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Infertility In The 20s: The Main Causes And Tips Of Failed To Conceive In Women And Men Between 20 to 30 Years

According to the CDC (National Survey of Family Development, 2006 to 2010), one in every 8 couples has difficulty conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy. One of the main factors affecting fertility is the unhealthy lifestyle of the youth. Having said that, both men and women should be mindful of certain factors from their 20s onwards. This includes:

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Maintain a healthy BMI: BMI should not be extreme. The ideal BMI range for better fertility is around 20 to 23.

The percentage of body fat should not be too low: Especially in women. The ideal fat percentage is around 20%.

A healthy BMI and a good fat percentage depend on what you eat and how much exercise you do.

It is important that we eat healthy home cooked food instead of easily available junk food.

It is important that there is no crash dieting as it can impair fertility due to lack of minerals and vitamins.

Exercise daily: 30-45 minutes of moderate exercise is definitely good for both men and women.

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Also get about 7 to 8 hours of sleep and at the right time: It is very important to go to bed early and get up early. Melatonin, a hormone released from the brain that controls fertility, is released in the dark. Therefore, when you sleep at the right time, the hormone melatonin is secreted which improves natural fertility.

Tension: Keeping stress away is important as it affects fertility. Menstruation can be delayed due to stress. Not only this, it can decrease blood flow to the uterus and ovaries in women and testes in men, resulting in poor quality of gametes (ie eggs and sperm).

Also, after consulting your doctor, don’t forget to take prenatal vitamins when you and your partner are planning for a baby.

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What can cause infertility in women? , What Can Cause Infertility In Women?

Ovarian abnormalities such as polycystic ovarian disease, a fall in ovarian reserve earlier than expected, tubal blockage, non-functional or abnormally functioning tubes, or abnormalities in the uterine cavity such as fibroids or polyps, or any congenital abnormality, may be some of the causes.

In addition, the female genital tract especially the cervix may contain antibodies against spermatozoa that may block sperms from reaching the egg to affect fertilization. Genetic abnormalities like Turner syndrome that reduce ovarian reserve can also be a cause of infertility. However, everything can be apparently normal including semen parameters, and even then the patient may not be able to conceive. This is also called infertility.

What are the causes of infertility in men? , What Are The Causes Of Infertility In Men?

Pre-testicular infertility in men can be caused by a problem with the hormones produced by the brain that control fertility. In such a situation, usually the male characteristics like hair in the beard area, chest etc. in men are not in good quantity and at the same time the built muscle is also not good.

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Testicular infertility: Lifestyle factors such as diabetes, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, increasing heat due to laptop use, smoking, alcohol, past infection or trauma to the testes can affect the development of sperms. There can be a congenital abnormality of the testes where the production of sperm can stop. There may also be vascular abnormalities like varicoceles that increase the heat inside the testis reducing sperm production.

There may also be genetic abnormalities like Y chromosome microdeletion and Klinefelter syndrome that affect sperm production.

Post-Testicular Infertility: In this case sperm are produced normally, but the ducts that carry the sperms may be blocked at one or more levels, preventing the sperm from reaching the urethra of the penis.

Is the Decade of the Twenties ‘Fertility Peak’?

Yes, it can be assumed that mid 20s is the peak time of fertility for women. Fertility starts decreasing after the age of 30 and after 35 years there is a huge decline in fertility. However, once the woman reaches the age of 40, there are chances of having a chromosomally abnormal child. The chances of miscarriage also increase with the age of the woman. As far as males are concerned, they usually maintain fertility till the age of 50. After the age of 50, the fertility of men starts decreasing.

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When to see a doctor?

If a 20 year old woman has been trying to conceive for 12 months and has not been successful, it is best to consult a doctor and get a fertility evaluation done. In some cases, delaying fertility treatments can reduce the chances of a successful pregnancy.

(Dr. Arunima Halder, Consultant – IVF & Reproductive Medicine, Manipal Hospital Whitefield, Bangalore)

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