PARENTHOOD: A BOON, Protect Your Fertility
IS IT THE RIGHT TIME TO POSTPONE?
With the concept of modernization, couples more and more primarily are focusing on career without addressing fertility issues. Infertility is the inability to conceive because of some problem in the reproductive organs of either of the couple. Couples adopt family planning methods to postpone their fertility career before they realize it is too late. Inability to conceive creates a sense of loss and worthlessness in people. This is an effort to further educate those couples contemplating pregnancy in future, HAVE THEY MADE THE RIGHT DECISION? Before planning to postpone, think for a while because there is a huge difference between choosing not to have kids and physically being unable to conceive. Address the fertility issue first, plan soon if you have any of the problems mentioned below.
Fertility issues are on the rise as most couples plan for pregnancy at a later age. Women less than 30 years of age are most likely to conceive easily. Women tend to exhaust their egg reserve in quantity and quality with advancing age. Hence their chances to conceive decreases with advancing age. The right time to plan for a pregnancy lies with the couple. A person who is young and has regular cycles need not always be a person who can get pregnant easily. Surprisingly a young woman even in her 20’s can have her egg producing capacity reduced to that of a menopausal woman. So it is wise to assess oneself of their reproductive ability before postponing conception.
ABNORMAL MENSTRUAL BLEEDING
Majority of women experience a normal menstrual cycle which usually lasts for 2-5 days once every 21 to 35 days. One should be alerted if they have any variation from the above cycle range. Some periods are associated with mild pain. Excessive pain during menses, which starts many days before or persists after menses for longer than usual and which necessitates taking of medications, may require a specialist’s opinion. These women could be associated with some harmless growth in the uterus or could have endometriosis or have infection of the genital tract. These symptoms may be an indication that you could have issues that may hamper future fertility.
It has been observed that women who are underweight as well as overweight experience difficulty in conceiving 0.12% of women experience infertility problems because of weight problems. 2/3rds of women conceive spontaneously if their weight disorder is corrected. Whether you are planning a pregnancy or postponing conception take time to correct your weight problem. One needs to be well motivated to undergo a weight reduction program as it could take a few months to gain results.
It has a tremendously adverse effect on fertility for both men and women. Men and women who actively smoke or are exposed to passive smoking will have their child bearing affected. Women who smoke excessively may have their fertility potential affected and may also experience delay in getting pregnant naturally or with treatment. Women smokers may also suffer early menopause and osteoporosis. Those couples who are already suffering from infertility need to know that continuing to smoke adversely affects the success of treatment. As for the men, the semen quality gets affected. Both genders are affected from general health effects like lung cancer, respiratory and heart diseases. Women who quit smoking have the ability to improve their chances of conceiving quite similar to that of women who never smoked within a year or so.
Safe sexual practice prevents one from getting sexually transmitted infections (STI). These infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc., can result in long term diseases of fallopian tubes causing damage. The fallopian tubes are the way in which the egg meets the sperm and pregnancy occurs. Damage or blockage of the fallopian tubes means that conception in the natural may not occur. Adopting safe sexual practices like use of condoms, although does not 100% prevent spread of disease, but definitely reduces the risk of infection. One needs to seek expert advice if they have symptoms of excessive or foul vaginal discharge, burning micturition, lower abdomen pain or itching in the genital area. Men are also affected with STI and their future fertility can also be hampered. The only way to avoid STD is to maintain healthy sex practices and prompt treatment in case of infection. Tubercular (TB) infection has also been known to silently cause damage to the fallopian tubes. Women with past history of TB who have planned to postpone pregnancy may not always be aware of the status of fallopian tubes. However it should also be remembered that is not necessary that all women with previous history of TB infection will have damaged tubes.
In today’s world of ever expanding horizons of science and technology, infertility treatment has taken a quantum leap making way to many treatments that will help eliminate some of the barriers to conception, bringing hope to many couples who might otherwise be unable to conceive. However, even though the treatment of patients by assisted conception techniques has come a long way we are still not in a position to offer any infertility treatment that guarantees success. Much still remains to be achieved, many questions still arise – we do not yet possess all the answers!