Filed under: General health. Tagged as: General health.
What is it?
Primary infertility (as opposed to secondary infertility which occurs in couples who have already had a baby but have trouble conceiving again) is present when a couple cannot conceive after a year of unprotected, unlimited intercourse. Almost one in seven of all couples in the West are infertile and the number is growing.
What causes it?
• Putting off having babies until the woman is past her peak fertility. The average couple is at peak fertility in their early twenties and most don’t start trying to have children until five to ten years after this. A woman’s eggs (ova) are all present at birth and age along with the rest of her body. By the time she is 30 some of the eggs are already of poor quality and so do not result in a fetus, or are aborted spontaneously very early. About seven or eight out of every ten conceptions in human beings end up being wasted naturally. Well over 30 per cent of women aged 40-45 are infertile and one UK study found that three-quarters of mothers having a baby when they were 30 or more had been having unprotected intercourse for two years or more before they conceived.
• VD is now a real epidemic, especially in the form of gonorrhea. Its growth is exceptionally high among teenagers. A substantial proportion of females with gonorrhea have no symptoms and by the time they know they have it their fallopian tubes have been irreparably damaged and so cannot allow an egg to pass from the ovaries to the uterus.
• Prolonged use of the Pill can delay the return of ovulation after stopping the drug in about 2 per cent of women. This is a very small proportion but the number of individuals is large because of the numbers of women on the Pill – nearly 3 million in the UK.
• The IUDs (intrauterine device currently used can delay the return of conception and older women seem to fare especially badly in this respect. Also, IUD are often associated with subclinical pelvic infections which can cause infertility in their own right.
• Abortions are followed by infections and damage to the cervix in a small number of women. These effects are very uncommon, but given the increasing numbers of women involved the numbers of individuals with such problems are building up.
• Exposure to drugs, pollutants, food additives and so on is rising and some undoubtedly play a part in the increasing toll of infertility.
• Not making love around the time of ovulation. Many infertile couples attending clinics are having intercourse only once a month and then not around ovulation time.
• Using lubricants, jellies, etc. All such creams, jellies and lubricants kill sperms, at least to some extent.
• Women who get up immediately after sex, so allowing the semen to run out. This is fine if the man has a large volume and she is very fertile but this may not be the case.
• The couple has sex problems which mean they rarely make love.
• The man’s scrotum is too hot. Sperms need to be kept at 2-3°C lower temperature than the rest of the body or they die or don’t even form properly. This is why the testes lie outside the body.