When it comes to infertility, the prejudice and stigma that is associated with it in our country is a longstanding one. It is on the road to change nevertheless, but there still is a long way to go. Both the terms infertility and subfertility are often used interchangeably but it is important to understand that these are not synonymous terms. Infertility is when the couples who have been trying to conceive haven’t had any success in a year and may require medical intervention. Subfertility on the other hand is a form or fertility that has been reduced due to various causes.
Unlike in the case of infertility, with subfertility there can be the possibility of conceiving but it would take longer than the average time. The manner in which the condition is treated is perhaps the major difference between infertility and subfertility. Medical treatment may not have an aggressive approach especially in the early stages. Primary subfertility is when there have been no previous conceptions whereas secondary subfertility is when the couple was able to conceive in the past but is unable to do so at the present.
Some lifestyle changes may be all it takes to reverse subfertility. The longer couples try getting pregnant without success, their odds for natural conception can drop drastically. The lifestyle changes that can bring a world of difference in the conception journey of sub fertile couples. These can include easy to implement changes like avoiding smoking, not exercising excessively, keeping close check of basal body temperature, reduction of weight, staying away from sexual lubricants that could affect sperm motility and preventing overheating of the testes in hot baths, or tight clothing.
Getting a diagnosis of subfertility is quite similar to diagnosing infertility with the major difference being that more weightage will be on the lifestyle changes of the couple being treated. Some other medical diagnostic techniques to ascertain subfertility can include checking for menstrual abnormalities, an Ovarian ultrasound, a Semen analysis, hormone testing in the female partner, genetic testing in the male partner to rule out chromosomal disorders and other tests like laparoscopy or hysteroscopy.
The causes of subfertility are often not very different from those of infertility. The trouble with conceiving among the sub fertile couples can be due to problems with male or female infertility, or even a combination of both. Some of the common causes of subfertility can include Ovulation issues, Sperm abnormalities, scarring around the fallopian tubes or ovaries, Endometriosis that could be minimal/mild or moderate/severe, Uterine abnormalities, progressing female age, Fallopian tube problems like adhesions, occlusion, partial tubal defects or unexplained subfertility.
The major factor affecting the individual spontaneous pregnancy prospect is in fact the time of unwanted non-conception and this determines the grading of subfertility. Most of the pregnancies occur in the first six cycles with intercourse in the fertile phase. Many of the risk factors are the same for male and female subfertility like progressing age, obesity, chronic smoking, excessive drug or alcohol abuse, severe emotional or physical stress or exposure to certain medications, toxins or radiation.
Here’s where you can reach us for appointments or for answers to all your fertility related questions
Phone Numbers: 0471-2544080, 2544706
Email: [email protected]
For watching videos related to pregnancy, infertility, IVF and other Gynaecological conditions, visit KJK Hospital’s You Tube channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4GREOa_glXv6Ya6h4a_7_Q