Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”. A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep, and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.
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Get your fertility checked before or soon after marriage to avoid any surprises later, suggests an expert. Find out why it is important.
Couples may not prioritise fertility checks before or soon after marriage as they assume that conception will ultimately happen. They are not wrong in thinking before taking the next step. Technically if you are looking at conception, it is recommended for couples to have unprotected sex for a year before consulting a fertility expert. However, there can be many factors impacting your fertility and so it is always better to deal with it at the outset than discovering infertility after many years of marriage.
Infertility can take a major toll on your physical and mental health. In many cases, infertility can also become a lonely experience, leading to depression among couples dealing with it. This can disrupt relationships and even impact marriages and families. To avoid such issues in future, is it better to get your fertility checked before or soon after marriage?
Importance of early fertility testing
Both partners must know each other’s health status to avoid any surprises in future. You and your partner should get done the following tests:
* HIV test
* Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) tests
* Genetic test
* Ovary test
* Blood disorder test
* Blood group compatibility test (to know the Rh factor of both partners)
These tests can indicate whether the couple is physically and sexually healthy to conceive in future. Moreover, they also avoid the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), if both the partners are aware of them beforehand.
Also, late marriages are common nowadays as both men and women prefer to work for a career, achieve stability and then get married. If you and your partner are above the age of 30 years, fertility testing becomes more important. This is because a woman’s fertility starts declining rapidly in the 30s, affecting the quality and quantity of eggs. Therefore, the age factor can become a major cause of underlying health conditions, including the inability to conceive.
Infertility can impact mental health
When infertility comes as a surprise, years after marriage, it can severely impact the mental health of both partners. The thought of not being able to bear a child can cause depression, anxiety and even sexual dysfunction. Due to their inability to conceive, partners may feel incompetent and defective.
Since infertility is perceived as a major “problem” across different cultures and societies, it is better to know what are your future chances of having a child today itself. Since many couples wait till the late 30s to get pregnant, surprising infertility may cause distress. Therefore, knowing about your chances of getting pregnant now can make you psychologically and physically ready for fertility treatments like IVF, which can be exhaustive.
Fertility tests for women
Here are a few fertility tests that women must undergo soon after marriage:
* STDs testing
* Ultrasound to look for reproductive health issues like fibroids, ovarian cysts etc.
* Antral follicle count to know the number of eggs present in the ovaries
* Pap smear, which detects cervical cancer
* Tests for thyroid or hormonal problems
* Tests to check levels of a variety of hormones like progesterone, FSH, LH, androgen, prolactin etc.
If these tests show any indication of underlying problems, you might undergo some more invasive tests like diagnostic laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, etc.
Fertility tests for men
Men usually have to undergo only semen analysis for fertility testing by providing a semen sample to the lab. Some other tests may include:
* STD testing
* General physical exam
* Tests to check hormone levels like FSH, testosterone, LH, prolactin etc
* Ultrasound to check scrotum and seminal vesicles
Testicular biopsy and vasography may also indicate an underlying reproductive issue among males.
What if you or your partner are infertile?
If the fertility tests are indicative of any signs and symptoms of infertility, it will give you time to cope with the results and think about future measures. Coping also becomes an easy process if you get tested early in marriage.
In some cases, you can make efforts to increase your fertility by leading a good lifestyle and treating your current health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, which can cause some complications. But if your infertility is incurable, you can always opt for external assistance to conceive.
It is difficult for partners to cope with their infertility. Nowadays, steps are being taken to promote early fertility testing to avoid an impact on mental health, relationships, marriage, and physical health. Therefore, get tested before it gets too late!
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