The first step for a couple that suspect infertilty is to determine the cause of infertility. The doctor usually begins by asking both partners about their health histories, their medication usage, their sexual histories, and their sexual practices. Tests are then performed to diagnose infertility and these tests are called pre-screening tests.
Before a treatment cycle is initiated, it is important to identify any potential obstacles to achieving a pregnancy and the assessment is determined by the results of both male and female pre-screening tests. The tests to determine occurence of infertilty in a woman begins with a full physical examination and cervical smear.
The doctor then makes sure that the woman is ovulating regularly and assesses whether her ovaries are doing their job of releasing eggs. Having regular menstrual cycles and a biphasic basal body temperature curve usually confirms that ovulation is regular. Blood tests are carried out to determine hormone levels. The ovaries and uterus are examined by ultrasound, and tests to check for tubal blockage or any abnormality in the uterus are done. In the case of the man, to determine, the first step is a physical examination. Male infertility is usually related to sperm health or function, which is mostly tested with a spermanalysis.
In certain cases, the man may have enough sperms, but the sperms may not swim well enough to reach the egg. Also, sperms that are not normal in shape may not be able to penetrate and fertilize the egg. But once the doctor has identified all the problems, most of them are treatable. Once the diagnosis is established for the couple, a treatment plan is drawn up. This treatment plan depends on the age, diagnosis, the duration of infertility, any previous treatments, and personal preferences if any.
In some couples all the investigations might be normal both in the male and the female and there seems to be no apparent cause for infertility. Such couples are said to be experiencing unexplained infertility though the exact reason might be at a more cellular level - pertaining to the oocyte or sperm or a combination of both. Or sometimes, there could be issues with the binding of the oocyte and the sperm. The menstrual cycle The menstrual cycle refers to the changes and preparation that a woman's body goes through to prepare for pregnancy.
Hormones control a woman's menstrual cycle and this cycle is comprised of three distinct phases. The menstrual cycle. Process of conception The human reproductive process is complex. Problems with conception Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. Step One: Time is the key!
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Step Two: Say No to alcohol and smoking Heavy drinking more than six units per day can lower a man's sperm count and affect the health of the sperm. Step Four: Eat nutritious! Step Five: Cut down on caffeine Caffeine affects the fertility level of both men and women, so cutting back is a sensible precaution.
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Step Six: Work-out regularly Moderate exercise every day is key to maintaining a healthy body, helping to burn off excess body fat and reducing the effect of stress on hormone levels. Step Seven: Avoid hard bicycle seats and hot baths Overheated testicles can temporarily lower sperm counts in men. Step Eight: Sleep well Good, regular sleep of about 8 hours or more per night can help both men and women optimize their fertility. Step Nine: Beware of other medication Seek medical advice about other medications or herbal remedies that you are taking to see if these may affect fertility.
Step Ten: Relax and take it easy!
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Initial workup The first step for a couple that suspect infertilty is to determine the cause of infertility. Tests for the woman The tests to determine occurence of infertilty in a woman begins with a full physical examination and cervical smear. Tests for the man In the case of the man, to determine, the first step is a physical examination. Indications for ART Male factors Severe abnormalities with sperm count, sperm motility or morphology Absence of sperms in the ejaculate or azoospermia Mechanical or psychological issues with erection or ejaculation Female factors Older age leading to compromised oocyte quality and chromosomal abnormalities Cervical factors Antisperm antibodies - Can be present both in the male or female Disorders of ovulation - e.
PCOD or polycystic ovarian disease Disorders of fallopian tubes - Tubal blockage either due to infections or scarring Endometriosis Unexplained infertility In some couples all the investigations might be normal both in the male and the female and there seems to be no apparent cause for infertility.
Combination of both male and female factors.
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When your period is at its heaviest, the blood will be red. On lighter days, it may be pink, brown or black. Read more about girls and puberty. The main types of sanitary products are described below. Sanitary pads are strips of padding that have a sticky side you attach to your underwear to hold them in place. They come in many sizes, so you can change them depending on how heavy or light your period is. Pantyliners are a smaller and thinner type of sanitary pad that can be used on days when your period is very light.
Tampons are small tubes of cotton wool that you insert into your vagina to absorb the blood before it comes out of your body. There's a string at one end of the tampon, which you pull to remove it. Tampons come with instructions that explain how to use them. If the tampon is inserted correctly, you shouldn't be able to feel it. If you can feel it or it hurts, it might not be in properly.
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It isn't possible for a tampon to get stuck or lost inside you. Your vagina holds it firmly in place and it expands inside you as it soaks up the blood. She says that if you're not handling new stress in a healthy way — by eating nutritious foods and moving as much as possible — period issues like bad cramps can get worse.
Speaking with a loved one or professional may be able to help you manage this stress, which may also help alleviate bad cramps. As Trattner say, the 30s are a time when many women try something new with their health. This might mean adopting a new health plan, or wanting to swap out bad habits from your 20s for healthier ones.
While that's great news, should you choose to do so, keep in mind that making major lifestyle changes can affect your cycle for a while. As Trattner says, "It is OK [to notice a change, but] if your period is different in a bad way for more than three months it is time to see a gynecologist. As mentioned above, your menstrual cycle can lengthen in your 30s, sometimes lasting up to 40 days.
But as you age, it can also shorten. As we age and go into perimenopause, our hormone levels start to decrease. The cycle is run by a set amount of estrogen and progesterone and as you age, that cycle might decrease, since the hormones are decreasing. Your late 30s are when your hormone levels start to noticeably decrease.
As you progress into your 30s, your PMS symptoms may start to get worse. As Dr. They can help you get to the bottom of any changes you might have noticed, and diagnose underlying conditions — such as a hormonal imbalance or uterine fibroids — that may be disrupting or changing your period, and help find solutions.
This post was originally published on January 25, It was updated on May 31,