Most people have the desire to be able to become parents at some points in their lives. One of the main reasons why people get married is to be able to procreate and have children. However, some people find it very hard to be able to conceive and get children. Infertility or low fertility is the state of a male or a female person not being able to conceive children or have difficulties doing so. Low fertility affects both individuals and tickles down to modifying the population density of a country and productivity of people.
Doctors diagnose infertility when a couple is not able to get pregnant after having regular unprotected sex for a specified period. Medical doctors define it as not conceiving after 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without using any birth control method. It can either be one partner not being able to contribute to conception or where the woman is not able to carry a pregnancy full-term. According to Medical news today, worldwide 8-12% of couples will find will have fertility issues what affect their ability to get children. Most of the low fertility problems are treatable and managed once the cause is established. Unlike widespread belief that it is the woman who has the problem, 45% of the causes of low fertility is caused by men.
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Low Fertility in Men
The main sign that a man is infertile or has low productivity is the inability to sire children. However, other signs and symptoms may not be apparent but may highly show that the man will experience infertility.
Here are some of the signs and symptoms that you should look out for even before trying to get a baby that may signify low fertility:
- Pain and swelling in the testicles area- This may include feeling some lump in the testicles.
- A poor sexual function- It is where the man is not able to perform well in bed. It is where they have erectile dysfunction and are not able to hold an erection for long, they have a deficient volume of ejaculate or do not ejaculate at all or lack a strong sexual desire.
- Gynecomastia or abnormal growth of breasts in the man
- Recurrent respiratory infection that is followed up with some other signs and symptoms
- The inability of the person to smell
- Any indication of hormonal or chromosomal abnormalities such as decreased facial and body hair, soft voice among others.
- Having low sperm count That is having less than 15 million sperms per millimeter of the semen ejaculated. Each ejaculate should also not have less than 39 million total sperms.
Causes of low fertility in men
The reasons that affect men are many; some are affected by the sperms and the semen produced while others are medical causes.
Affecting the sperms and semen
The semen contains the sperms and the fluid which comes from the prostate gland and many other sex glands. Here are some of the problems that affect the sperms that may lead to low fertility to a man:
- Low sperm count: This is where the semen ejaculated has a small number of sperms. About a third of the couples have a problem conceiving because of this reason.
- Abnormal sperm: This is where the shape of the sperm is not the regular shape which makes it hard to move well to fertilize the egg. It is not able to travel as rapidly or accurately as it is supposed to.
- Low sperm motility: This is where the mobility is affected. The sperm is not healthy enough to swim to the egg to fertilize it.
Here are some of the health issues:
- Varicocele- This is where the veins that drain blood from the testicles swell. It might cause abnormal regulation of temperature in the testicles. It affects the production of sperms. It is however reversible.
- Retrograde ejaculation: This occurs during ejaculation, the semen enters the bladder instead of approaching the penis. It can be as a result of spinal injury, surgeries, and other reasons.
- Production of antibodies that attack the sperms: This is where an antibody recognizes a sperm as a harmful invader and try to eliminate them
- Infections that cause scarring: Infections like epididymitis and orchitis and other STI’s may cause causes the scaring which make the passage of the sperms difficult.
- Undescended testicles: This where during the development of the fetus, both of the tests fail to descend from the abdomen to the scrotum
- Tumors: These are cancers and some nonmalignant tumors that may affect the reproductive system
- Hormonal imbalance
- Chromosomal defects: These are defects that are inherited such as the Klinefelter syndrome where the man has two x and one y chromosome instead of one X and one Y chromosomes.
- Some medication: Medication such as chemotherapy, long-term use of anabolic steroids, some antifungal medicines, some ulcers medicines and testosterone replacement therapy can impair sperms or decrease the male fertility.
Some environmental and lifestyle factors such as drug use can also expose the person to low fertility.
Low Fertility in Women
Infertility in women is more popular than that in men. Infertility affects one in every six couples in the world, and female sterility makes up for more than 50% of these cases. Most of the causes of this condition surround the ovulation process, the damage of parts of the reproductive system, age, and some medical conditions. The main sign of infertility is the inability to get children, but women can have a fertility evaluation done in case they have these signs or symptoms beforehand.
- Irregular menstrual cycles: This is where the periods fail to come or come in an irregular sequence. A regular menstrual cycle for women will occur every 21 to 35 calendar days. If they happen more than 35 days or in two weeks then it is wise to get checked.
- Pelvic infections or sexually transmitted infection: These can cause the fallopian tubes to get inflamed and cause permanent scarring.
- Age 35 or older: The number of eggs viable for fertilization tends to decrease with age. The chance of having genetically regular egg past this age is also low. So a fertility examination can be done to determine if the woman is still fertile.
