Chantelle Houghton was recently in the news after talking about the fact that she’s infertile, with only a 1% chance of conceiving naturally. Talking on the television about how she thought her boyfriend Alex Reid would leave her, she clearly found it a difficult subject to discuss.With medics unsure as to whether she was simply born with a low egg count, or that her egg loss has accelerated over the years, she was unsure whether to tell Alex the truth or not, but in the end she decided to. Should the pair want children in the future, they’ll now have to rely on fertility treatment.
It’s thought that eggs start to deteriorate early on, although this can vary amongst women. Women found to be infertile are deemed ‘old’ in infertility years once they reach 25-28, so in Chantelle’s case, she’s been told she’s got about three years left to keep trying, before there’s little hope left of her becoming pregnant naturally if a 1% chance leaves her with a glimmer of hope still. There is no single cause for infertility, as it can occur for a number of reasons. However, in around a third of cases, the infertility is due to the man, and in another third of cases it’s due to the women. Additionally, in 23% of infertility cases, the cause remains unknown.
This is a problem that can become worse the older the person gets. For example, when someone is 35, this is when their fertility starts to dramatically decrease. For women who are 38 or older, there is a 75% chance of getting pregnant after three years of unprotected sex, so it takes a lot longer to conceive than it would have previously taken.
It has been suggested that some factors could add to the reason someone’s infertile, such as:
Being overweight or obese– this puts added pressure on so many parts of the body.
Smoking– whether someone smokes three cigarettes a day or 20, smoking is likely to decrease any chance of getting pregnant.
Stress– this can unconsciously use a lot of someone’s energy and is unhealthy. Although easier said than done, it’s best to try not to get stressed out.
STI’s– specific STI’s such as Chlamydia can cause infertility in someone of any age.