The journey of parenthood is quite different for one couple to another. Some couples succeed in it soon, some have to plan it, and some have to struggle a lot even after having a plan and working on it. A few couples have no success in their family expansion plan through conventional methods. And they rush to a fertility clinic or IVF centre in old airport road Bangalore or their locality. At the centre, the expert suggests that infertility might be an issue and confirms it after going through the recommended test/screening results. Some of you (females) face miscarriages. You can consult a doctor at a fertility centre to discuss it.  Here have a look at both - infertility and miscarriages. 

What is infertility and how common is it? 

Infertility is a reproductive health issues that prohibits a couple (of opposite sex) from having a child by having physical intimacy without any birth control method for more than 6-12 months. As per a 2020 September report of WHO, approximately 186 million individuals and 48 million couples across the globe have infertility. Around 15% of couples are infertile. 

What causes infertility in men?

Infertility in men is the result of a lot of factors and is diagnosed through semen analysis. In the analysis, there is a focus on shape, count, motility and concentration of sperm. Male infertility occurs due to:

  • Hormonal imbalances 
  • Age 
  • Ejaculation issues 
  • Heavy alcohol use 
  • Smoking 
  • Illicit drug use 
  • Cancer treatment 
  • Medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, diabetes, and certain infection 
  • Genetic disorders   

What causes infertility in women?

To conceive, women need to have active fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. Any irregularities in the functionality of these reproductive organs can make a woman infertile. Infertility in women is due to:

  • Ovulation disorders 
  • Blockages or damages in the fallopian tubes 
  • PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
  • Hormonal imbalances 
  • No proper function in the pituitary and hypothalamus glands  
  • Menopause 
  • Fibroids 
  • Endometriosis   
  • Obesity 
  • Age 
  • Smoking & drinking leisure life 

When should you both consult a fertility expert?

You should consult a fertility doctor if you:

  • Are over 35 and have tried to conceive after having unprotected sex for more than 6 months 
  • Have made your effort for more than 12 months or a year when you are in your 20s or early 30s 

How can you know you or your female partner has fertility issues?

You should consult a fertility expert when your conventional methods don’t facilitate you in your parenthood journey. The doctor will interact with you to know both of you, your reproductive health, and medical history of your family members. After that, the expert can advise you to have:

  • Semen analysis 
  • Ovarian reserve testing 
  • Tubal evaluation 
  • And uterus examination   

What are treatment options for male and female infertility?

For treating male infertility, an expert can suggest PESA, TESA, semen analysis, MTESE, and azoospermia. And to treat female infertility, a doctor can suggest IVF, IUI, ICSI, and fertility preservation. 

What is a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is a condition when a female doesn’t carry her pregnancy for 9 months and loses it in the first 20 weeks.

Is a miscarriage or pregnancy loss infertility?

No, pregnancy losses or miscarriages and infertility are two different reproductive health problems. Infertility is an inability to conceive while a miscarriage is a condition in which you get pregnant but fail to keep it. 

Why do you have recurrent miscarriages?

Females face miscarriages or recurrent miscarriage due to uterus abnormalities, and cervical insufficiency. Further, medical health conditions such as diabetes, thyroid, and high hormone levels trigger pregnancy losses. Furthermore, genetic and chronic infections can cause frequent miscarriages. 

How can you avoid having miscarriages? 

After having more than two miscarriages in a row, you should rush to an expert. The doctor will evaluate your reproductive health through different tests and screenings such as hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. And after getting the results, they will treat the root cause through medications, surgeries, and advice for lifestyle and dietary changes. 

Do infertility and miscarriages relate to each other?

The relationship between fertility problems and miscarriages is very complex. Experts have different opinions on the relationship between these two. However, most of them agree that females having fertility treatments especially IVF are at a higher risk of pregnancy losses. Sometimes the paths or methods to manage these two problems can be the same. Your doctor is the right person to elaborate it more for you as you are different from others.        

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Rishina Bansal

12+ years experience in embryology with a strong passion to share authentic and quality information about what happens behind the closed doors of an IVF laboratory. Through our new venture "Archish" we help you understand "embryos" and the secret behind the working of a good IVF laboratory along with offering highest ethical standards of patient care.