- Endometriosis or uterine fibroids: These conditions tend to impair how the endometrium and embryo interact. These cause irregular bleeding between the menstrual cycle which reduces the chances of getting pregnant.
Causes of low fertility in women
- The advanced age of the woman: This is the primary reason why it can be hard for women to sire children. The number of eggs decreases in number with age until when a woman gets to her menopause. Trying to conceive at that advanced age can be difficult. Most of the people cannot conceive by use of their eggs past the age of 45.
- Tubal blockage: This occlusion occurs in the fallopian tubes which makes it difficult for the passage of the egg from the ovaries and fertilization by the sperms.
- Ovulation disorders: These are disorders that make it hard for a woman to ovulate regularly and usually. Some of them are Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, an ovarian insufficiency that affects the cycle of ovulation.
- Uterine fibroids: The fibroids do not always cause fertility, but it depends on the type and how advanced they are. Subserosal fibroids extend more than 50% out of the uterus, submucosal that present themselves into the uterine cavity while the intramural fibroids are those where the most of the fibroid is within the uterine muscles but not in the uterine cavity. The Submucosal fibroids present a low rate of getting pregnant. They cause massive bleeding during the period cycle. However, the subserosal fibroids do not affect pregnancy in any way. Infertility of this nature can be solved by merely having the fibroids removed.
- Polyps on the endometrium: These are growths in the cavity of the uterus that rises from the endometrium. This part is the lining of the uterus. The polyps reduce the chances of getting pregnant by up to 50% of the times. The polyps can are removable by a procedure known as hysteroscopy which increases the rate of getting pregnant.
- Endometriosis: This is a medical condition where the cells similar to those on the uterine lining appear outside the cavity of the uterus. It causes pain during periods and sexual intercourse. This condition causes inflammation and scarring which in term causes infertility due to the detrimental effects on the egg, sperm or the embryo. It can be confirmed by laparoscopy which is a surgical procedure and removed with a higher chance of getting pregnant.
- Pelvic infections or the Inflammatory Pelvic disease: This disease may make it difficult for a given woman to be able to conceive.
- Tubal ligation which prevents the ability to conceive: This is voluntary, but it is reversible by use of a reversal procedure known as reanastomosis. With tubal ligation, it is impossible to get pregnant.
- Others: Diabetes, thyroid disease, obesity, eating disorders or poor nutrition, drug use and medicine such as the chemotherapy drugs may reduce the chances of getting pregnant.
Some of the infertility tests that can be done to determine the fertility of the woman or man include:
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- Physical and history examination
- Semen analysis
- Laboratory tests
These fertility evaluations will help rule out on infertility or give tips on what can be done to increase the chances of bearing children. There are some things that you can do to improve your fertility as well as increase the chances of conceiving children by both men and women. Some drugs are prescribed to by specialists, but there are many natural remedies that you can use from your home as well as some essential oils that you can use.
Essential Oils for Fertility
If it has been hard for you to get pregnant, have you considered aromatherapy? There are some essential oils that you can use to improve your chances of getting pregnant in just a few rounds of trying. That is after visiting a specialist and establishing the cause of your low fertility. In case it is highly dependent on the lifestyle and stress, then there are some essential oils you can use to help improve the chances. Instead of starting off with the many hormonal drugs, try out these remedies:
This essential oil is good since it has a calming effect and leads to a relaxed mind. It helps balance the endocrine system as well as regulates the menstrual cycle of the woman. It is essential for the people who are in an emotional state which is not balanced.
Add a few drops of this in your bath and soak in for a few minutes. It helps calm your nerves. [source]
Clary Sage Oil
The inhalation of the clary sage oil helps to reduce the cortisol levels by up to 36% and improve the thyroid hormonal levels considerably. Thyroid defects are some of the causes of infertility in women, and this oil can regulate this. One of its most prominent benefits is the ability to balance the estrogen in the body which helps to deal with PCOS and other estrogen-based defects.
