Causes of Infertility

Several causes have been documented for infertility in men and women. According to Gipson et al. (2020), there are pathogenic variants that cause infertility in females. Studies show that infertile women have two homozygous. All the oocytes carrying PV are surrounded by a thin ZP which does not allow sperm-binding, rendering a female infertile. The loss of PV function leads to an abnormal and structural dysfunction of the ZP, making women unable to conceive.

Researchers have also linked female infertility to problems with the uterus, such as fibroids, polyps, and adhesions inside the uterus cavity. Some females also have a problem with the fallopian tubes, especially those resulting from gonorrhea or chlamydia. Females who also experience problematic ovulations are likely to be infertile, as they cannot release eggs regularly. Ovulation problems may arise from substance abuse, eating disorders, thyroid conditions, or pituitary tumors. Lastly, women may have issues with the quality and number of eggs. When the supply of eggs runs out before menopause, a woman cannot get pregnant. Similarly, some eggs have the wrong number of chromosomes and cannot successfully grow into a healthy fetus.

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Many factors increase women’s risk of infertility. Age, lifestyle choices, genetic traits, and health conditions make some women at a higher risk than others of being infertile. Older women, for example, are more vulnerable to infertility than younger women. As women age, the overall number of eggs reduces, there are increased chances of developing healthcare issues, and more eggs have an abnormal number of chromosomes. Other factors such as endometriosis, cysts, tumors, smoking, heavy drinking, structural problems, low body fat count, and being overweight or underweight also increase being infertile.

Surprisingly, the nature of a woman’s work is reportedly significant in increasing the chances of infertility. For example, female surgeons are more likely to be infertile compared to women in other occupations (Rangel et al., 2021). The study argues that the high risk of female surgeons results from delayed training, which makes most of them start a family when they are older. The complex nature of their work also makes them vulnerable to infertility, especially those who work more than 12 hours a week are likely to be infertile. When these women get pregnant, they are likely to develop complications and cannot carry the pregnancy to term. Some lose the baby through miscarriage or give birth to babies with defects. Demographically, infertile women are likely to be educated, using barrier contraception, non-smokers, and married.

These risk factors affect men too. According to research, men may be infertile due to genetic defects and health problems such as diabetes and infections, including chlamydia, mumps, HIV, or gonorrhea. These factors lead to abnormal sperm production, which hinders egg fertilization. A man may also have a low sperm count or reduced quality of sperm which cannot successfully fertilize an egg (Schlegel et al., 2021). Enlarged veins in the testes(varicocele) also affect the quality of sperm, making a man infertile. In some cases, these risk factors cause blockages; hence one will be unable to deliver the sperm.

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