If a woman is unable to carry a baby till the end of pregnancy period or an individual is unable to produce an offspring, they are termed as infertile. Infertility has many causes and its prevalence has been on the rise since 1980. It can be natural or medically induced.
There exist two levels of the condition. These are primary and secondary sterility. Couples having primary sterility have never conceived whereas those in the secondary category only have difficulty conceiving in subsequent occasions to the first conception. These two levels only relate to one couple at a time.
With time, several trends have emerged in cases of barrenness cutting across all countries in the world. First, it is estimated that about five percent of couples, especially women, have this problem unresolved. In many countries, one out of every seven couples is a victim of this tragedy. Generally, women become increasingly infertile as they age. Some cases show that the inadequacy may either come from men or women. However, the cause may not be established as regards the source of the issue between both.
In both sexes, sterility may be caused by cases of damaged DNA, genetic factors like Robertsonian translocation in either partner, diabetes mellitus, disorders of the thyroids, hypothalamic-pituitary factors such as hyppopituitarism and other environmental factors for instance smoking tobacco, abusing toxic substances such as glue and being constantly exposed to chemical dusts.
In females, sterility may be caused by blocking of the oviduct due to malfunctioning, infections such as Chlamydia and growth of a scar tissue, inability to ovulate, being overweight and underweight, age and uterine complications. In males, sterility is caused by low semen quality, low sperm count, testicular malformations, hormonal imbalance and blockage of the duct system.
Treatment of barrenness depends on what has caused it. This may take the form of counseling or fertility treatments. A duo may decide on using at-home conception kits or even assisted natural conception. Medically, fertility medication such as medical surgery, use of medical devices, in vitro fertilization or other technologically assisted techniques of reproduction may be used. Several other medical techniques such as tuboplasty and assisted hatching may also be applied.
Emergent ethical issues in this complication include the costly nature of therapies and medication, exemption of the same in insurance packages, the argument that facilities used to treat the defect could be used in better alternative services, people being against destruction of the embryo, many cases of premature and multiple births as well as the fact that these problem is likely to be transmitted to offspring.
Sterility has both societal and personal repercussions. Psychologically, effects include a lot of anxiety in marriage, marriage discord, depression, disregard for motherhood, loss of anticipated life, feeling of loss, emotional stress and disregard for religion and its doctrines. Socially there is eruption of stigma, rejection, avoiding the issue, inheritance issues and loss of friends.
In developing countries, inability to reproduce has grave implications on the individual or couple since child production is used as a social pillar and a basis for family income generation. One is likely to suffer stigmatization and abandonment by spouse and family. In most cases, it is assumed that the woman is the cause of the problem.
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