Friday, June 21, 2024

Dear Doctor

Dear Doctor

I am a lady of 34 years and I have been struggling to conceive for the past 5 years. I am married and my husband has a child from his previous relationship and now we want a child to bless our marriage. My in-laws have lost respect for me and have started calling me names. I have even tried traditional herbs but I am still failing to get a child.

Masego, email

Dr Ntwaagae Answers

The causes of infertility can affect either partner in the marriage or relationship. Factors such as infrequent sexual intercourse due to low desire and living separate lives can significantly contribute to infertility.

Female issues

Irregular or absent menses can also lead to failure to conceive since one of the problems in this instance is lack of ovulation. This means no egg will be available to make a baby. Lifestyle issues such as smoking, alcohol, stress and structural issues affecting the ovaries, womb, tubes or premature failure of the ovaries can lead to this. Blocked tubes due to old and untreated infection are the common cause of infertility. Sometimes the reasons for dysfunctional reproductive system of a female are unknown. However most the issues mentioned can be investigated and corrected. Blood tests, scans and special x-rays can be done to identify your problem and this can guide your doctor to correct the problem or refer you for surgical intervention if necessary. Contraceptive methods should not be used if someone wants to conceive. These include condom, loop, pills and injection.

Male issues

Males should also be concerned if conception is a problem in their families. Sometimes a male will present with no sperm in the semen. (There is a difference between sperm and semen. What is visible in the ejaculation is called semen. It contains various things such as water, sugar, salts for sperm’s survival and the sperms, which are invisible to a naked eye). The cause for unavailability of sperms in the semen could be due to problems with the testes, or structural problems with sperm tubes (transport system). Sometimes the sperms are abnormal in shape and size which make them poor swimmers. Smoking and alcohol affect the quality of sperm produced by the testes. Some men have a shortage of a hormone called testosterone which is also important for sperm production. Sperm analysis can be done and this includes sperm count, shape, and size and motility analysis. Blood tests can be done to check hormonal levels to see which reproductive hormone is abnormally high or low. Scan of the scrotum can be done to rule out any structural problem in the scrotum.
Please consult your doctor and find out what could be wrong. Get well.

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