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CAUSES OF INFERTILITY The relationship between reproductive delay and the overall trend contributes to declining fertility rates

: The

modern trend is for women to complete their education and establish their careers before they think of starting a family. The couples often regret their earlier decision to postpone childbearing. Fertility peaks for both sexes in their mid-twenties and then appears to decline steadily in women over thirty and men over forty. The risk of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, anemia and pregnancy-induced hypertension and miscarriages increases with age. Fibroid tumours and endometriosis are more common in older women which are causes for infertility. Dr Kannagi says the common causes for delay in pregnancy are problems in ovulation, uterus (such as fibroids), the fallopian tubes and clitoris in women. Delay in pregnancy can also be due to “unexplained infertility” where the problem is at a genetic level in the egg or sperm.

Smoking and drinking habits:

Certain toxins in cigarette smoke could alter levels of vital hormones such as oestrogen inducing infertility in women. Heavy drinking can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle as well. Pelvic tuberculosis which is one of the causes is on the rise these days and strikes young women. Also,
multiple cases of sexually transmitted diseases can block the Fallopian tubes.

Decreasing sperm counts in men: It is a worldwide phenomenon these days. By the time men marry, smoking down the years and the stresses of modern lifestyle would have lowered their sperm count. Overheating of testicles due to high fever, hot water baths and saunas can cause this problem and so also can usage of lubricants in condoms, chronic exposure to heavy metals like lead or cadmium, radiation and X-rays. Being in a seated position for hours together, the reproductive organs literally feel the heat, which contributes to infertility.


Environmental factors

These are overexposure to toxins, air pollutants, chemicals, pesticides, chemicals from plastics, etc. Anabolic steroids and drugs definitely damage the sperm and change testicular functioning. A recer report from Europe says theuse of mobile phones can lowe- sperm counts.

It is widely believed the’ wearing tight pants can cause damage to the testicles due t: overheating of the crotch area It can also cause yeast arc urinary tract infections women. Further more, some couples also land in unplanne: pregnancy and end up terminating it, which renders the women vulnerable to blocks – the tubes and other causes c infertility.

The relationship betwee- stress and infertility: While there s little doubt that infertility cause; considerable stress, the quest:’ whether stress reduction ca- enhance pregnancy rates is still ve- controversial. Stress interferes v* ~ hormone production, increases hee- rate and blood pressure and als: constricts the blood vessels, leac to difficulty in the making of sper~: and achieving full erection in the ca:- of men. In women, under stress, body undergoes certain hormc-: changes which leads to irregu a periods and at times stops ovula: :_ altogether. Long working hours, p:: eating habits, lack of slee: excessive alcohol and coffee – a contribute to stress. Most of “• body’s energy goes into sirrra survival and not reproduction.

Rigorous dieting and exercis coupled with stress could redt fertility in women to a great exte~

One of the factors of reproduc’ q failure was believed to be the re;. of psychological and emoti:*a factors. But modern research sh:« that there is little evidence to sup:. this statement which unburdens couple by relieving them of.

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