Some medical conditions lead to infertility. Discover what are these conditions and know their causes and symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded that about 12% of both men and women of all reproductive age in the United States experience infertility. The causes of infertility have different factors such as environmental factors, physical factors and conditions that affect the production of hormones needed for conception.
Some diseases and conditions contribute to the difficulty in conceiving. These are fallopian tube damage, blockage, or pelvic adhesions, ovulation disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, decreased ovarian reserve, uterine abnormalities, and male factor infertility.
Aside from reproductive medical conditions, some illnesses in the body cause infertility. These include diabetes, pituitary gland disease, hypothalamus disorder, multiple sclerosis, chlamydia, prostatitis, Cushing’s syndrome, hypogonadism, and mumps.
Conditions that Lead to Infertility
A diagnosis is essential if a couple is having difficulty conceiving for more than a year. Some of these conditions may grow worse if continuously ignored. Know the symptoms and set an appointment with your doctor as soon as you experienced some symptoms.
Fallopian tube damage, blockage, or pelvic adhesions
Pain in the pelvis or the belly can be a symptom of a blocked fallopian tube.
Fallopian tubal disorders are conditions wherein the fallopian tubes consist of adhesions, blockages or scar tissue that obstruct the sperm or the embryo movement. A blockage can be caused by harmless, temporary contractions of the uterine muscles or infection, inflammation or endometriosis. It prevents the sperm from reaching the egg.
Often, blocked fallopian tubes don’t have symptoms except for the difficulty of conceiving. However, some women experience pain in the pelvis or belly, especially during their period. Also, others have an ectopic pregnancy.
On the other hand, adhesions occur when the bands tissue form between the fallopian tubes and the ovaries, sticking them together. Due to this, the fallopian tubes can’t carry sperm or embryos, preventing successful fertilization.
Fallopian tube adhesion is characterized by painful sensation in the low abdomen and can appear as swelling pain, dull pain, tingling pain, and sharp pain. To prevent this from occurring, it is advisable to pay attention to menstrual hygiene by the daily cleaning and changing clothes. Also, prevent inflammation in other reproductive systems.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Women who have PCOS can experience male-pattern baldness.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder for women of reproductive age. Women who struggle with PCOS have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods and have excessive male hormones.
Although the exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, some factors are linked to it. Some of these are excess insulin produced in the pancreas, low-grade inflammation that stimulates polycystic ovaries to produce androgens, heredity, and abnormally high levels of androgen produced by the ovaries.
Women with PCOS commonly experience infrequent, irregular, or prolonged menstrual cycles, excessive facial and body hair, occasional severe acne and male-pattern baldness, and enlarged ovaries.
PCOS could lead to infertility, gestational diabetes, miscarriage or premature birth, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, abnormal uterine bleeding, and endometrial cancer.
Painful intercourse is associated with endometriosis
Endometriosis happens when the tissue similar to the lining of the wombs appears on ovaries, fallopian tubes and other parts of the body. For a time, the tissue spreads and behaves like the uterus and bleeds during menstruation. It results in daily adhesion formation and pelvic pain. Endometriosis disrupts the anatomy and creates a harsh environment for the sperms and the eggs.
This condition is caused by retrograde menstruation, peritoneal cells, embryonic cell transformation, surgical scar implantation, endometrial cell transport, and immune system disorder. If ignored, the disease may lead to infertility and ovarian cancer.
The common symptoms associated with endometriosis include painful periods, painful intercourse, pain with bowel movements or urination, excessive bleeding, and infertility. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended to consult your doctor immediately.
Backache is one of the symptoms of uterine fibroids.
Fibroids are benign tumours that originated from the muscle cells within the uterine cavity. The continuous growth and protrusion of the fibroids in the cavity of the uterus may result in low fertility or miscarriages. These tumours can only be detected during a pelvic exam or prenatal ultrasound.
Even though doctors don’t know the exact cause of uterine fibroids, researches and clinical experience point out some factors. These include genetic changes, stimulation from estrogen and progesterone, insulin-like growth factor, and extracellular matrix- a material that makes cells stick together.
Some of the symptoms you must watch out for are heavy menstrual bleeding, menstrual periods lasting more than a week, pelvic pressure or pain, frequent urination, difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation and, backache or leg pains.
A woman with polyps may experience heavy bleeding.
Endometrial polyps are growths that occur in the lining of the inner wall of the uterus and often grow large enough that they can extend to the uterine cavity. These polyps are usually benign; however, come can be cancerous or eventually turn into cancer.
Like uterine fibroids, the exact cause of endometrial polyps is still unknown. However, an increase in estrogen production is seen as a factor since it is responsible for thickening the endometrium, making the polyps possible.
