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Thread: The Difference Between Impotence , Infertility and Sterility

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    Default The Difference Between Impotence , Infertility and Sterility



    Impotence: "Not tonight honey, I'm deflated"

    Woody Allen once said: "Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing." But if you're one of an estimated 150 million men worldwide who have impotence (or erectile dysfunction) you will know that sex is no laughing matter.

    So it's important to understand that you're not alone and that help is readily available.
    Erectile dysfunction, generally defined as an inability to sustain an erection strong enough to allow for sexual penetration, is caused by lack of proper blood flow or disturbance in neural transmissions to the penis. Erectile dysfunction medication can both restore blood flow and allow for proper functioning of the nervous system.

    Impotence, one of the most feared words for men, is the inability to have, or maintain, an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. Impotence is classified as either primary (never able to have intercourse, or secondary (had intercourse before dysfunction). Secondary dysfunction is the most common and can occur at any age and results from different causes. This is distinct from isolated episodes of not having or losing an erection which is a universal experience for men, and does not indicate erectile dysfunction.
    The causes can be a combination of physical and psychological factors. For example, impotence may be caused by a medical condition, such as diabetes, genital infection or physical stress such as flu, fatigue, alcohol. It can also reflect psychological issues such as performance fears, poor communication, adjusting to a new partner, or other kinds of emotional distress. Each of these can reduce sexual arousal and cause the loss of an erection.
    Performance fears can become self-fulfilling. Impotence can develop into a cycle where feelings of frustration, blame and lowered self esteem occur. These can result in the avoidance of sex or attempts to work harder to overcome the problem. These distract from intimacy and fun and can heighten tension in the relationship and ultimately exacerbate the problem.
    Solutions to impotence vary depending on the situation. For occasional impotence there are several alternatives.

    First it is important not to focus on the success or failure of particular sexual goals (intercourse). This helps to reduce the performance pressure.

    Second, being patient and focusing on communication and other sensual pleasures (eg., touch) may relax and improve the situation. It should be remembered that there is much more to sex that intercourse alone, so use your imagination!


    Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological causes of infertility, some which may be bypassed with medical intervention.

    Women who are fertile experience a natural period of fertility before and during ovulation, and they are naturally infertile during the rest of the menstrual cycle. Fertility awareness methods are used to discern when these changes occur by tracking changes in cervical mucus or basal body temperature.

    There are strict definitions of infertility used by many doctors. However, there are also similar terms, e.g. subfertility for a more benign condition and fecundity for the natural improbability to conceive. Infertility in a couple can be due to either the woman or the man, not necessarily both.


    Reproductive endocrinologists, the doctors specializing in infertility, consider a couple to be infertile if:

    • the couple has not conceived after 12 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is under the age of 34
    • the couple has not conceived after 6 months of contraceptive-free intercourse if the female is over the age of 35 (declining egg quality of females over the age of 35 account for the age-based discrepancy as when to seek medical intervention)
    • the female is incapable of carrying a pregnancy to term.

    A couple that has tried unsuccessfully to have a child for a year or more is said to be subfertile meaning less fertile than a typical couple. The couple's fecundability rate is approximately 3-5%. Many of its causes are the same as those of infertility. Such causes could be endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

    Primary vs. secondary infertility
    Couples with primary infertility have never been able to conceive, while, on the other hand, secondary infertility is difficulty conceiving after already having conceived (and either carried the pregnancy to term, or had a miscarriage). Technically, secondary infertility is not present if there has been a change of partners.

    Some women are infertile because their ovaries do not mature and release eggs. In this case synthetic FSH by injection or Clomid (Clomiphene citrate) via a pill can be given to stimulate follicles to mature in the ovaries.

    Generally, worldwide it is estimated that one in seven couples have problems conceiving, with the incidence similar in most countries independent of the level of the country's development.

    Fertility problems affect one in seven couples in the UK. Most couples (about 84 out of every 100) who have regular sexual intercourse (that is, every 2 to 3 days) and who do not use contraception will get pregnant within a year. About 92 out of 100 couples who are trying to get pregnant do so within 2 years.

