Infertility- causes and treatments

Essay by unknown_userHigh School, 11th gradeA+, December 2006

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Infertility is a fairly common problem for couples. It can be embarrassing, upsetting, depressing, and distressing. It is defined as the persistent inability to achieve conception and produce an offspring. Both males and females can be infertile. Infertility can be distressing to a couple, and even cause problems in their relationship. Fortunately, a great deal of information is known about the symptoms, causes, effects, and treatments of infertility.

Female infertility can be broken into several different categories: ovarian problems (which occur in twenty to thirty percent of all infertility cases), damage to the fallopian tubes, uterine problems, and cervical/ vaginal abnormalities. Ovulation can be affected by too little or too much production of hormones, stress, and extreme lifestyle changes. Problems with the cervix could include inadequate or inhospitable cervical mucous, cervical narrowing (stenosis), and infections due to sexually transmitted diseases. A major pelvic cause of infertility is called endometriosis, which results in uterine tissue growing outside of the uterus, or in other parts of the body.

Some uterine causes include having an abnormal lining, or anatomic problems, such as polyps, fibroids, et cetera. Infertility affects the reproductive system, but the endocrine system can also play an important role. The inability to produce LH, FSH, or estrogen could cause infertility. Another ten percent of infertility is caused by unknown reasons, usually because test results come back inconclusive.

There are many more causes of infertility in males. Some of which include expose to toxins, infections such as venereal disease, testicular injury, blockage of ducts, antisperm antibodies, hormonal problems, endocrine diseases (such as diabetes, thyroid disease, etc.), spinal cord injuries, and varicocele (a swollen varicose vein in the scrotum). These all affect sperm count, therefore reducing the chance that a sperm will reach an egg in time.

Many options for fertility treatment...