Overcoming Challenges of Secondary Infertility

What is secondary infertility? Secondary infertility can be a painful setback for a couple that hopes to expand their family. It refers to the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term despite having had a successful pregnancy in the past. While primary infertility, or the inability to have a first child, receives greater attention, the inability to get pregnant again is a growing concern that affects millions of families around the world. This condition can take a toll on a couple’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being, making it essential to recognize, understand and address the challenges that come with it. What causes secondary infertility? Secondary infertility in female This condition is often overlooked because of the misconception that having previous successful pregnancies would mean subsequent pregnancies will occur naturally. If you are wondering how common is secondary infertility, it occurs at about the same rate as primary infertility. It affects about 12% of the women trying for another child. Here are some causes that affect the secondary fertility problem as much as the primary one. –       Age As women age, their fertility naturally declines. It is due to decreased quantity and quality of their eggs. This decline typically starts around age 30 and accelerates after age 35. As a result, women trying to conceive later in life may have more difficulty becoming pregnant than when they were younger, even if they have previously had successful pregnancies. –       Ovarian reserve Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and this number naturally declines as they age. Women who have previously had successful pregnancies may have a lower ovarian reserve, making it more difficult for them to conceive again. –       Uterine issues The uterus or womb is where the fertilised egg implants and grows into a fetus/baby. Thus, any issues with the uterus can impact a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. Secondary infertility may be caused by fibroids, scarring or adhesions within the uterus, and polyps. These causes may interfere with implantation or cause miscarriage. –       Fallopian tube issues The fallopian tubes transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus/womb. If the tubes are blocked or damaged, it can prevent the egg from reaching the uterus and being fertilised by sperm. Some complications may occur in the form of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and pelvic inflammatory disease. –       Endometriosis Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus. In some cases, endometriosis can lead to secondary infertility. The scarring and adhesions caused by endometriosis can interfere with the normal function of the fallopian tubes and uterus. It can make the egg and sperm difficult to fertilise and implant in the womb. –       Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women of reproductive age. It’s one of the most common causes of female infertility and can contribute to the condition. Women with PCOS typically have elevated levels of androgens (male hormones), which can interfere with ovulation and make it more difficult for the egg and sperm to meet. It can result in irregular or absent menstrual cycles, making it harder for a woman to conceive. –       Secondary unexplained infertility Unexplained infertility can be a frustrating and challenging issue for couples. It may be due to age-related decline, changes in hormone levels, or lifestyle modifications. Regardless of the cause, it is essential to recognise and address the problem with the same urgency and sensitivity as primary infertility to increase the chances of conceiving. Secondary infertility in male Male infertility can be a contributing factor in cases of secondary infertility. Male infertility is responsible for up to 50% of all infertility cases. Several factors can cause male infertility, including: –       Low sperm count or poor sperm motility If a man has a low sperm count or poor sperm motility, it can make it more difficult for the sperm to fertilise the egg. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), a healthy sperm count should be around 15 million per millilitre ejaculation or at least 39 million per ejaculation. Any amount lower than the optimal level is considered to have a low sperm count. –       Abnormal sperm shape If a man’s sperm have abnormal shapes, it can also cause fertility problems. It is due to difficulty when penetrating the egg. –       Blockages or other structural issues If a male has blockages or other structural issues in his reproductive system, it can interfere with the normal flow of sperm. Some common causes of blockages and structural problems may be vasectomy, Epididymitis (inflammation of the tube that transports sperm) and genetic causes. –       Lifestyle factors Lifestyle factors also play a role in affecting secondary infertility. Factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and being overweight or underweight can all impact fertility. Many factors can contribute to the fertility problem, and it’s often a combination of factors that leads to difficulty conceiving. It’s crucial for couples who are struggling with secondary infertility to work closely with a doctor to know what causes secondary infertility and develop a personalised treatment plan. How to diagnose secondary infertility? Diagnosing the problem involves thoroughly evaluating both partners to identify any underlying fertility issues. The diagnostic process typically begins with a comprehensive medical history and physical exam, followed by tests and procedures to evaluate fertility and identify potential problems. For women, the diagnostic process may involve the following: Ovulation testing Ovulation testing involves tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle to determine if and when she is ovulating. It can be done using ovulation predictor kits, basal body temperature monitoring, or ultrasound. Hormone testing Hormone testing involves measuring the levels of various hormones in a woman’s blood. It includes Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinising Hormone (LH), estrogen, and progesterone. Abnormal hormone levels can indicate issues

