When talking about a couple’s ability to conceive and give birth to a child, experts often use the word fertility. In women and men, it is represented by different factors, but the essence of the concept is the same and does not depend on gender.
What is fertility?
The term comes from the Latin fertilis – “fertile, fertile ”. Fertility is the ability of a sexually mature person to produce viable offspring. As already mentioned, the concept applies to both a woman and a man. It is fertility that determines a couple’s chances of becoming parents. Therefore, infertility testing is based on the search for factors that influence this indicator of reproductive health.
When it comes to the female body, under fertility imply the ability to conceive, bear and give birth to a healthy child. If there are difficulties with 2 out of 3 factors, they speak of low fertility. Normal is stated if a woman can become pregnant, bear and give birth without medical assistance.
The number of eggs a woman has is called the ovarian reserve. It is laid at the stage of a girl’s embryonic development: about 7,000,000 eggs are formed. At birth, their number is 2,000,000, and by the time of maturation and the beginning of the menstrual cycle, only 500,000 remain. Moreover, not every egg is suitable for conception. This happens both for natural reasons and as a result of the negative impact of external factors. In each menstrual cycle, eggs that were not conceived die, and so on until the ovaries are completely depleted.
For this reason, fertility is not the same in different periods of life. Already after 32 years, the indicators are significantly reduced: the chances of a natural pregnancy at this age do not exceed 25-30%.
Male fertility is associated with the ability of sperm to fertilize an egg. It is determined by the number and quality of sex cells in the semen. According to existing standards, 1 ml should contain less than 15,000,000 healthy spermatozoa: morphologically correct and motile.
Fertility is influenced by many factors:
- physical health;
- genetics and inheritance;
- lifestyle, stress, bad habits;
- immune system and autoimmune diseases;
- past illnesses and operations;
- environmental factors.
Fertility tests for women and men
To to get a clear picture of the state of the body, you need to contact the clinic “Lada”, which provides a full range of all kinds of tests to determine reproductive abilities. A typical survey of this type includes:
- tests for FSH, LH, AMH and other hormones, if necessary;
- examination by a reproductologist.
During an ultrasound examination, the doctor examines the maturation of oocytes, compares the levels of hormonal and connective tissue in the follicles. The specialist assesses the state of the endometrium, the patency of the fallopian tubes, and other indicators of the female reproductive system. Only a professional fertility specialist can perform this test.
Home tests do not provide the level of precision needed to plan a pregnancy. Ovulation tests are usually done to determine what is called the fertile window, the period in which you are most likely to conceive. Typically, this is 5 days before and 1-2 days after ovulation.
A spermogram is required to assess male fertility. In the Lada clinic, this is a detailed examination of an expert class with revision after 3 hours. It is carried out by an embryologist. The specialist analyzes the indicators manually, assessing the ratio of healthy sperm to cells with defects according to the Kruger criteria. Normally, the indicator is not less than 30%.
How to increase fertility?
The male reproductive system lends itself to corrections. With the right approach to treatment, it is possible to significantly improve the quality indicators of semen. In women, it is impossible to increase the ovarian reserve, but you can prepare the body for the most effective use of the available supply.
From the general recommendations for men and women: it is necessary to eliminate the factors that negatively affect this indicator. You need to give up bad habits, lead a healthy lifestyle, and observe proper nutrition. It is important to control the stress level and be sure to undergo a preventive examination by a doctor at least once a year.
If there is no pregnancy during 1 year of active sex life without contraception, you should consult a fertility specialist. The specialist will help determine the cause of infertility based on the collected history and laboratory results. Based on the results, a diagnosis will be made and the necessary treatment prescribed. In the absence of severe factors that reduce fertility, timely treatment leads to the onset of natural pregnancy within 1 year from the start of therapy.
Psychological factors often cause problems with conception. In such a situation, a reproductive psychologist will help.
In situations of significant decrease in fertility, it makes sense to resort to assisted reproductive technologies. These include drug treatment, controlled conception, intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
For those who want to maintain their chances of a successful pregnancy in the future (delayed pregnancy, upcoming surgery or cancer therapy), egg freezing and sperm freezing are recommended. This technology allows you to preserve germ cells for any period of time without losing their fertility.
Make an appointment with your doctor to find out how to increase fertility in men and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy in women.