Symptoms of endometrial polyps include irregular bleeding during childbearing years, or trouble getting pregnant, heavy bleeding during period, spotting after sex, and vaginal bleeding after menopause. The tests conducted to detect polyps are water ultrasound and hysteroscopy.
Various environmental risk factors don't only affect the health of the people but harm the fertility of men and women.
The improvement in industrialization and urbanization led to a drastic change in lifestyle and different environmental risk factors. People are exposed to polluted air, containing lead and water contaminated by arsenic, chromium, and benzene. Even the agricultural water and soil contain pesticides and chemical fertilizers, resulting in contaminated crops.
Furthermore, hormones and drugs are present in meat and dairy products. Aside from that, people are more exposed to harmful radiations such as cosmic, ultraviolet, and X-rays, electromagnetic waves from cellular phones, and physical and psychological stresses in living and working environments.
Human fertility has been adversely affected by exposure to chemical contaminants called endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These are synthetic and naturally occurring chemicals that can't be identified by any unique physical or chemical properties but are characterized by their ability to mimic the effects of endogenous hormones.
EDCs are linked to numerous adverse human health outcomes such as alterations in sperm quality and fertility, abnormalities in sex organs, endometriosis, early puberty, altered nervous system function, immune function, cancers, respiratory problems, metabolic issues, diabetes, cardiovascular problems growth, neurological and learning disabilities, and more.
Common Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)
Some of the anti-bacterial soaps contained EDCs.
Impacts of EDCs in Fertility
EDCs block connections between the hormones and their receptors, or they mimic the hormonal activity which triggers the receptors to take action. These chemicals disrupt the normal functions of the hormonal systems.
Some of the adverse effects of EDCs are changing the neuroendocrine pathways in reproductive health, comprising embryo implantation, early onset of puberty, lengthening menstrual cycles and accelerating menopause, shortening a woman's reproductive lifespan, and changing reproductive hormones in prepubescent girls and healthy premenopausal women.
In men, EDCs harm the reproductive system by declining sperm counts and leading to undescended testicles and urethra defects. These chemicals also affect sperm production and quality and result in poor sperm motility, concentration, volume, and morphology.
How to Avoid EDCs
Food and water
Washing your food before cooking them helps in preventing EDCs.
Food and water can be contaminated by EDCs. In avoiding contamination, it is essential to trim fat from meat and the skin from fish. It is safer to use a rack while cooking to allow fat to drain. Also, always wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
For plastic food containers, avoid putting them in the microwave or use them for storing hot liquids. Also, avoid using plastic containers designated #3, #6, and #7. Furthermore, reduce consumption of canned and processed goods.
If possible, consume organic produce meat and dairy products. Prepare more meals at home and use fresh ingredients. Also, eat a diversified diet with plenty of variety. When cooking your meal, prefer newer ceramic-coated pans to older non-stick pans.
Exercise and activity
It is recommended to exercise where there is no pollution
Before doing your regular exercise, it is advisable to check first the air quality in your area. Avoid outdoor exercise when pollution levels are high. Also, prevent exercising near high traffic areas and choose routes away from busy roads and vehicles.
Avoid buying fragrance that contains phthalates.
When buying products for personal care, read the labels first and avoid products containing phthalates. Choose products labeled "Phthalate-Free", " BPA-Free", and "Paraben-Free". Also, avoid fragrances and opt for cosmetics labeled "no synthetic fragrance" and "scented only with essential oils".
Moreover, wash your hands often, especially before preparing and eating food. Aside from that, minimize handling receipts and thermal paper.
Around Your Home
Planting trees helps in filtering out airborne gases.
If you are using a submersible pump that has oily film or fuel odor, check to see if it still works. If not, replace it immediately. Also, discard old fluorescent bulbs and deteriorating construction materials from older buildings.
In addition, minimize burning wood or trash and use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment instead of gas-powered alternatives. Aside from that, forbid smoking indoors. Clean your floors regularly and plant trees to filter out airborne gases.
Some disorders and conditions lead to infertility. Found out more about these disorders and their treatments.
According to the data of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 in 8 couples have a difficult time conceiving. This kind of situation leads to frustration and depression.
Different kinds of medical conditions could have caused infertility. By knowing more about these disorders, treatment is easier. Some of these medical conditions can only be diagnosed through the help of an ob-gyn or a reproductive endocrinologist.
Painful cramps during menstruation are one of the symptoms of endometriosis.
Endometriosis is a kind of condition wherein tissue that is found in the lining of the wombs starts to grow in other areas such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Some of its causes are retrograde menstrual flow and genetic factors.
Researchers believe that endometriosis may cause luteal phase defects, resulting in low levels of progesterone or a poor build-up of the uterine lining after ovulation. Here are the symptoms of endometriosis:
Studies have shown that some herbs are effective in treating endometriosis such as curcumin, chamomile, peppermint, lavender, ginger, and ashwagandha. Making changes in your diet by avoiding sweets and adding your intake of omega-3 is also good in treating the disorder.