How to Boost Male Fertility: Tips and Techniques for Better Sperm Quality and Quantity

How to Boost Male Fertility? If you and your partner are trying to conceive but facing difficulties, you may be wondering how to boost male fertility. While there are many factors that can affect fertility, male infertility is a common contributor. The good news is that there are several steps men can take to improve their reproductive health and increase the chances of conception. From simple lifestyle changes to natural supplements, there are many options to consider. Let’s explore six ways to increase male infertility and optimise reproductive health. Maintain a healthy weight and diet. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating nutritious meals are important factors for boosting male fertility. Studies have shown that being overweight or underweight can negatively impact reproductive health. Being overweight or obese can reduce testosterone levels, sperm count, and sperm motility, making it harder to conceive. On the other hand, being underweight can cause hormonal imbalances and reduce sperm production. So, you may be wondering how to increase male fertility? One of the suggested ways to increase male fertility is to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods provide the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support optimal reproductive health. For example, vitamin C and E, zinc, and folate are specific nutrients that can benefit male fertility. In contrast, processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats should be limited or avoided, as they can contribute to inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and obesity. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help regulate hormone levels and improve sperm quality, increasing the chances of conception. To achieve a healthy weight, men can focus on consuming fewer calories than they burn through physical activity. This can be done by reducing portions, choosing low-calorie snacks, and avoiding high-calorie beverages. It is important to note that crash dieting or extreme weight loss can also have a negative impact on male fertility. Therefore, it is essential to aim for gradual and sustainable weight loss by making long-term lifestyle changes. By maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet, men can take positive steps towards boosting their fertility and increasing their chances of starting a family. Exercise regularly but moderately. Exercise can significantly impact male fertility, but it’s essential to do it in moderation. Moderate physical activity can improve blood flow, hormone balance, and mood, enhancing fertility. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being. Additionally, regular exercise can lead to improved cardiovascular health, which can help to increase blood flow to the reproductive system. However, it’s important to note that excessive or intense exercise can have the opposite effect on male fertility. Overtraining can cause a decrease in testosterone levels, which can lead to reduced sperm production and quality. To maximise the benefits of exercise on male fertility, men should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. It can include activities such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. Listening to your body and avoiding pushing yourself too hard is crucial. Knowing how to boost male fertility by finding the right balance between exercise and rest can help to improve the sperm’s overall health. Quit smoking and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Smoking, in particular, is known to have several detrimental effects on male reproductive health. Not only can it damage sperm DNA, but it can also lead to a decrease in sperm motility and count. Research shows smokers have a lower average sperm count and lower sperm motility than non-smokers. In addition to these effects, smoking can also cause erectile dysfunction, which can further impact male fertility. If you’re a smoker looking on how to improve male fertility, quitting smoking is a crucial first step. Although quitting smoking can be challenging, especially if you try to quit all at once, it can help you quit for good. Gradually reducing your smoking can be an effective way to quit, as it can improve your sperm quality over time. By quitting smoking and making other lifestyle changes, such as limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, you can increase your chances of conception and optimise your reproductive health. It’s important to remember that even small changes can make a significant difference in improving male fertility. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to several negative impacts on male fertility. Studies have found that men who consume more than five units of alcohol per week have lower sperm count and motility. Additionally, excessive alcohol intake can cause hormonal imbalances that negatively impact male fertility. These hormonal imbalances can lead to decreased sperm production and impaired sperm function. Knowing how to increase male fertility is crucial if you are trying to build a family with your partner. Limiting alcohol intake can improve sperm health and increase the chances of conception. Men should limit their alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day. Reducing alcohol consumption can help improve sperm count, motility, and morphology, ultimately leading to an increased chance of conception. Moderate caffeine intake is generally believed to have no adverse effects on male fertility. However, excessive consumption of caffeine has been associated with reduced sperm motility and abnormal sperm morphology. According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, men who consume more than 300 mg of caffeine per day are more likely to have abnormal sperm morphology than those who consume less than 100 mg of caffeine daily. Reducing caffeine intake can improve sperm quality and enhance the likelihood of conception. It is recommended that men limit their caffeine intake to between 200 and 300 mg per day. Thus, understanding how to boost male fertility through limiting alcohol and caffeine intake can help to improve sperm health and increase the chances of pregnancy. It is crucial to remember that moderation is vital, and minor changes to lifestyle habits can significantly improve male reproductive health. Get adequate sleep Getting adequate sleep is