Inhaling this oil will cause the effects. [source]
This oil is very efficient when it comes to balancing the progesterone levels. Low level of progesterone in both men and women is a cause of infertility. It can also lead to depression and conditions such as PCOS. This oil helps to balance the hormones naturally and can work better than some hormone replacement therapy. You can mix coconut oil with this essential oil and apply it to any part of the body. [source]
This oil is best known for its ability to minimize the inflammation in the body. Apart from this, it is also able to reduce pain on any aches, calm the nerves and reduce any anger or depression that is caused by anxiety. It is a good choice for the women with painful fibroids or any uterine cysts. However, do not use if you have a history of miscarriages or after ovulation when trying to conceive. [source]
This oil is very active oil for balancing out the testosterone levels in both the male and the female bodies. The testosterone plays a vital role in the fertility of men. This oil has been used as a natural aphrodisiac and included in the colognes for men. It has a delightful smell and inhaling it helps improve these levels. Add a few drops of the sandalwood oil into any homemade lotion or perfume. It helps boost up the libido for both men and women. [source]
Also known as pelargonium gravolens, it is a stimulant that is used to control adrenal cortex. It is effective at regulating the lymphatic system as well as balances the reproductive hormones. In case the person is depressed or anxious, it has a calming effect which acts as an anti-depressant. [Source]
This oil is a very costly essential oil, but its results are worth every penny. It is helpful when treating the premenstrual syndrome symptoms and regulates the periods. It acts as an aphrodisiac in women and relaxes the uterus. It gives women some confidence to be able to express themselves well sexually. It has a record of being very effective at treating depression and the aches of grief. People recommend it to the women who have had a failed IVF or has had a miscarriage.
However, this oil is best used when preparing for healing but not advisable to use when already pregnant. Also, do not use after ovulation if you are trying to conceive.[source]
This essential oil acts as an excellent astringent. For women who have a case of endometrial polyps or endometriosis experience painful periods. This oil is excellent to calm the body during these aches. It works well with ladies who have painful and heavy bleeding during their periods. [source]
This oil is used to help regulate the menstrual cycle and balance the hormones. Irregular periods are one of the leading causes of low fertility. It is because it is hard to predict the ovulation period. This essential oil is phytoestrogenic. This fact means it has plant hormones that act similar to the human hormones. It can increase the production of estrogen used during conception. It is good during preparation and lactation but should not be used when already pregnant [source]
This essential oil is good for the people with very low libido or sexual desire. High libido boosts up the energy that is necessary for conception. This oil acts as an aphrodisiac and effective in balancing the hormones. [source]
Other oils you can use for a healthy cervix include Cedarwood, Cardamom, Frankincense and Lemon eucalyptus essential oil.
Other Natural Home Remedies to Improve Fertility
There are many reasons why a person may be unable to conceive. Some of the cases are irreversible, but most of them such as hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, emotional stress, candida, excessive exercise, thyroid disorders among others can be treated or controlled. Some drugs are administered over the counter or prescribed by doctors to help manage this disorder. However, there are some things that you also do at home that will help boost up your low fertility.
- Take a healthy nutrition
The food you eat makes a huge difference in the internal functioning of the body. Some of the nutritional options that help to optimize the fertility are:
- Eat carbohydrates which are dense in nutrients such as fruits and vegetables and other sources such as squash and sweet potatoes
- Cut down on the processed grains and foods such as starches and sugars.
- Reduce intake of high caloric fats and increase healthy fats in your diets such as avocado, coconut oil, olives, butter and more grass-fed meat.
- Get enough proteins in your meals. Both the animal proteins and plant proteins
- Get the insulin levels under control and drink enough water
- Get enough sleep
Ensure you sleep enough to rest your system. Sleep is essential to regulate the body hormones. Lack of sleep makes it hard for the body to regulate adrenaline, insulin and the cortisol which makes it hard to get pregnant. Low melatonin and serotonin level associated with stress leads to shorter periods between ovulation and menstruation. It affects the ability to get pregnant.
- Get the right amount of exercise
Too much exercise can be a reason for low chances of getting pregnant. Several hours of strenuous workouts will cause stress to the body leading to irregular periods. However, adequate exercise helps to improve fertility. Weight loss for the overweight women plays a prominent role in increasing their chances of getting pregnant.
- Reduce the amount of exposure one has to harsh chemicals
Some beauty products that women use expose them to harsh chemicals that might significantly affect the way their bodies function. A considerable amount of improved fertility is noted when the exposure to harmful household chemicals is reduced.
- Take in natural supplements and herbs
Intake of fish oil helps increase the fertility of women. It is because it contains omega-3s and cod liver oil. There are also herbs that are recommended to get pregnant in a natural way. They include:
- Red raspberry leaf
- Nettle leafs
- Red clover
- Chaste Tree Berry
These herbs can be boiled and the water added to some foods, or they can be brewed together with tea. However, they should not be combined with any fertility drugs.[source]
There is a high rate of low fertility in the world that has been brought about by some reasons. Some of the reasons are irreversible such as Menopause and some defects, but most of these fertility issues can be solved. There are some essential oils that you can incorporate in your life to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Most of them help to relieve stress, improve the reproductive system health and help to balance and regulate the hormones. These play a significant role in fertility.