What does fertility mean
The word fertility, defines the ability that can possess any living being to produce offspring.
In this way, all living beings have as main objective to continue existence, that is why, they have all been given with the ability to reproduce and procreate from the proper processes of fertilization to beings equal to themselves.
When something or someone has the ability to reproduce or achieve to produce in abundance, it receives the characteristic of fertile. Therefore, this term can be applied with people, animals or land.
In humans, fertility is something we’re all supposed to be counting on. The purpose of this is that we, as well as animals and plants, can maintain the species through continuous reproduction between generations.
Fertility is present when two individuals of different sex combine eggs (from the female) with sperm (from the male) and, from this combination, a new human being is formed that will grow in the womb of the woman approximately nine months before birth.
In female fertility, there are various sexual organs that must be healthy, without any anomaly: the uterus, fallopian tubes and functional ovaries, absence of hormonal abnormalities and menstrual cycles.
In men, fertility involves the production of spermatozoa in sufficient quantity and quality and, of course, the ability to ejaculate.
There are many circumstances that affect the fertility of men and women. Age and health are the most essential factors: the human being is fertile only in a period of life, not when he is born or when he grows old.
Fertility is multifactorial, that is, it is influenced by various factors (in addition to the aforementioned), such as, for example, psychological state, quality of life, health in general, food, intake of certain medications, and others.
This is why the fertility of a single person is rarely mentioned, but rather the fertility of the couple. We talk about infertility when a couple has frequent sex but cannot conceive a pregnancy.
The average time to conceive is 4 months, although it could be longer even if the reproductive capacity is intact.
A study on infertility can be performed after 18 to 24 months of regular intercourse without achieving a conception. In this case, a series of complementary exams are initiated.
Infertility is different from sterility, which refers to the inability of a person to procreate, while infertility is the impossibility of ending gestation with the birth of a healthy child. This difference is not only conceptual because the studies destined to recognize the causes and treatments for their solution are totally different.
Several disorders of the organism, too, can make a person infertile and cannot reproduce.
Usually, due to this latter circumstance, the idea of fertility is often associated with women and, historically, many civilizations and societies have placed as a mythical female figure the gift of fertility.
For example, in ancient Crete, the vestal goddesses were fertility-goddesses, responsible for ensuring that both human beings and soils also had that capacity.
Having said that, it is important to emphasize that people, very commonly can present problems of infertility that prevent reproducing the specie.
In this sense, human beings are perhaps the one who most suffer from this situation because in many cases the decision to have a baby is something very desired, and infertility can become the most important and painful obstacle or difficulty of all.
Luckily, many medical options exist today that seek to solve this situation from different treatments.
One of them is In Vitro fertilization, for example, which involves obtaining the ovules and the spermatozoa separately for their subsequent combination, in stable domains and much more prone to fertilization than in the organisms of those who suffer from this deficiency.
Other circumstances that are associated with culture, although they do not impede reproduction (and, therefore, do not cause infertility), can affect the reproductive capacity. For example, taboos with respect to sexuality, marriage conditions, or even work obligations that violate fertility.
The term fertility can also be used to refer to soils that are rich in nutrients and microorganisms, which make it possible for plantations to be stronger, healthier and can have better quality.
From the agricultural point of view, a fertile soil is one that can provide appropriate amounts of nutrients for the growth of plants. This means, a higher yield and quality of the crop.
In the case of soil, the definition of fertility is related to the nutrients that can be found in the soil. For natural reasons, some lands are much more fertile than others.
In cases where there is no good fertility in the soil, man can get involved and add fertilizer and nutrients to make the plants grow more easily.
For the soil to produce plants and be fertile, it must have certain conditions which depends on several factors:
- Availability of water: Soils that don’t have water, as in deserts, are unable to grow plants because of the lack of this essential element.
Water quality is also significant. If the water is salty it will only let plants grow with high resistance to salt.
- The useful soil thickness: refers to the layer of loose materials, i.e. horizons O, A and B. The lack of horizons O or A means that the soils are poor in organic matter and, therefore, have low fertility.
- The amount of organic matter present: Organic matter or humus is vital for the fertility of soils.
- Living soil organisms: Living soil organisms play a very important role in the transformation of organic matter. Their presence is indispensable for the fertility of the soil.
When the soil is contaminated by excess of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, living organisms are reduced or die, which affects fertility.
- The ability to store nutrients contained in water: This capacity is known as the absorption force.
The colloids of the soil have the greatest capacity, to which clays and humus belong first. Thanks to their electrical charge, these colloids can store primordial mineral compounds for plants.
La definición de fertilidad (Spanish version)