Infertility and chronic diseases
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The reproductive systems of women and men are two amazing mechanisms. In order to function properly, both require hormonal balance and proper health. Unfortunately, a chronic disease of the body such as diabetes or dysregulation of the thyroid gland can negatively affect the normal activity of the reproductive tract.
Solving problems that could jeopardize your reproductive capacity should be resolved before the first child appears. Thus, infertility is possible. There are various dysfunctions of the body that seriously affect the reproductive system. Here are some of them.
The blood glucose concentration is difficult to control in type I diabetes because the insulin required by the body must be given by injection. In the case of a pregnant woman, diabetes is extremely dangerous for the baby if you do not control your blood sugar very well. Women with poor diabetes monitoring in the early weeks of pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to babies with malformations. There is also a high risk of losing pregnancy or giving birth to overweight children. If, during pregnancy, a woman becomes ill with diabetes (gestational diabetes), this can give rise to abnormally large children or with serious organ disorders.
Diabetes also affects fertility in men. It causes premature ejaculation that does not allow the seminal fluid to enter the woman's vagina and cause fertilization of the eggs.
Infertility and other chronic diseases
The relationship between hypertension and infertility is not well defined. But high blood pressure levels do affect infertility to some extent. One of the reasons is the antihypertensive medication.
If a pregnant woman does not control her tension during pregnancy (either because she is not observed before pregnancy or because this condition occurs during pregnancy), then she is exposed to serious complications.
These are: contraction of blood vessels in the uterus that can limit the amount of oxygen and nutrients provided to the fetus, separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, which can cause internal bleeding, entry of the woman into a coma.
A secretion of the thyroid gland that exceeds the normal limit (hyperthyroidism) or is below the optimal level (hypothyroidism) may cause menstrual changes and decrease reproductive capacity.
Hypothyroidism may be associated with the immune system reaction. These two phenomena cause the production of antibodies that attack the ovaries and lead to the premature onset of menopause.
Like diabetes and thyroid disorders, leukemia is a disease that causes excess antibody production and affects the entire body, including the reproductive tract.
There is no direct link between anemia and infertility, but the appearance of anemia seems to be determined by the same causes that lead to infertility.
If a woman is anemic due to eating problems, she may also have ovulation interruptions. If you are anemic due to a malignant tumor that bleeds inside the uterus, then it is likely to become infertile.
Anti-sperm antibodies can be found in both men and women. These are protein molecules that are attracted to a specific site on the sperm. Once attached to the sperm, they can influence sperm activity in several ways.
They may immobilize sperm, causing sperm to become thickened and limiting their ability to pass through the cervical mucus or may prevent sperm binding to the egg as well as penetration of the sperm egg.
Anti-sperm antibodies occur in men after vasectomy, testicular injury, or infection. The cause of their appearance in women is unknown.
In women, these antibodies are found in the mucus and follicular fluid. If it attaches to the end of the sperm, it prevents their attachment to the egg as well as the penetration of the egg. In contrast, if it attaches to the sperm tail, it affects sperm mobility.
Unfortunately, the burden of treating this condition (lowering the level of steroid antibodies or removing the antibodies from the sperm) had low efficacy and led to serious complications.
Immune system dysfunctions
Immune system dysfunctions and endometriosis
Diseases of the immune system are the most common cause of infertility in women suffering from endometriosis.
Immunological problems have been observed to occur more frequently in women with severe infertility (those who fail to become pregnant by intensive IVF).
White cells that stimulate the development of the embryo implanted in the uterus, preventing placental tumors, are produced in greater quantity in women with endometriosis. It seems that these cells cause infertility or loss of pregnancy if activated in excess.
Women suffering from endometriosis and severe infertility should have a blood test that shows the value of white cells. If this is greater than 12%, it means that these cells are activated in excess and the woman is diagnosed with immunological infertility. In this case, to be able to conceive, a therapy is needed to strengthen the immunity.
Syndrome of antiphospholipid antibodies and anti-thyroid antibodies
Antiphospholipid antibodies and anti-thyroid antibodies are also implicated in immunological infertility. In the opinion of some specialists this type of antibodies affects fertility directly, and others consider that it affects indirectly, indicating the presence of immune system functions.
In addition, there are also specialists who believe that these antibodies are not related to infertility.
The causes of immune disorders affecting the fertility of women with endometriosis are still unknown. Some specialists believe that all these antibodies simply appear to protect the body from the effects of endometriosis.
It has been observed that women with a family history of autoimmune disease, including thyroid gland disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, may be predisposed to endometriosis and immunological infertility.
Diagnosing autoimmune diseases?
Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases is based on symptoms and blood test results, but they are difficult to diagnose, especially in the early stages. In some cases, not even a diagnosis can be made.
Although autoimmune diseases are chronic, it is not known how they can develop. Patients should be closely monitored by the physician to avoid any favorable factors.
Treatment of autoimmune diseases?
Currently, few autoimmune diseases can be treated or cured. However, patients suffering from autoimmune disease can have a normal and healthy life if they receive the right treatment.
Systemic diseases that can be associated with infertility
It is known that a history of ectopic pregnancy in the family increases the risk of infertility. Even in the case of tube ruptures, the woman may have a normal pregnancy.
If the ectopic pregnancy is not diagnosed in time, it leads to infertility later and therefore a thorough early checkup is required.
Medications or radiation used to treat cancer can destroy an individual's ability to produce healthy eggs or sperm. In men, one option is to keep sperm before treatment.
In women, if time permits, an in vitro fertilization cycle is needed to create embryos that can be preserved.
Some studies show that epilepsy does not affect fertility in men or women. Others show that the fertility of women with epilepsy is 33% lower than that of a healthy woman. But this has not been clearly demonstrated so far.
What is known for sure is that the effects of anti-epileptic drugs can cause infertility as well as the fact that women suffering from this disease are getting married at an early age. Fertility decreases with age so this is an indirect effect of the disease on fertility.
This rare disease is manifested by the lack of sense of smell, underdevelopment of genital organs and sterile gonad. The disease is usually diagnosed at puberty, when secondary sexual characteristics do not develop. The treatment consists of the administration of steroids with exogenous sex, in order to stimulate and maintain the development of those characteristics.
About 50% of patients being treated are eventually able to conceive.
Other conditions associated with delayed puberty and amenorrhea
Signs and symptoms of systemic diseases include delayed puberty and absence of the menstrual cycle. Therefore, these diseases can affect fertility. Examples of such diseases are: Cushing's disease, HIV, kidney disease, etc.
Cushing's disease is a condition in which the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone. There are tests that confirm the presence of too much hydrocortisone in the body and others that determine the causes of the disease.
The condition is treated by surgery to remove the tumor from the pituitary gland, followed by treatments that replace hydrocortisone production until the activity of the gland returns to normal.
Another treatment option is radiation treatment, and if the body responds neither to surgery nor to radiation, the patient is advised to keep hydrocortisone production within normal limits.
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