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Infertility is when you don’t become pregnant after a minimum of 12 months of carefully-timed, unprotected sex.
The 2 types of infertility are:
Primary Infertility: Relates to couples who haven’t achieved pregnancy after 12 months or more of having unprotected sex, without using birth control.
Secondary Infertility: Relevant for couples who have achieved pregnancy in the past. Yet, they’re now struggling to conceive after 12 months or more of trying.
Both types of infertility can be stressful for women and men. It can take a lot of physical and mental energy to deal with the process. Then, to not achieve the result your heart desires, month-after-month, can feel overwhelming.
It may help to know that infertility isn’t a disease. Rather, it’s the symptom of an underlying condition.
This means the key to successful infertility treatment is to understand the bigger picture of your health. This means working with a health expert who’s familiar with infertility causes, as they can simplify the process.
Women under 35: Seek infertility treatment and support if you’re not pregnant after 12 months of trying
Women 35 years or older: Seek infertility treatment and support if you’re not pregnant after 6 months of trying
Men: Seek infertility treatment and support if you have a decreased sex drive, ejaculation problems or trouble maintaining an erection.
Science tells us that 30 year-old-women are usually half as fertile as 20 year-old-women. The possibility of infertility in women and men increases with these risk factors:
The main infertility symptom is being unable to fall pregnant. Other less obvious infertility symptoms and signs include:
Women: period problems (absent, irregular, heavy, painful), pain during sex, low sex drive, abnormal facial hair, thinning hair, weight gain
Men: Decreased sex drive, testicle problems (pain, swelling, small and firm size), difficulty maintaining an erection, trouble ejaculating.
Infertility causes are different for women and men. Also, they’re exacerbated when combined with the risk factors previously mentioned.
If you see a health expert to investigate infertility causes, they may suggest one of the following diagnostic methods.
Millions of couples around the world struggle with infertility.
World Infertility Awareness Month takes place in June each year. Its purpose is to help destigmatise infertility as a condition that only affects a handful of men and women. In reality, millions of couples (heterosexual and same-sex) struggle with infertility symptoms every year. World Infertility Awareness Months shines a light on their hidden struggles. It highlights infertility treatments and helps to decrease the isolation and stress associated with infertility.
When Nicole Kidman was married to Tom Cruise, infertility prevented them from conceiving. This led to them adopting 2 beautiful children who they love. But, when Nicole married Keith Urban many years later, the couple fell pregnant naturally. They opted for a gestational surrogate to help them with their second child.
Gordon Ramsey, celebrity chef, has been very open about his struggle with infertility. It was a low sperm count that caused his problems. But thankfully, in vitro fertilisation allowed Gordon to father 3 gorgeous children.
Infertility treatments that help conception include:
A medical professional uses a long, thin tube to insert sperm directly into the uterus.
Allied health professionals offer natural infertility treatments. Speak with Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, Psychologists.
Here are some natural, drug-free infertility treatments:
Helpful for optimising fertility and improving the success rate of IUI and IVF. It’s useful for women and men as it can improve blood flow to the uterus to encourage ovulation, and increase sperm count, quality and motility.
Assist with regulating hormone levels, improving reproductive health, and correcting nutrient imbalances. In women, chaste tree supports estrogen/progesterone balance and improves menstrual regularity. Also, zinc is often recommended for men with low sperm counts. Naturopaths can give you more detail about which are right for you.
This is essential for fertility. Fill your diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins and pure water. Ditch processed foods, especially those that are high in sugar and trans/saturated fats. It’s also important to limit alcohol, sugary drinks and soft drinks.
This will improve your chances of conception. Being overweight or underweight can increase the likelihood of infertility symptoms. It also increases the risk of birth defects.
Relaxing therapies, such as massage, meditation, yoga and reflexology, help decrease stress and increase the success rate of ART.
Useful for women and men who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed as a result of infertility. Stress exacerbates infertility, which can be tricky as dealing with infertility can be highly stressful. CBT, conducted by a Psychologist, is a reliable alternative to anxiety/depression medications, and in some cases it’s even more effective.
The following health experts can help with infertility treatment:
Here’s how to help someone with infertility:
What are 5 causes of infertility in women?
What are 5 causes of infertility in men?
Which are the most common infertility symptoms?