Fertility & Reproductive Health

Charles Darwin once explained that in order for a species to survive and outlast all others, it should have an effective way of transmitting the strongest genetic traits from one generation to another. In the case of the human race, as understood by many belief systems, man was put on this earth to grow forth and multiply. Because fertility and reproduction are important aspects in the health of a family, much information is provided to the general public to help in decision making.

Fertility is a term to describe the ability of a male or female to produce viable reproductive cells that can unite to form an embryo, and hence another human being.
There are cases when either a man or a woman is infertile, and is unable to have children naturally after constant attempts to do so. There is an estimated 2.1 million infertile married couples as of ten years ago. Infertility is a very sensitive issue with men and women. To remedy this problem, couples have the option of undergoing assisted reproductive techniques, which can help them conceive a child.

Female Fertility Cycle

It is essential to maintain a healthy reproductive system; this is more in the case of women. In order to do so, it is important to understand how a woman becomes pregnant. A woman’s normal reproductive cycle goes like this: within a 28-day cycle, she sheds her endometrium or uterine lining on the first seven days, which is termed as her menses. On day fourteen, she ovulates, or releases one egg cell from her ovary. If she has intercourse on this day or a few days before and after it, and a sperm successfully fertilizes her egg, she becomes pregnant. If not fertilization happens, the egg cell travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus and stays there from days 21 to 28. Afterwards, the egg cell is shed when the woman has her period. In order to stay healthy in terms of the reproductive system, women should take routine check ups and keep a track on the menstrual cycle. Prior to conceiving there are a few steps that a woman should consider. Fertility tests like a rectal exam with the gynecologist will ensure that your reproductive system is functioning correctly and there are no health issues that demand an attention.

Male Fertility

When we talk about the reproductive health, we should also consider that of the male too. The reproductive health of males, include the health of the organs and the level of sperm and testosterone. In case these factors are neglected due to the life style that one follows, then this can lead to serious health issues and can even lead to impotency. Like in the case women, the vitamin C is vital for men too. This will increase the sperm mobility and will solve many of the health issues. Also reduced intake of zinc rich food products can lead to low levels of testosterone and semen.

A man may become infertile due to many reasons, while there are others who are born with abnormalities with their reproductive cells. Some studies have linked men infertility to, unhealthy habits like cigarette smoking, alcoholism, and illegal drugs. Sterility is a term that should not be confused with infertility. As infertile couples may still have children from their own reproductive cells, which means they are still able to conceive, given the right procedures. Sterility means that the person is totally unable to produce offspring. A man may become sterile as he ages, when he experiences erectile dysfunction quite often, or when he undergoes surgery to treat prostate cancer.

Increasing Fertility Success Rates

It is important to have an insight into the lifestyle that you follow, before you have children. The excessive intake of alcohol, tobacco and drugs can adversely affect the health and growth of the baby. If the wrong habits are with the mother then it can affect the health of the fetus and can even lead to miscarriages and in some cases can damage the reproductive system completely. In order to avoid the development of neural tube defects the mother can take supplements of folic acid which can reduce the risk. The other vitamins that can improve the reproductive health are the vitamin E and C. they tend to reduce the stress on the reproductive organs. In addition to these, there are a lot of herbs which will give more supplements of nutrients to the reproductive health.

Fertility Problems

In addition to the intake of various nutrients, several environmental factors can also affect the health of the reproductive system of both males and females. Recent studies have shown that the increased infertility is due to the lifestyles and the working conditions that the new jobs offer. Some jobs require the close proximity of chemicals and radiation which can greatly affect the hormones for reproduction and can lead to reduced sperm count and lack of interest in sexual activities. Various military posts require manning of radars and other radiation hazards which when exposed to a long term can lead to impotency. However regular physical examination for the people prone to this risk can detect the threshold level when reached and can initiate necessary counter actions. Moreover if you maintain a regular fitness regime and control over your diet, then you can easily supplement the body with various vitamins and nutrients required for the body to keep a healthy reproductive system.

Family planning is recommended for couples to be aware of the methods they can observe if they want to have children or not. Aside from that, sexual health is essentially taught to many people, starting from middle school students to mature couples. This helps prevent the spreading of sexually transmitted diseases.

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