What is infertility?

Not pleasing to the ear, it is even less so for our body and our desire for pregnancy: “infertility” is a frightening word, still borrowing from taboos and received ideas. However, even if it rhymes with difficulties, it does not mean “impossibility”. Today, progress is such that one can be infertile but still give birth. Smile, anything is possible!


Infertility, what is it?

Infertility is the difficulty in conceiving a baby, not to be confused with sterility, which is the inability to have a child. On the one hand, we therefore have an announcement of “the path will perhaps be a little longer”, incomparable with “this path is a dead end”. During a menstrual cycle, it is estimated for a couple - who makes love without contraception - at 20-25% the probability of pregnancy. Between a third and half of pregnancies occur after six months of attempts. Thus, infertility is defined - according to the WHO - as the inability of a sexually active couple without contraception to achieve pregnancy within one year. If it is still a subject that we do not like/dare to talk about, because it is intimate and often evokes a “weakness” in us, infertility nevertheless affects many people, men and women. The numbers speak for themselves:

> In France, 3.3 million men and women - i.e. one in four couples who have already had a parental project - are affected by infertility (1)

> In small kindergarten, there is on average one child conceived by ART in each class (1)

> In France in 2016, 6.9% of women who had a child had recourse to infertility treatment, compared to 5.7% in 2010 (2)

Infertility is therefore far from being an isolated problem! Don't feel alone if this is also your case. Solutions exist depending on the problem, do not hesitate to surround yourself with medical care quickly, to benefit from good advice and start the journey as soon as possible.


Infertility, whose fault is it?

As with many diseases or disorders, the causes of infertility can be multi-factorial: medical, genetic, environmental or even psychological. It can come from an anomaly in the man or the woman or from an incompatibility of the two sexes. Here are the most common causes of female infertility:

> Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) 

This syndrome, to which we have devoted an article > LINK ARTICLE, affects about one woman in 10. It is characterized by a hormonal imbalance which sometimes leads to the absence of ovulation, and it is the leading cause of infertility in young women.

> Ovarian failure

Women are born with a stock of follicles that decreases during their lifetime, until menopause. It does not evolve in the same way in all women. Female fertility is assumed to be optimal between about 18 and 31 years old, and the chances of reproduction become almost nil after 45 years old. First cause of infertility after 35 years, it can be solved by appealing to egg donation.

> A uterine abnormality

Malformation or absence of uterus, polyps or fibroids also lead to infertility.

> Endometriosis

This widespread pathology, but still little known about its extent, can cause obstruction of the tubes and disorders of embryonic implantation.

> The rest…

We must not neglect psychological factors such as stress or psychological blockages / traumas, which can also block the body, as well as smoking, weight problems or environmental factors. And of course, fecundability (the per-cycle probability of getting pregnant) decreases with age. From about age 38, the ovarian reserve becomes increasingly poor (1).

> ... and the mysteries!

In 10 to 25% of cases, infertility is not attributable to a specific defect of one of the two partners, and even remains unexplained (2). But it also means that you can get pregnant after months or years of hardship. How many women find themselves pregnant when they did not believe in it or no longer? There are things that cannot be explained, and that mean that we can always keep hope!

50 shades to boost your fertility

First, try to take stock of your ovulation (LINK ARTICLE) : we don't always know when it takes place exactly. So, put everything on your side to experiment at the RIGHT time! In the event of pathologies or metabolic disorders, contact specialists as soon as possible to find the right solutions. Treatments (especially hormonal in the case of PCOS) can be put in place to stimulate ovulation.

And of course the progress in terms of PMA (Medically Assisted Procreation) in recent years does not remedy the causes but helps greatly by circumventing certain infertility problems. In France, in 2015, 3.1% of children were born following MAP (2).

Finally, you can also choose to boost your metabolism by providing the right nutrients and vitamins in the necessary quantity (because even a balanced lifestyle and healthy meals on a daily basis are not always enough...). It is for this purpose that we have created Baby Boost , a food supplement based on plants and vitamins, a real fertility booster. We have created a formula that improves ovulation and fertility, rebalancing the cycle and improving the quality of oocytes. It is particularly beneficial for women with PCOS - thanks to myo-inotisol and an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory formulation. The little extra: men can also take Baby Boost on their side to increase their fertility and maximize the chances of pregnancy. And of course all the women planning a baby, who want to prepare their bodies as well as possible!

Infertility: free speech (delivered)

Women are often alone in their journey, because the question of infertility is a hidden subject, which is lived in silence and doubt. Fortunately, thanks to networks, podcasts, freedom of speech… the subject opens up, and sometimes even takes the microphone!

We share with you some of our favorites (and would love for you to share yours with us!):

Instagram accounts:

> @freyafertility : the first infertility prevention e-health service accessible to everyone. It allows you to take stock of your fertility and to be accompanied on a daily basis to protect and improve it.

> The Fertility Club, by @emancipees : Laurène Sindicic is the super host of this precious three-month program which helps to promote her fertility, in addition to a possible medical course. Good vibes guaranteed!

> @surlefiv : Instagram account created by Marie, who has been recounting her unfiltered IVF journey for years, between laughter, tears and hope, and provides valuable information. She is currently pregnant! Wonderful news, bringing hope!

> @alifert_biotechnology : online testing platform, accessible to the general public in France and around the world, to understand their infertility and thus save precious time in their parental project. This innovation is led by a team of hospital-university researchers from Sorbonne University, Paris Cité University and APHP.

> @odyssee.fertile : Célia supports and guides her patients through a multidisciplinary program and personalized support to help them live their conception journey more serenely.

> For those who want to take an interest in the subject with hindsight and humour, the Baby Fever series on the world of PMA has just landed on Netflix. The pitch? After inseminating herself one drunken day with her ex's sperm, a fertility doctor struggles to explain her pregnancy and win back her lost love.

> Finally, for those who want to go into the subject very seriously, the Montpellier University Hospital report is extremely complete and detailed.


Sources:

  • https://sante.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/rapport_sur_les_causes_d_infertilite.pd
  • Inserm September 2019 https://www.inserm.fr/dossier/infertilite/
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