TAMPA, Fla. - One in eight couples will have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. There's a lot of information out there, but how much do you know about fertility?
The road to motherhood wasn't easy for 41-year-old Valerie Simpson. She lost her first baby and then struggled to conceive. Finally, with the help of in vitro, she had Adrian.
"We have a perfect little boy," Simpson said.
More than 7 million women like Simpson have received help for infertility. About one-third of infertility is attributed to females, one-third to males, and one-third to other issues. Lifestyle does matter.
"We know for a fact that smoking is detrimental in male and female infertility," explained Celso Silva, MD, Board Certified Infertility Specialist, Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Caffeine is another culprit. One study found women who consumed more than one cup of coffee per day were half as likely to become pregnant during their cycle as women who drank less.
Extra weight can also affect the way hormones in the body work. About 70 percent of women with infertility are also obese.
In vitro is not the most common solution for infertility. Fewer than 5 percent of patients need advanced technologies. About 90 percent of infertility can be treated with drugs or other procedures.
Stress can also impact hormones, mood, and sex drive. However, stress reduction programs can more than double pregnancy rates in couples undergoing in vitro.
Another common fertility myth is that women can only get pregnant one day each month, on their ovulation day. In fact, it's possible for women to get pregnant from about five days prior to ovulation to about two days after. That's a total of about seven days.
Infertility refers to an inability to conceive after having regular unprotected sex. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, USA, approximately 10% to 15% of couples in the U.S. are infertile – meaning they have not conceived after at least one year of regular unprotected sex. Many cases of apparent infertility are treatable. Infertility may have a single cause in one of the partners, and could be the result of a combination of factors.
Female infertility can be caused by a number of factors, including:
- Damage to fallopian tubes which carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus
- Hormonal causes where thickening of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) in preparation for the fertilized egg do not occur
- Cervical causes in which the sperm cannot pass through the cervical canal due to abnormal mucus production or a prior cervical surgical procedure
- Uterine causes which is an abnormal anatomy of the uterus, the presence of polyps and fibroids
- Lifestyle factors like overweight, heavy smoker and drinker
Just as with women, lifestyle factors can affect men's fertility. These factors are:
- Working in a hot environment or spending long periods sitting down; either could result in overheating of testes
- Working with chemicals or radiation
- Being overweight with a body mass index of more than 29
- Drinking heavily
- Being a heavy smoker
- Taking recreational drugs
Copyright 2014 by Ivanhoe Broadcast News and News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.