excess use of hot tubs or saunas or wearing tight clothing,
  • Infections or inflammatory diseases like epididymis (inflammation of the epididymis) and orchitis (inflammation of testicles),
  • Injury in the scrotum or scrotum,
  • Premature ejaculation or retrograde ejaculation (semen flows backwards into the bladder),
  • Excessive usage of alcohol, smoking and drugs, and
  • Being overweight (obesity).

Diagnosis and tests

Once a couple has found that they are having issues with their fertility, it is better to consult a fertility doctor as soon as possible. 

The fertility doctor will conduct a series of tests on the male and female partners to diagnose the cause of infertility. The tests that will be performed on women and men are given below.

How is female infertility diagnosed?

There are some tests that can be done on a female to diagnose the cause of infertility. Given below are some of the tests that are done on a woman. 

Ovulation testing: An ovulation kit may be used to detect changes in the body during ovulation, i.e., a surge in hormones such as Luteinizing Hormone (LH), prolactin, and progesterone. 

HSG (Hysterosalpingography): During HSG, an X-Ray contrast is injected into the uterus, and an X-Ray is taken to check problems in the uterus. This test can also be done to detect problems in the fallopian tubes. 

Ultrasound – Ultrasound testing such as follicular monitoring, transvaginal ultrasound and saline sonogram can be done to detect problems in the reproductive system. After a follicular study, the next steps in treatment depend on the specific findings and may include medication adjustments, timing for insemination, or preparing for procedures like IVF. It’s important to consult with your doctor to take action based on the ultrasound results.

Endoscopy – Endoscopy procedures such as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are done to detect issues in the outer and inner layers of the uterus that can cause infertility. 

Pelvic exam – A pelvic exam, including a pap smear, is done to check for structural problems or signs of disease.

How is male infertility diagnosed?

Below are some tests that can be done on a male to diagnose the cause of infertility. 

Sperm Analysis: This test is done to examine factors such as sperm count, sperm motility (movement), shape (morphology), and other characteristics of the sperm.

Specialised Sperm Function Tests: This test determines whether the sperm can penetrate the egg and if there are issues with the sperm binding itself to the egg.

DNA Fragmentation Index (DFI): This test determines the quality of sperm by detecting any damage to the DNA of the sperm. 

When should you seek help for infertility?

There are no specific causes or symptoms of infertility. So most people don’t discover their infertility issues until it is too late. Here are some instances that require you to seek the help of a fertility doctor.

  • Women under the age of 35 who can’t get pregnant even after regular, unprotected intercourse for a year.
  • Women over the age of 35 who can’t get pregnant after 6 months of regular, unprotected intercourse.
  • Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
  • Men who feel  discomfort or pain in the testicle area.
  • Men who have a history of prostate, testicle, or sexual health problems.

How is female infertility treated?

Some female fertility treatments that can be done are as follows.

Ovulation induction

Ovulation Induction

Ovulation induction is a hormonal therapy that simulates the production of eggs in the ovaries, i.e., ovulation. This drug is administered to women who don’t ovulate regularly on their own—women with irregular periods

Surgery

Surgery

 Endoscopic surgeries such as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can be done to treat problems with the uterus, like endometrial polyps, fibroids, etc. Tubal surgeries can be done to open blocked fallopian tubes and other issues in them. 

Counselling

Counselling

Fertility counselling is a psychotherapy treatment designed to help women understand infertility and how they feel about it.

How is male infertility treated?

Some male fertility treatments that can be done are as follows.

Surgery

Surgery

Surgery is the best way to treat issues like varicocele and hydrocele. Cases such as prior vasectomies or obstructed vas deferens can be treated through surgery.

Counselling

Counselling

Counseling can help men with issues such as premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction.

Medication

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he levels of hormones such as testosterone can be increased through medication. This can help with issues like erectile dysfunction. 

What are the fertility treatment options for all genders?

In cases where the couple needs external help to get pregnant, they can go for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). This method helps the couple get pregnant through artificial means. Below are some assisted reproductive techniques that couples can undergo to get pregnant. 

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is the most common method of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). Here, the eggs and sperm are collected from the female and male and fertilised in a lab dish. The fertilised embryo is then transferred into the uterus for further development. 

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a type of IVF where instead of placing an egg among several sperm for fertilisation, a single, healthy sperm is selected and injected into the cytoplasm of the egg. 

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

In IUI, fertilisation happens within the female reproductive system. Sperm is collected and placed directly into the uterus using a long, thin tube.

Third-party ART

This procedure involves a third party, i.e., someone or something unrelated to the male and female partners. It may be a donor egg, donor sperm, or donor embryo, or it may even involve a surrogate (a person who carries and gives birth to a baby in the place of the female partner).

How can I prevent infertility?

In today’s industrial era, many men and women suffer from infertility problems. Environmental and health factors play an important role in infertility. Here are some of the measures you can take to prevent infertility. 

  • Eat balanced and healthy food. Avoid eating fast foods too much. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is one of the major causes of infertility.
  • Exercise regularly. Staying physically active can prevent many diseases, but don’t overdo it. 
  • Reduce intake of alcohol, smoking and drugs. 
  • Treat sexually transmitted infections (STIs) if you have any. 
  • Have children when you are ready, don’t delay. For some people, age might be the main factor for infertility. So try to have children when you are young. If you wish to delay having children, you can preserve your eggs or sperm through fertility preservation. 

Health habits to boost fertility

If you are planning to get pregnant, you may be wondering what you can do to increase the chances of fertility. Your health habits are one of the major factors that can affect your fertility. So following a healthy lifestyle is important to increase your chances of fertility. Here are some of the health habits that can boost your fertility.

  • Prioritise your sleep. Irregular sleep can impact almost all aspects of our life. It can also cause infertility. So stick to your sleep schedule and get a healthy amount of sleep daily.
  • Limit your caffeine consumption. Studies show that high caffeine consumption increases the chances of miscarriage.
  • Exercise. Just like sleep, exercise can impact almost all aspects of your life. Exercise regularly and keep your body healthy.
  • Don’t have too many sweets. Too many sweets can increase your chances of obesity and diabetes, which can cause infertility.
  • Reduce alcohol, smoking and drugs. Excess intake of alcohol, smoking and drugs can cause health issues and affect your fertility.

Conclusion

Infertility is one of the most challenging health issues affecting most men and women. It can also affect your physical and mental health and cause relationship problems.

Treating infertility as soon as possible is the best way to cure infertility. So if you feel like you are having any fertility issues, consult a fertility doctor immediately. 

Frequently asked questions

According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, India has an infertility population of over 27.5 million. However, there are not many discussions done regarding infertility issues and the public ignorance that causes it. 

When consulting your fertility doctor, ask the following question.

  • What causes infertility?
  • What is the best treatment for my infertility issue?
  • Are there any side effects of infertility treatment?
  • How effective is IVF treatment?
  • Should my partner and I both undergo fertility tests?

Infertility is a major issue that is affecting millions of people who are of reproductive age worldwide. According to World Health Organization (WHO), almost 48 million couples and 186 million individuals have fertility problems globally.

In almost 90% of cases, infertility can be treated through conventional medical therapies like medication or surgeries. If these fertility treatments are unsuccessful, you can undergo assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF, ICSI, etc.

Women have the best chances of getting pregnant when they are in their 20s. This is the age when their body will produce a large number of healthy eggs.

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