Luteal Phase Defect
Eating foods that are rich in vitamins increases the fertility of women with luteal phase defects.
Luteal phase defect is a disorder where the secretion of progesterone by the ovary is below normal or the endometrium is not responding to the normal stimulation of progesterone. It is frequently associated with infertility.
The disorder may affect 3% to 4% of infertile couples. Here are symptoms of the luteal phase defect:
Research revealed that an adequate supply of vitamin C helps in improving hormone levels and increases fertility in women with luteal phase defects. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin C are papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, sprouts, strawberry, and oranges.
Smoking affects the fertility of men.
Studies revealed that 30% of infertility cases are related to male factor issues. Men who are facing infertility may experience a feeling of guilt, anger, and low self-esteem. It is important to recognize the emotional pain that a male is going through.
Some of the factors that contribute to male infertility are structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances, and immunological disorders. Here are some types of male factor problems that contribute to infertility:
Converting to a healthier lifestyle will help men boost their fertility. This can be done by quitting smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol and drug use, getting enough sleep, getting enough vitamins, and eating more antioxidant-rich foods.
Maintaining healthy weight treats multiple miscarriage.
Records showed that of all pregnancies, 15% to 20% end in miscarriages. Recurrent pregnancy loss is the condition when there is a loss of two or more pregnancies. A pregnancy is categorized as clinical when it is documented by an ultrasound or a pathological diagnosis.
If you have experienced multiple miscarriages, it is very important to talk with your physician or an infertility specialist who can diagnose the possible causes. Here are some of the most common causes of multiple miscarriages:
● Genetic problems
● Abnormal hormone levels
● Structural problems
● Cervical issues
● Environmental factors
● Immunologic causes
Following a healthy lifestyle will help you treat a recurrent miscarriage. You should maintain a healthy weight, take precautions against infections, manage chronic conditions, and practice safe sex. It is also recommended to take folic acid.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Weight gain is one of the symptoms of PCOS.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder for women and a leading cause of infertility. It is a condition in which the ovaries produce an abnormal amount of androgen- a male sex hormone that is present in women but in a very small amount.
Women with PCOS have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and endometrial cancer. Here are some of the symptoms of PCOS:
PCOS can be treated naturally by being strategic in your calorie intake, supplementing vitamin D and calcium, getting enough magnesium, increasing chromium, and loading up on omega-3s. Maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise will also help.
Infertility does not only bring physical and emotional challenges, but it also affects the economy of one’s family and a whole community. Learn more about its economic impact and the treatments available.
The gradual decline in fertility contributes to a global economic problem. When the new generation is fewer than the last generation, the economy will struggle to support the retirees. It would also have adverse effects on the labor force and the ability of the current generation to pay for the entitlements of the older citizens.
When an area has a declining population, it will eventually result in a declining tax base. The economy will have not enough people to feed, lowering the demands for goods, services, and the housing market. A study conducted by the Harvard University in 2009 also revealed that lower fertility would increase the income per capita in the short run, but decrease it in the long run.
In a personal scope, couples experiencing infertility also face economic problems, especially with the treatments. Most infertility treatments are costly and not insured. The places that have their insurance are the USA, Germany, Britain, and Melbourne. However, most of the insured plans have only a limited number of treatments.
Aside from that, different treatments also have different prices. Despite the costly procedures, the assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures don’t assure a 100% pregnancy, especially if the couples are over 35 years old.
Natural Treatments for Infertility
Holistic treatments are less costly and less stressful compared to ART procedures. Furthermore, you can perform some of these techniques even you are inside your home. Moreover, you don’t have to leave your job to go abroad for ART treatment.
Yoga includes poses that help in boosting the fertility, both for women and men.
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in India. For couples to achieve conception, new combinations are integrated. It is called fertility yoga. This practice combines asana, kriya, meditation, and pranayama to boost the couples’ fertility. Here are the asanas that increase the chance of pregnancy:
The average cost of yoga in single sessions in yoga studios ranges from $10 to $20. For private yoga training, it may cost $30 to $70 in each session. Aside from that, you can take more affordable yoga classes online.
Acupuncture stabilizes the hormone levels and reduces stress levels.
Acupuncture is one of the natural treatments that can help you conceive. It is performed by an acupuncturist using thin needles that will stimulate the points in the body. This procedure helps improve energy and blood, helping the body’s systems, including the reproductive system.
These are some of the conditions that indicate that you need to attend acupuncture sessions to help you treat infertility:
The procedure has multiple benefits in females’ fertility, including the stabilization of hormone levels, increased blood flow to the pelvic organs, decreased side effects on hormonal medication, and reduced stress levels. For men, the notable benefits of acupuncture are the stabilization of hormone levels, stimulation of spermatogenesis, and improvement in the seminal quality.