    Women become less fertile as they get older. For women aged 35, about 94 out of every 100 who have regular unprotected sexual intercourse will get pregnant after 3 years of trying. For women aged 38, however, only 77 out of every 100 will do so. The effect of age upon men’s fertility is less clear.

    In people going forward for IVF in the UK, roughly half of fertility problems with a diagnosed cause are due to problems with the man, and about half due to problems with the woman. However, about one in five cases of infertility have no clear diagnosed cause.

    In Britain, male factor infertility accounts for 25% of infertile couples, while 25% remain unexplained. 50% are female causes with 25% being due to anovulation and 25% tubal problems/other.

    In Sweden, approximately 10% of couples are infertile. In approximately one third of these cases the man is the factor, in one third the woman is the factor and in the remaining third the infertility is a product of factors on both parts.


    Infertility is when a couple fails to conceive (get pregnant) despite having regular unprotected sex. Although one in seven couples has difficulty conceiving, the number of couples who are actually infertile is relatively low.

    About 85% of couples will conceive naturally within one year if they have regular unprotected sex. Of 100 couples trying to conceive naturally:

    •20 will conceive within one month,
    •70 will conceive within six months,
    •85 will conceive within one year,
    •90 will conceive within 18 months, and
    •95 will conceive within two years.

    Therefore, you will only be diagnosed as infertile if you have not managed to have a baby after two years of trying. If you have never conceived a child, it is known as primary infertility. Secondary infertility is when you have had one or more babies in the past, but you are having difficulty conceiving again.

    Some women get pregnant very quickly but, for others, it can take longer. Although there is not a cut off point to say when a couple is infertile, it is best to see your GP if you have not conceived after one year of trying.

    If you are a woman over the age of 35, or you are already aware that you may have fertility problems, then you should see your GP sooner. They may be able to check for common causes and suggest treatments that could help. If fertility problems are diagnosed, there are many different treatments and procedures that may be available to you.

    For couples who have been trying to conceive for more than three years, the chance of a pregnancy occurring within the next year is 25% or less.


    Sterility, also referred to as infertility, is defined as an inability to conceive a child after trying to do so for at least one year. Sterility can affect both men and women, with the cause involving either one or both parties.

    For a man to be fertile, the testicles must produce enough healthy sperm to be ejaculated effectively into the woman's vagina.

    For a woman to be fertile, the ovaries must release healthy eggs regularly. In addition, her reproductive tract must allow the eggs and sperm to pass into her fallopian tubes to become fertilized and implanted in the uterus.

    Female Sterility means infertility or in other words we can say, female suffering from female sterility has inability to produce offspring.

    Infertility in females refers to the incapacity to conceive and give birth to a living baby. Female sterility is a type of the following medical conditions in our database:

    •Uterus Conditions.
    •Ovary Conditions.
    •Fallopian Tube Conditions.
    Some females get sterility from a doctor themselves, in order to not have babies in future. It is done a tubal ligation, which is a surgery to "tie the tubes" (fallopian tubes) of a woman which causes permanent sterility by preventing transport of the egg (ovum) to the uterus, and by blocking the passage of sperm up the tube to the ovulating ovary where fertilization normally occurs.

    Difference Beteen Fertility and Sterility

    Infertility is the failure of a couple to conceive a pregnancy after trying to do so for at least one full year. In primary infertility, pregnancy has never occurred. In secondary infertility, one or both members of the couple have previously conceived, but are unable to conceive again after a full year of trying.

    Sterility is the inability to conceive a child under any circumstance and condition when couples cannot produce offspring as contrasted from fertilization or surgery which prevents conception or fertilization.

    Cystic Fibrosis

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of your mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and sex organs.

    Normally, mucus is watery. It keeps the linings of certain organs moist and prevents them from drying out or getting infected. But in CF, an abnormal gene causes mucus to become thick and sticky.

    The mucus builds up in your lungs and blocks the airways. This makes it easy for bacteria to grow and leads to repeated serious lung infections. Over time, these infections can cause serious damage to your lungs.

