“Motherhood is a beautiful journey; not all are lucky enough to have one.” this quote throws light on the life of women who have the dream of being mothers. Longing for a child is not only a wonderful dream but a lifelong journey, that leads to happiness and completeness in its form. It is that crucial phase of life where, at one time, women consider herself as incomplete even if she has everything around. Motherhood is the divine blessing; a woman can dream off. Unfortunately, not all are that lucky enough to chase this dream happily, whereas they have to wait for the right time to come.
The primary causes related to childless couples or couples with fertility issues are directly or indirectly having struggles to be pregnant or to conceive. Some problems and reasons are causing an interruption in pregnancy. Most importantly, environmental factors play a very significant role in this process. The lifestyles of people are changing gradually. Few couples choose to live childfree intentionally, but others may have other health issues or underlying causes due to which they are unable to conceive. Thus sometimes being without a child is not being childless but childfree and others come in the category of couples seeking medical advice and trying their best to have a child.
What is the Right age to Conceive?
According to Dr Malsand, the right age to have a baby is between the 20s and the 30s. The ideal age is considered taken into the factors related to women’s health, her menstrual cycles, and other social issues. But the sole decision lies in the hands of the expecting mothers. Since it’s rightly said that after 35s and 40s women can face lots of health issues in expecting a child, but many conceive without any health barriers.
The Various Issues Related To Infertility In Women:
Infertility refers to the inability of women to have a baby. Problems related to lack of conception include miscarriages also. Pregnancy carries various factors related to women’s age, hormones, lifestyles, health issues like STDs, PCOs, blockage of Fallopian tubes, sexual problems, obesity or being overweight, irregular periods, etc.
The symptoms of Infertility:
The significant symptoms of infertility are not getting pregnant despite having many trials from the past few months or a year without protection. Other symptoms include irregular menstrual cycle or absent cycle, low sexual drive, having multiple miscarriages or abortions, and other health-related issues; this infertility can be both in males or females and females are not only the sole cause of this. Sometimes the problem lies in males’ sperm counts or any other family history, and on the other side, both males and females can have issues at the same time.
Infertility In Males can be due to the following reasons:
- Genetic defects, infections, low sperm counts and enlarged veins in varicocele.
- Sexual problems, genetic diseases, cystic fibrosis, blockage in the testicles, injury to the organs.
- Cancer or health issues related to this in family history.
- Smoking, drinking, drugs, health problems like high BP, diabetes, etc. causes issues in quality sperm production.
Infertility In females Can be due to the following reasons:
- Irregular or absent periods due to PCOS.
- Painful menstrual cycles
- Vaginal infections
- Blockage of Fallopian tubes (caused by pelvic inflammatory diseases)
- Early menopause (ovaries do not work and menstruation stops before the age of 40)
- Cancer and the undergoing treatments due to chemotherapy or radiation
- Endometriosis – The growth of endometrial tissues outside the uterus. The primary cause of the blockage as well as affecting uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries
- Pelvic or Abdominal surgery including appendicitis
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) that requires a medical diagnosis, development of cysts, leads to excess hair growth on any part of the body, hair fall, irregular periods, pimples, and acne.
- Obesity or being overweight
- Hormonal changes and imbalance due to lifestyle change or environmental factors.
- Smoking, drinking, taking certain drugs cause delays in pregnancy and can be a significant barrier in the smooth flow of conception.
Infertility Testing in females:
While facing several issues and hardships related to infertility and pregnancy, there is the availability of blood tests that can help in checking the levels of fertility in the females. The FSH blood test that is the Follicle Stimulating Hormones test is used to detect the underlying issues. Higher is FSH, and the lower is fertility. The lower is the FSH, and the higher is the fertility. It can be done on the third day of the menstrual cycle every month.
Hormones play a vital role in the whole pregnancy as well as the fertility process.