The average price for fertility acupuncture amounts between $100 to $300 for the initial session. For the subsequent sessions, it may be from $75 to $150. There are also online courses that will help you learn more about acupuncture.
Chinese herbs are beneficial in boosting one’s fertility.
Chinese herbs are accompanied in treating infertility because of their benefits in the reproductive system. The University of Adelaide stated that the success rates and the positive outcomes of the traditional Chinese medicines make it the most holistic and natural alternative treatment to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
For achieving the best effects of the Chinese herbs, there are certain things you have to do. Some of these are cleaning your diet by focusing more on organic foods and warming your belly by applying a heating pad or castor oil to your abdomen. Exercising moderately will also help to condition your body.
Here are the lists of Chinese herbs that will help you boost your fertility and improve the functions of your reproductive system:
Infertility is a health condition affecting not only one nation but all couples worldwide. As years go by, couples who experience infertility increase. Learn more about infertility and the treatments that are available for you.
Infertility is defined as the inability of the couple to conceive a child. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of couples suffering from this health condition reached 48 million couples and 186 million individuals globally.
Also, the 2018 World Population Data recorded that the average worldwide fertility rate is 2.4 births per woman. The data signifies that women are bearing fewer children compared to the past years. The countries with the highest fertility rates are Niger, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In contrast, the countries with the lowest fertility rates are Taiwan, Moldova, and Portugal.
In the United States, the Key Statistics from the National Survey of Family growth recorded that the highest percentage of women experiencing impaired fecundity are married women aged 15 to 49. For women, the most common factors are the problem in the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and endocrine system.
Treatments for Infertility
Couples are also struggling with choosing what kind of treatments since most assisted reproductive technologies (ART) procedures are expensive. Aside from that, some of the countries don’t have these kinds of procedures. Couples have to leave their jobs and go abroad for treatments. However, natural remedies are possible. They are less costly and more convenient to practice.
A healing diet includes organic food and vegetables rich in vitamins.
A proper and healthy diet helps in conceiving. Healing diets are composed of nutritious foods that are helpful in the process of the reproductive and the endocrine system. There are also unhealthy foods that need to prevent while on a healing diet.
Some of the foods included in a healing diet are organic foods, fish that are high in omega-3s, vitamin E-rich foods, foods rich in vitamin C, and foods that are rich in folate. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts are also recommended. For men, eating pumpkin seeds is available since they provide zinc that is essential to reproduction.
If you are on a healing diet, you have to avoid foods like high-fat processed meats and refined sugar. Also, you have to stop taking alcohol, caffeine, and drugs like marijuana. These substances have adverse effects on your reproductive health.
Taking fertility-promoting supplements will help you to conceive.
Taking natural fertility-promoting supplements also help in achieving child-bearing. The recommended fertility-promoting supplements include evening primrose oil, vitex, vitamin C, B-complex, progesterone cream, and vitamin E.
They boost fertility by increasing cervical mucus, strengthening uterine function, balancing estrogen and progesterone ratios, and stimulating ovaries. Moreover, they help prevent sperm agglutination in men.
Deep breathing is one of the ways to reduce stress.
Researchers revealed that an enzyme called alpha-amylase was found in the saliva of women who are trying to get pregnant for one year. This enzyme helps the body in digesting carbohydrates, and it is also associated with fight-or-flight stress hormones. The researchers found out that women who have a lower alpha-amylase have more chance of getting pregnant.
There are different ways to decrease your stress naturally. One of these is stress management techniques. The activities that would help you reduce stress are progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, and imagery.
The benefits of these exercises include a decrease in blood pressure and breathing rates and a more relaxed mind and the body throughout the day. Furthermore, activities like deep breathing relieve stress by shutting the flight-and-fight response in the brain.
Having enough sleep
Smelling lavender before you go to bed increases the quality of your sleep.
Studies have shown that not getting sleep results in more stress. Some people have a hard time sleeping through pressure and stress. Here are some natural ways to help you have enough sleep:
Numerous holistic therapies are available to treat infertility experienced by some couples. Find out the therapies that can help you treat infertility and improve your well-being!
Infertility is a condition in the reproductive system that impairs the body's ability to reproduce. In a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is revealed that 6.7 million women in the United States experience impaired fecundity or the inability to have a child.
This kind of condition can result in decreased self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and helplessness for couples. Medical practitioners continuously look for solutions to the growing cases of infertility through the assisted reproductive technology (ART). However, these procedures don't guarantee a hundred percent conception.
Some women who tried natural therapies had good reports, especially in their well-being. The stress that is frequently associated with fertility treatments like IVF and other assistant reproductive techniques (ART) is reduced after undergoing natural therapies.