    The thick, sticky mucus can also block tubes, or ducts, in your pancreas. As a result, digestive enzymes that are produced by your pancreas cannot reach your small intestine. These enzymes help break down the food that you eat. Without them, your intestines cannot absorb fats and proteins fully.
    As a result:

    • Nutrients leave your body unused, and you can become malnourished.
    • Your stools become bulky.
    • You may not get enough vitamins A, D, E, and K.
    • You may have intestinal gas, a swollen belly, and pain or discomfort.

    The abnormal gene also causes your sweat to become extremely salty. As a result, when you perspire, your body loses large amounts of salt. This can upset the balance of minerals in your blood. The imbalance may cause you to have a heat emergency.

    CF can also cause infertility (mostly in men).
    The symptoms and severity of CF vary from person to person. Some people with CF have serious lung and digestive problems. Other people have more mild disease that doesn't show up until they are adolescents or young adults.

    Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death in people with CF.

    Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease. It is a recessive trait, or both parents must have the gene and pass it to their offspring. The responsible for cystic fibrosis is located on the long arm of chromosome seven. This gene encodes a protein nss 1480 amino acids called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) (Eigen & Loughlin 1994). Three bases are deleted and a phenylalanie is removed, 70% of the CF cases. The remaining cases of CF are determined by over 300 other mutations of this gene. The CFTR protein, which is, mutated normally forms a chloride channel. Therefore, more research is being done to see exactly how mutation causes a defect in the chloride transport system.

    CF is gentically transmitted as a mendelian recessive trait. About 80% of the gene mutations that cause cystic fibrosis (CF) have been identified. It is now known that the cystic fibrosis gene is on chromosome #7. It encodes a membrane-associated protein called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). The function of the CTFR is still unknown. However, it appears to be closely involved with chloride transport across the epithelial membranes. There are several different mutations of this gene that result in cystic fibrosis. The most common mutation is the absence of three base pairs in the DNA.
    This mutation is called delta F508. People with (CF) face many problems that include:

    Pulmonary problems:
    chronic infections of the lung
    progressive respiratory insufficiency
    Gastrointestinal problems:
    pancreatic insufficiency
    intestinal obstruction
    continuing deficiency of pancreatic enzymes
    biliary tract obstruction(blockage of the bile system)
    constriction of the common bile duct
    cirrhosis of the liver
    Heart problems:
    cor pulmonale
    Reproductive problems:
    98% infertility in males

    Key Points
    • Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of your mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses, and sex organs.

    • In CF, an abnormal gene called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene causes mucus to become thick and sticky. The mucus builds up in the lungs and blocks the airways, creating an environment that makes it easy for bacteria to grow. This leads to repeated serious lung infections that can damage your lungs.

    • The mucus can also block tubes, or ducts, in your pancreas so that the digestive enzymes it produces cannot reach the intestines where they are needed to break down food.

    • You have extremely salty sweat. When you perspire, your body loses large amounts of salt. This can upset the balance of minerals in your blood, which can cause a heat emergency.

    • The most common symptoms of CF are frequent coughing with phlegm, frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia, salty-tasting skin, dehydration, poor growth, and infertility, mostly in men.

    • The sweat test is the most common diagnostic test for CF. It measures the amount of salt in your sweat.

    • Other tests that can be used to help diagnose CF include a chest x ray, sinus

    • x ray, lung function tests, analysis of sputum cultures and/or stool samples, and genetic testing of a blood sample.

    • Prenatal genetic testing can help you find out if your baby is likely to have CF.

    • Antibiotics are the primary treatment for lung problems in CF. They treat airway infections. Other treatments include chest physical therapy, exercise, mucus-thinning drugs, and other medications to reduce inflammation in your airways and help open them up.

    • Lung transplantation is an option for some people with CF.

    • The digestive problems in people with CF can be managed with nutritional therapy, enemas, mucus-thinning drugs, and medications to reduce stomach acid.
    • Ongoing medical care from a team of health care providers who specialize in CF is important. Good self-management includes eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco smoke, exercising frequently, doing chest physical therapy every day, drinking lots of fluids, and washing your hands often to reduce your chances of infection.
    Last edited by trimurtulu; 02-24-2009 at 11:17 PM.

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