The human reproductive system is an amazingly complicated system, with a woman able to conceive for only a few days each month. However, there are a range of medical problems and other factors that can go wrong, delaying or even preventing successful conception. In males, the inability to produce healthy sperm is usually known as sterility. For women, having a condition that prevents impregnation of the ova (eggs) is referred to as infertility. However, both sterility and infertility have very complex causes, some of which are treatable or preventable. This makes it very important for any couple experiencing conception difficulties to visit a medical expert for diagnosis and advice.
Women have by far the more complex reproductive cycle. As any woman knows, she will experience the menstrual cycle from puberty until menopause. This monthly cycle starts with the first day of the menses, a flow of blood that lasts for just under a week, after which new eggs are produced in the uterus (womb). In most healthy women, the fertile period for conception is around the second and third weeks after the menses, after which the next menses appear and the cycle repeats. Of course, if the egg is fertilized by sperm, the menses do not happen and the fetus begins to develop in the uterus. However, many women suffer from irregular periods, which can make it hard to correctly identify their actual fertile period. In addition, some medical conditions (such as endometriosis) may delay or prevent normal ovulation (egg formation). While there are many anecdotal natural remedies about foods that ‘help’ successful ovulation and conception, most of which do not really work. It will however help if you reduce processed or oily foods and eat fresh, green vegetables high in vitamins and essential nutrients.
In men, sterility can be identified as low sperm count or actual sterility, where the sperms are not healthy enough to fertilize the female ova. These are usually irreversible conditions, though some men can benefit from artificial fertilization techniques. In addition, certain lifestyle factors can cause short-term, preventable sterility. For example, prolonged heat or pressure on the testicles can damage sperms. Luckily, this can be avoided by wearing loose, comfortable inner wear and avoiding activities such as cycling for a few days. For both sexes, other factors that affect conception include stress, an improper diet, low fitness levels, alcohol, smoking, and drug abuse. Staying healthy and avoiding toxins would certainly help any couple if they have preventable sterility or fertility problems.