Therapies to Treat Infertility
Here are some available therapies that you can choose to treat infertility:
Acupuncture helps the energy to flow through the body's meridians.
Acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine with the principle that energy flows through the body's meridians. A tiny needle is injected to stimulate the pathways, causing the energy to flow.
Neuroscience believes that acupuncture works by mediating the release of the chemicals that send messages from the brain, known as neurotransmitters, affecting the reproductive hormones and organs. It also stimulates blood flow in the uterus that makes embryo implantation possible. Aside from that, the procedure also boosts the productions of chemicals that inhibit stress hormone levels.
The World Health Organization (WHO) listed the conditions that acupuncture can treat. Some of them are high blood and low pressure, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, gastric conditions like poetic ulcers, painful periods, dysentery, allergic rhinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, morning sickness, sprains, dental pain, tennis elbow, and sciatica.
Counseling is one of the approaches applied in naturopathy.
Naturopathy is an alternative medicine that promotes self-healing. It evolved from the combination of traditional practices and health care approaches. The common approaches that naturopathic practitioners apply are dietary and lifestyle changes, stress reduction, herbs, and other dietary supplements, homeotherapy, manipulative therapies, detoxification, and counseling.
By applying natural treatments, naturopathy helps men in optimizing sperm motility, morphology, overall counts, and DNA fragmentation rates. For women, it regulates the menstrual cycle, balances the nuances of the cycle, and improves egg quality.
Aside from treating fertility, naturopathy also stimulates positive thinking, lowers stress, improves overall health, enhances outlook, boosts optimism, improves one's ability to cope with health issues.
Herbal Medicines and supplements
Herbal medicines help in promoting endometrial receptivity in the uterus.
Herbal medicines usually come from the roots, stems, flowers, barks, and seeds of the plants. They are made into capsules, tablets, and ointments. Though they are natural, they have powerful compounds so it is very important to consult fertility specialists, naturopaths, and herbalists in what kinds of herbs to take.
Researchers showed that Chinese herbal medicine increases the success rate of ART from 33% to 60%. Other researchers encouraged the integration of Chinese herbal medicine with surgery to promote faster healing and recovery.
According to studies, Chinese herbal medicine promotes endometrial receptivity in the uterus, stimulates ovulated inhibition, treats ovary failure, and raises hormonal levels. It also elevates ovulation rate, treats fallopian tube obstruction, treats PCOS, reduces miscarriage, and regulates immunology disorder.
The most common herbs that are used to treat infertility are chaste berry tree, maca, cinnamon, Tribulus Terrestris, black cohosh, licorice, ashwagandha, evening primrose oil, Shatavari, castor oil, damiana, milk thistle, white peony, and Dong Quai.
Meditation alleviates stress by turning away the attention from distracting thoughts to the present moments.
Meditation is a therapy that trains the mind to achieve relaxation. It helps alleviate stress by turning away the attention from the distracting thoughts and focusing more on the present moment. There are different types of fertility meditations such as mindfulness, visualizations, and mantras.
To master mindfulness is to focus on the body, thoughts, feelings, and breathing. It increases your awareness of your emotions and detaches yourself when necessary which results in clearer judgments and greater compassion. Moreover, it rebalances the system to return to a place of equilibrium.
Another kind of meditation is visualization. It is the practice of envisioning what you want to develop that will lead to a positive and hopeful mindset. One of the practices si visualizing yourself to have a baby bump and picturing your baby in your womb then holding the baby for the first time. It helps in promoting a fertile body and mind.
There is also mantra meditation. It is performed by repeating mantras that help the mind to have a positive outlook. By using positive words with intention, the body creates a softening heart.
Other kinds of therapies are hypnotherapy, mindful activities, and writing gratitudes that will help you in your fertility journey.
One of the unaddressed factors in boosting fertility is mental health. When mental health suffers, fertility and pregnancy are at risk. Learn the importance of mental health and how you can improve it.
Mental health affects fertility and pregnancy.
The success of the fertility and pregnancy of a woman doesn’t only rely on her physiological condition but also her mental health. A better understanding of the relationship between fertility, pregnancy, and mental health will help women improve their mental conditions and reach their optimum health.
Some of the couples who undergo fertility treatment experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. A study conducted in the five fertility clinics in California revealed that one-half of the women and one-third of men suffered from clinical-level depression symptoms. In contrast, 76 percent of women and 61 percent of men had symptoms of clinical anxiety.
According to the study conducted by the Harvard Medical School, 50% of men and 15% of men who have infertility said that it is the most distressing experience of their lives. Some of the emotions they feel are shame, doubt, guilt, sadness, and hopelessness.
Not only couples are suffering from infertility experience depression and anxiety. Even some pregnant women suffer from these mental disorders as complications of pregnancy and post-partum.
