Understanding the prevalence of Subfertility and how its different from infertility

Understanding the prevalence of Subfertility and how its different from infertility

Subfertility and infertility are not the same, despite the fact that they are frequently used synonymously. Delayed in conceiving is known as subfertility whereas, infertility is the inability to conceive naturally after a year of trying.
Subfertility is a condition in which conceiving naturally is possible but takes longer than usual. In infertility, getting pregnant without medical assistance is unlikely.

What causes Subfertility?
The majority of infertility’s reasons also apply to subfertility. Problems with male or female infertility, or a mix of the two, may contribute to difficulty getting pregnant. The cause of subfertility or infertility may not always be known.

Problems related to Ovulation

The process of an egg being released from the ovary is called ovulation. The egg is released and travels down the fallopian tube, where it remains for 12 to 24 hours before being fertilised.

A fertilised egg cannot be released without ovulation. Hence, the typical cause to be known for subfertility is ovulation. Ovulation can be prevented by a number of situations, including:

Female factors of subfertility

Uterine abnormalities

The uterus, also known as womb is a reproductive organ in females where the baby grows. The uterus is shaped like an inverted pear-shaped muscular organ. However, some women have uteruses (wombs) that are unusually shaped or sized, which is termed as congenital uterine abnormalities or abnormality of the womb. It implies that prior to the birth, the uterus was formed in an unusual manner.

Although these anomalies are rather prevalent, it isn’t always obvious how they affect pregnancy. Although having a womb abnormality may make it more challenging for a mother to carry her child to full term, but this is not always the case. Preterm birth or miscarriage may be more likely depending on the form of the womb. A weaker cervix, also known as cervical incompetence, can result in preterm birth and be related to womb abnormalities. Additional monitoring during pregnancy may be required to keep mother and her unborn child safe. Some uterine conditions are: septate uterus, bicornuate uterus, double uterus and fibroids.

Blocked fallopian tubes

Female reproductive organs called fallopian tubes join the ovaries and the uterus. Every month, an egg is transported from an ovary to the uterus by the fallopian tubes during ovulation, which takes place around in the middle of a menstrual cycle.

The fallopian tube is where conception also takes place. A fertilised egg travels down the tube to the uterus for implantation after being fertilised by sperm.

A blocked fallopian tube prevents sperm from reaching the eggs and prevents the fertilized egg from returning to the uterus. Scar tissue, infection, and pelvic adhesions are typical causes of obstructed fallopian tubes.

Problems related to sperm count and function

Subfertility may be brought on by abnormal sperm function or production. There are several situations and factors that can contribute to this. Few of them may include:

Issues with the delivery of sperm

The delivery of sperm can have problems, which can make it challenging to get pregnant. Several factors may be to blame for this. Few of them may include: premature ejaculation, cystic fibrosis, injury or damage to the testes or blockage in the testicle.

Uncertain factors which risk fertility

The risk of subfertility is dependent on certain factors related to both male and female. The first factor is age, in females being older that 35 years can cause the subfertility, whereas in males it can be caused over the age of 40. The second important factor is being overweight or underweight. It is very important to be healthy to be able to conceive a child. Other factors may include excessive consumption of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana.

Male factors of subfertility

Weak immune system

All processes of reproduction, but particularly those surrounding conception, involve the immune system. The viability of a pregnancy, the development of the foetus, and the health of the progeny after birth are all heavily influenced by immune characteristics at this early stage. It is now known that immune cells are set up and prepared to recognize antigens and other signals coming from placental trophoblasts, seminal fluid, and the embryo. In women exhibiting abnormal immunological risk factors, it has been demonstrated that suppressing maternal immunity with immune therapies like immunoglobulin infusions, corticosteroids, or Intralipid can increase live birth rates.

Dealing with Subfertility

Being subfertile rather than infertile indicates that natural conception is still feasible. Therefore, changing your lifestyle and knowing how to improve your chances of getting pregnant are the main components of subfertility treatment.

Initially, it is important to know the cause of subfertility so that the diagnostics can be followed as per the results of examination. Depending upon the condition, doctors may recommend various treatments or medications to the patients. Hence it is advisable to consult the doctor for right treatment in accordance to the type of subfertility problems you are dealing with. Along with treatment, a healthy diet and way of living are also crucial. Some meals and nutrients have a stronger link to improved fertility than others.

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3 thoughts on “Understanding the prevalence of Subfertility and how its different from infertility

  1. The article was very informative and well written in simple terms that were easy to understand making the concept easy to follow through.

  2. This article is very informative for the couples struggling to conceive. It explains today’s major issues in very simple language with all the details required.

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