Almost any aspect of our lives can have some effect on our fertility Ã¢â‚¬â€œ although the story that wearing tight jeans reduces your sperm count doesn’t seem to be true. But broadly speaking, anything that is generally bad for you is likely to reduce your fertility somewhat.
Weight and fertility
Being overweight or underweight reduces fertility, especially in women. Pregnancy, and in some cases even menstruation, will not take place if the body does not have enough fat to support it. Think about it in terms of evolution Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a starving animal would need to concentrate on getting through the immediate future, rather than worrying about reproduction. Now our lifestyles can simulate starvation – in anorexics the situation may be so extreme that they stop menstruating, let alone being able to conceive.
Our bodies are constantly affected by the substances with which we come into contact in the outside world, and the reproductive system is particularly sensitive to this. We may never manage to catalogue the near-infinite complexity of the ways in which chemicals in the air, in our food, and in objects we touch affect us. But what we do know is enough to understand the importance of environmental factors.
Lead was possibly the first chemical to be linked to lower fertility. In the middle of the 19th century, it became obvious that the wives of men working with lead had lower fertility than would be expected otherwise. Since then the link has been examined in great detail, and lead poisoning has been linked to lower sperm counts and to higher rates of miscarriage.
The functioning of the reproductive system worsens over the years. That’s true for both men and women, but especially for women. One study has found that 29% of married women aged 40-44 are infertile, compared to just 7% of married women aged 20-24.
Declining fertility with age is built into the very workings of the female reproductive system. Your body only contains a certain number of eggs, and once they’re gone no more can be created. Some of these eggs will be ovulated and thus could be fertilized Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but this only accounts for about one in every 3000 of the eggs you were born with.
Most of your eggs will degenerate over time, in a process called atresia. Once you have no more viable eggs, you have reached menopause. As you approach this point, with declining numbers of eggs, fertilization will become more and more unlikely.
Menopause does not happen at a set time for every woman. This
Many of the things that can go wrong with the reproductive system are specific either to men or to women, and so there is a section on each sex. But some factors affect both sexes in a broadly similar manner, and so it will save space to consider them together.
Hormonal causes of infertility include:
CAH (Congenital Adrenal Hypoplasia) Physical damage to the hypothalamus or pituitary Low fat reserves, usually linked to eating disorders Hyperprolactinaemia Kallman Syndrome Prader-Willi Syndrome Bardet-Biedl Syndrome
Hormones are the body’s long-term communication system. They are chemicals which circulate through the body Ã¢â‚¬â€œ often, but not exclusively, through the bloodstream Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and trigger responses in cells. In contrast to the nervous system (which shoots messages across the body in fractions of a second, to be acted on and then instantly forgotten), hormones act over a period of minutes, hours, or days.
The test-tube baby must rank alongside the moon landings and the discovery of DNA as one of the greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century. And, iconic though it may be, this is just one of dozens of medical breakthroughs that have brought us closer than ever to overcoming what must be one of the world’s oldest miseries.
For, however far back we look into the depths of human history, we can see the misery of the infertile couple. Sanskrit hymns, Old Testament verses, the Greek epics of Homer and hieroglyph-covered papyrus found in Egypt: all speak of the loss felt by the infertile.
Unable to continue their family line, to nurture a child, and to have somebody to look after them in their old age, men and women in every country and every time have turned to priests, shamans, witch-doctors and soothsayers, desperately seeking a child.
One of the medication types most used by those dealing with lupus is called corticosteroid hormone treatments. These medications are related to cortisol which is a natural anti-inflammatory hormone that diminishes inflammation. These drugs are used because they are very fast acting. They will begin to relieve the inflammation immediate and at the same time they slow the disease down.
The health care provider will give their patient corticosteroids to try to push the disease into remission and keep it there as long as is possible. There are several different kinds of this type of medication that are commonly used. They include prednisone, hydrocortisone and dexamethasone.
These corticosteroids are used in a variety of ways. They can be given as pills, or by injection. They can also be applied directly on the skin in the form of creams or lotions. Since this type of medication is so strong the health care provider will try to use the smallest dose that is useful. In part this is also because these drugs can have a lot of side effects.
Most times the lupus that you hear about is the worst kind which is called systemic lupus erythematosus. This type of lupus, also known as SLE, is a condition that favors women as those affected and has not only skin rashes but a host of medical issues that relate to the bodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s immune system attacking the organs. Though this can be an aggressive disease but it can be handled by the right medications and lifestyle changes.
There are other types of lupus. Discoid lupus erythematosus, called DLE, has its own symptoms. This disease seems to concentrate more on skin rashes. It can cover the face with lesions and they can also be seen on the scalp. They are shaped like disks, hence the name discoid, and although seen mainly on the face they can be found anywhere on a personÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s body.
The discoid rash is usually very red; it will be in patches that are thick and often scaly. They may appear red with a whitish, or at least lighter colored, scaly rim. Or it can be the opposite with the lighter patch surrounded by a darker red border. Either way they are disfiguring if on the face.
Of all of the forms of the disease known as lupus, drug-induced lupus is one of the least severe. It is a problem that can potentially affect many individuals due to their prescription regimens, and it is an important type of illness to become familiarized with. In this article, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll talk about drug-induced lupus so that you can get a better feel for the problem.
While there havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been any types of specific criteria established for diagnosing a case of drug-induced lupus, there are some symptoms that can definitely point a doctor in the right direction when it comes to diagnosing the problem. Those who have a case of drug-induced lupus often experience pain and swelling in their muscles and joints, as well as the occurrence of flu symptoms such as a fever and a high level of fatigue and malaise. Inflammation may also be present within the membranes of the lungs and the heart.