Symptoms of Depression
An increase in alcohol intake may also be a symptom of depression.
If you are experiencing these symptoms for a prolonged time, then it is time to seek help from a mental health professional:
Tips to Improve Your Mental Health
Communicating with your spouse is one of the ways to overcome depression.
Stop blaming yourself.
Remind yourself that it is not you or your partner’s fault. Instead of focusing on the frustration, look forward to how you and your partner can manage the situation. Resist the temptation of getting the frustration to yourself or others.
Talk about your experience.
You don’t have to keep everything to yourself. Instead, talk to someone you trust about your experience. It may be your partner, your parents, your friends, or your counsellor. Don’t be afraid to express your frustrations and disappointments. Speaking up on what you are going through will lighten up the burden.
If you cannot find someone you know who you can trust, you can attend therapy. It provides a safe place where you can be free from any judgment. Studies also showed that women who seek support have higher pregnancy rates. Also, speaking to women who have the same experience as yours will help you discover what works for them.
Be true to yourself.
Cry if you need to express the anger and the frustration you feel. Denying and bottling your negative emotions will only create a deep pain in your heart. Crying helps in releasing all the negative emotions.
Allow yourself to grieve.
Not having the child you want to have now may cause you a lot of grief. Allow yourself to mourn and be transparent on how the process you are going through. Grieving does not mean that you are giving up, but it is a way of surrendering your control and expectations. After that, let go and move ahead.
Keep a journal.
Not all the time, there is a friend or a family member who can listen to us. Journaling your emotions and experiences express what is in your heart. A journal will also remind you how you are overcoming day by day.
Stay connected to your friends and family.
Isolating yourself will only intensify loneliness and depression. By rebuilding your relationships with your loved ones, you are opening an opportunity for them to comfort and love you. Don’t be afraid to ask for their support.
Communicate with your spouse.
You are not alone in this journey. Your spouse is also with you. Instead of treating each other with cold shoulders, it is time to communicate more. Both of you might be feeling resentment, sexual pressure, feeling of inadequacy, and tension. Speaking with honesty and love will help you comfort each other in times like this.
Decrease stress by engaging in some activities.
There are many activities that you can do to lessen the stress you are experiencing. Some of them are yoga, meditation, and regular exercises. You can also focus on hobbies that improve your well-being.
Pay attention to your diet.
Taking care of your health is one of the steps to overcome depression. Limit yourself from consuming food like salt, sugar, saturated fats and white flour. Also, avoid taking chemical additives, caffeine and alcohol.
As a woman ages, there are different events that she would experience. One of these is ovarian aging. Learn more about ovarian aging and how to slow it down.
A stage in a woman’s life that affects her fertility is ovarian aging. A natural decline in the quantity and quality of eggs occurs. Unlike any other tissues in the body, the ovarian tissues are more sensitive to aging. As it experiences aging, the quantity and the quality of the follicles are affected.
As ovarian function declines, the secretion of estrogen is also affected. This may lead to multiple organ dysfunction, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, obesity, and senile dementia.
Naturally, a woman is born with one to two million follicles, but it depletes as she grows older. This leads to menopause. However, some young women experience earlier ovarian aging. This is known as premature ovarian aging (POA).
POA happens because of various reasons. It can be because of specific genetic mutations, radiation exposure, and unhealthy lifestyle choices. The good news is, a woman can slow down the aging of her ovary naturally.
Factors that Contribute to Ovarian Aging
Smoking is one of the factors that speed ovarian aging.
There are different reasons why ovarian aging speedily occurs in other women. One of them is the genetic influences in ovarian reserve. This is possible if the family has a history of early menopause, has trisomy 21, or other conditions affecting the X chromosomes.
Aside from that, autoimmune factors can also be reasons. Some of these are autoimmune orders such as thyroid autoimmunity. These kinds of conditions affect the ovarian reserves. A health history will help you detect if this is the cause.
Environment and lifestyle choices also have adverse effects on one’s ovary, such as smoking, chemotherapy, pelvic surgery, and some pelvic diseases. Changing lifestyles would help mitigate and avoid fast ovarian aging.
Another cause is oxidative stress, as postulated by Denham Harman during the middle of the last century. According to him, oxidative stress leads to changes in the ovarian environment. It results in a decrease in ovarian reserve.
Ways to Slow Down Ovarian Aging Naturally
Boost your intake of B vitamins
Spinach is a leafy vegetable that is rich in B vitamins.
The food of the cell is called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATPs are like the battery power of the body that boosts the energy of the cells. Healthy cells lead to healthy tissues and healthy body organs. The elevate your ATP, you must consume more B vitamins. They help in converting food energy to cell energy.