- Laparoscopy: Laparoscopy is a kind of small surgery where the blockage of Fallopian tubes, ovaries, or uterus is examined. A thin viewing device is inserted in the section beneath the navel to bring out any complications related to the uterus or ovaries.
- Hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is the procedure in which a light device is inserted into the cervix to the uterus to view any abnormalities.
Imaging pelvic ultrasounds and tests are done. They are also known as sonograms to examine any complications that are not seen in routine ultrasounds.
Many other tests, like ovulation testing, hormones testing, Hysterosalpingography (to know the blockage of Fallopian tubes), ovarian reserve testing, etc. are used to check the detailed complications.
There are various drugs and medications available to cure the fundamental issue of infertility. These medicines and treatments should be done only under the supervision of Gynaecologists and infertility specialists. They can provide many supplements and diets related to boosting up of folic acid that is very beneficial in fertility boosting.
Infertility Testing in males:
- Semen analysis test can be done to count the semen growth and production rate.
- Urine tests can be taken simultaneously.
- Hormonal testing to know testosterone and male hormones.
- Imaging that is MRI, transrectal ultrasound, vasography test can be done.
- DNA testing for sperm analysis.
- Genetic defect testing to relate infertility with a family history or so.
- Biopsy in terms of testicular biopsy is done to examine any abnormalities.
Other Artificial Methods To Conceive:
Apart from not conceiving naturally, there are several other ways to have a baby where the couples can have a chance to relive their dreams of happiness.
- IVF – Also known as In Vitro Fertilization which is done using the sperm and egg of parents.
Artificial insemination of the mother with donor sperm or with the partner’s sperm is done or the insemination with sperm donors and egg with the help of surrogate mothers.
- IUI- Intrauterine insemination, where the sperms are placed in the uterus.
These are costly ways with no 100% assurance of success. Still, these artificial methods are gaining popularity in the past few years.; this the ray of hope for those who have found all the doors of positivity closed for them. Still, many are those who are getting positive results from these treatments, but many can’t afford their hefty expenses in lakhs and their treatment costs.
How To Manage The Hormonal Changes To Improve And Cure Infertility?
- Various factors mentioned below are responsible for a healthy pregnancy or to conceive faster.
- Foods such as Pomegranates, dates, Alum, Garlic, Cinnamon are good sources of energy.
- Vitamin C, as well as a proper and regular intake of folic acid, helps to conceive faster.
- Avoid stress and maintain a healthy and happy atmosphere around. A cheerful/optimistic attitude is required.
- Avoid smoking and drinking as it is injurious to health and is a barrier in the conceiving process.
- A healthy diet should be taken regularly rich in iron and folic acid.
- Yoga, Meditation, exercise plays a vital role in maintaining not only bodyweight but also a healthy mind and soul.
- A routine checkup is very much required to seek out medical complications if any.
- Practice regular trials on alternate days to increase the chance of getting pregnant soon.
Social And Psychological Factors Affecting Childless Couples:
It’s true that infertility is stressful and brings along many social as well as psychological changes in the life of the couples planning for pregnancy. Many people are even obsessed with the thought of pregnancy that sometimes leads to their state of depression and acceptance. There are lots of social boundation related to the childless couples who have a sort of stigma attached to them and society looks with questioning eyes at them; this “childless” stigma creates a sense of restlessness and mental disturbances in them. They are more anxious and dissatisfied. Society sometimes blames only women for being the sole responsibility for not being able to conceive. Still, there are large sections of people who are not ready to accept male infertility issues also. Few are even thrown out of the house from their in-laws, and others are given divorce on this futile base.
“Don’t Let The Hope Of Motherhood Shatter Away With A Small Failure.”
To conclude with this quote, there should be a need to change the outlook towards the term Infertility. There may be a delay, but this is not the end of hope. Societal attitudes should be changed, and women should not be blamed for this preferably should be supported and accepted. They need love and care and not the pessimistic attitude of nothingness. It should not be a trauma; rather, it should be a feeling of positivity and new hope.