Some of the foods that are rich in B vitamins are dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale, citrus fruits like oranges, clementines, and lemons, and seafood.
Consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C helps prevents ovarian aging.
Anti-oxidants are used to prevent ovarian aging. Here are some anti-oxidants that you could take to slow down the aging of your ovary:
Restricting calories in the diet
Restricting calories in your diet improves cellular and physiological metabolism.
Studies revealed that the improvement of cellular and physiological metabolism leads to the prevention of ovarian aging. Calories reduction is one of the approaches to do this.
Limiting the calories in the diet reduces insulin, blood glucose, and increases glucose sensitivity. Aside from this, the enzymes involved in the process have also simulated the effect on delaying aging.
The relationship between the endocrine system and the reproductive system is essential. Reproductive endocrinology seeks to help couples who are experiencing infertility.
The endocrine system is made up of glands that are located all over the body. These glands are responsible for creating and releasing hormones. Hormones are the chemical in the body that act as messengers by allowing the organs and cells to communicate and coordinate with one another. Problems with the endocrine system affect the body, including the reproductive system.
The essential link between the endocrine and the reproductive system is diagnosed through reproductive endocrinology. Reproductive endocrinology is an area in medicine focused on infertility, hormones, and other issues in the reproductive hormones. The practitioners of this field are called reproductive endocrinologists.
One of the common issues why couples see reproductive endocrinologists is because of infertility. It is beneficial to understand the importance of the endocrine system and to know how you will balance it naturally.
The Link Between Endocrine System and Reproductive System
The endocrine system plays a major part in the functions of the reproductive system.
The endocrine system and the reproductive system work together to make pregnancy possible. Infertility is sometimes caused by the poor functions of the endocrine system because of various issues.
The endocrinal glands, known as gonads, are in charge of secreting sex hormones for the primary and secondary sexual development of a person. Men’s gonads, known as testes, release androgen with testosterone to ensure sperm development. It also helps in deepening the voice and developing facial and pubic hair.
On the other hand, women’s gonads are the ovaries. They are tasked to release estrogen and progesterone. These hormones play important roles in pregnancy. They also alter the body fat distribution and develop the breasts.
Aside from that, the pituitary gland, located beneath the base of the brain, regulates the sex hormones through the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and the luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH helps in the maturation of the follicles in the ovaries while LH matures the seminiferous tubules in men.
Endocrine-disruptors and Infertility
Plastic wraps may contain phthalates, a chemical that disrupts the endocrine system.
One of the factors linked to the disruption of the endocrine system is the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The Endocrine Society shared that EDCs lead to adverse effects on humans’ reproductive processes.
EDCs blocked the connections between the hormones and the receptors by mimicking hormonal activity. Years of studies proved that these harmful chemicals induced changes to germ cells, compromised embryo implantation for women, and declined the sperm counts of men.
Early exposures to EDCs may also lengthen menstrual cycles and accelerate menopause. These substances are also linked to undescended testicles and urethra defects in men. They also resulted in endometriosis, fibroids, and ovarian cysts for women.
Here are some of the common EDCs that can be found inside homes, workplaces, and the environment. These chemicals must be prevented as much as possible:
Natural Ways to Heal the Endocrine System and Balance the Hormones
Drinking a lot of water helps in detoxifying the body from the harmful effects of heavy metals
There are natural ways to balance the endocrine system that will also help in improving the gonads and the hormones. By following these techniques, you are helping your body to achieve a healthy endocrine that will lead to a boost in fertility.
Hormonal imbalance is one of the factors that make conceiving difficult. Check this list and evaluate if you have the signs of hormonal imbalance.
If you are having difficulty getting pregnant, you should never ignore the warnings of your body. Hormonal imbalance is one of the health issues commonly experienced by couples who are suffering from infertility.
Hormones are known as chemical messengers of the body. One of their tasks is to tell the tissues and the organs what to do. Thus, they have control of the essential processes of the body like metabolism and reproduction. When the endocrine glands produce too much or too little hormones, a hormonal imbalance happens.
Some hormonal imbalance symptoms are part of natural aging. However, there are times that changes occur because the endocrine glands encountered some problems. Here are 25 symptoms and signs of the hormonal imbalance that you should watch for.
Signs or Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance for Women
Heavy or irregular periods is one of the signs of hormonal imbalance.
One of the signs of hormonal balance is putting extra pounds around the belly and the hips. A high level of estrogen results in an increase in insulin. Whenever there is an increase in insulin, a person automatically craves sugar.
Aside from that, a vicious cycle occurs between the fat cells and the estrogen. High levels of estrogen produce more fatty tissue growth, and fat cells produce more estrogen in return. This results in excess fat in the stomach.
A sudden change in the menstrual cycle may result from hormonal imbalance, especially in the estrogen and progesterone levels. The hormonal imbalance resulting in irregular periods may be triggered by perimenopause, psychological stress, physical stress, polycystic ovary syndrome, prolactinoma, and other underlying medical conditions.
When experiencing hormonal imbalance, you may find excessive hair on your face and body. Naturally, women have mild growth of hair in the body, but when there is a hormonal imbalance, the body acts weirdly, resulting in excessive facial growth.
Acne is expected during the teenage years, but it indicates a hormonal imbalance during the adult years. This is also associated with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal condition that results in menstrual irregularities due to ovarian abnormalities.
The hair needs nutrients and oxygen to grow continuously. A hormonal imbalance can disrupt the natural cycle of hair growth by disrupting the availability of nutrients. Some of the hormonal imbalances that result from hair loss are thyroid conditions, high testosterone from PCOS or menopause, and chronic stress.
When the androgen and estrogen levels are messed up because of hormonal imbalance, skin problems like darkening occur. A high level of androgen, a hormone present in males and females, causes acne and inflammation. Estrogen, on the other hand, plays a part in collagen production. A low level of this hormone leads to skin aging and sensitivity.
Skin tags appear when the balance between glucose and insulin is disrupted. When the estrogen level reduces, the skin elasticity is affected, resulting in skin tags. It is also associated with PCOS.
The decline in estrogen results in vaginal dryness. The dryness is caused by the thinning of the vaginal wall that can result in discomfort or pain. This also leads to a loss of libido, especially if bleeding starts to occur.
Vaginal atrophy, also known as atrophic vaginitis, results in a change in the vagina. Estrogen has a significant role in keeping the vaginal tissues lubricated. When there is low estrogen production, the vaginal tissues become dry, thin, and shrunken.
The vaginal dryness can lead to painful intercourse, especially when bleeding occurs. This may also result in the loss of your libido, affecting your desire for sex.
The rapid hormonal changes result in night sweats. Hormones affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that maintains the body temperature. When the hormones are imbalanced, they disrupt the function of the hypothalamus, which causes night sweats.
Estrogen is in charge of controlling a chemical in the brain that affects the sensation of pain. When estrogen drops, a headache occurs. Hormonal changes that cause headaches can be because of menstrual cycles and menopause.
The physical and psychological effects of hormonal imbalance in a person result in increased anxiety. The hormonal imbalances that can increase anxiety are menstruation, adrenaline, and thyroid health issues.
The disrupted patterns you are experiencing may be caused by a hormonal imbalance between estrogen and progesterone. The night sweats and anxiety can contribute more to your sleep disturbances.
A feeling of constant extreme fatigue might indicate that you have a problem with your thyroid gland due to an imbalance with the thyroid hormone called thyroxine. This hormone regulates blood pressure, helps develop skeletal and nervous tissue, and affects reproductive functions.
Signs or Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance for Men
Men who suffers hormonal imbalance may experience hair loss.
Men who have hormonal imbalance also experience specific symptoms. Here are some common signs of hormonal imbalance for men.
Men who are experiencing hormonal imbalance may have low sex drive because of its effect on the concentration of testosterone which disrupts the functions of the reproductive system. Some may also develop erectile dysfunction.
A low level of testosterone affects the mood of men since it plays a role in their moods. The mood changes may lead to depression. Aside from that, the low thyroid hormone levels may lead to mood swings and feelings of sadness or despair.
When the average balance of hormones is disrupted at an early age, men may experience balding. The growth of the hair becomes stunted, and hair strands become weak and break easily.
Testosterone and estrogen are present in men’s bodies. However, testosterone is more prominent than estrogen. Testosterone is for male features, while estrogen is the expression for female features such as breast enlargement. When a hormonal imbalance occurs between the two hormones, men will experience breast enlargement.
Men produce a hormone called prolactin, a hormone responsible for making milk in the mammary glands. But if it is deficient in a man’s body, the hormone cannot produce milk. However, when there is a low level of testosterone in the body, the prolactin may increase. Milk production becomes possible. This condition is called galactorrhea.
An imbalance in the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) leads to infertility in men. This is caused by low sperm production and low testosterone production. The imbalance also affects sperm quality.
The disruption in insulin levels even after adequate sleep results in fatigue. Other men also experience anxiety, irritability, and constant cravings.
The low level of testosterone and elevated level of estrogen results in the loss of muscle mass. Body fat usually appears in the abdominal area. Research also revealed that muscle loss is more likely to occur if the person has inadequate nutrition and physical activity.
Hormonal imbalance also results in memory loss, especially for men who are going to their andropause. Studies proved that men experience memory loss earlier than women.
Testosterone helps in absorbing the sugar in the body. If this hormone is low, your blood sugar level may spike. If you have a high sugar intake, your testosterone level will drop.
Dr. Yaron Seidman DAOM