Infertility in Male & Female
Causes of infertility
When a couple is struggling with infertility, the most urgent question on their minds is why? Infertility as a diagnosis is determined by the length of time you have been attempting to get pregnant.
• Primary infertility is diagnosed when a couple has failed to conceive after a year of unprotected sex.
• Secondary infertility is diagnosed when a couple is unable to conceive again after previously having one or two children.
There are many medical conditions and diseases that can impact fertility in both men and women.
Common causes of male infertility
Most male infertility is caused by a problem with the sperm, though physical issues that affect the process of ejaculation may also be an impediment to conception. The most common fertility issues faced by men are:
Azoospermia - It contributes almost 40% infertility cases, Defined as the complete absence of sperm in the semen/ejaculate. It can mean that no sperm is produced at all, but more commonly it is caused by an obstruction or blockage in the vas deferens which prevents the sperm from reaching the ejaculate.
Oligospermia - Also known as a “low sperm count,” oligospermia means that few sperm cells are found in the ejaculate. Again, it may mean that few sperm are produced, or it could be caused by a partial blockage.
Congenital absence of the vas deferens- Sometimes the tubes that transport sperm to the penis for ejaculation fail to develop before birth. Men with this condition may be producing sperm in the testes, but because it has no way to travel to the ejaculate, pregnancy is prevented.
Varicocele - These enlarged varicose veins in the scrotum can prevent normal function in a number of ways, affecting sperm production, quality, and transport.
Common causes of Female infertility
There are many possible factors which can contribute to female infertility, and some women may deal with more than one at the same time. Some of the most common infertility issue women struggles with are:
Age - A woman’s age has a huge impact on her ability to achieve a healthy and successful baby. Some experts would consider it as single most important determining factor for non-pregnancy. Around age 35 a woman’s egg quality and quantity begin to decline rapidly. She may be ovulating and menstruating regularly, but she still may be incapable of getting or staying pregnant.
Menstruation problems/Infrequent ovulation - An irregular cycle can have a bad impact on a woman’s ability to conceive. Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary, and it must occur for there to be a chance of pregnancy. Less frequent ovulation means fewer chances to get pregnant.
Fallopian tube blockage/tubal disease - This issue is usually the result of scarring. It can also be caused by a pelvic infection or an STD such as Chlamydia, especially if the original infection was not properly treated. A history of an ectopic pregnancy or of surgeries such as an appendectomy or the removal of removal of ovarian cysts can also be a factor.
Fibroids or polyps -These are benign growths in the uterus. While generally harmless to the health of the woman, they can end up blocking the fallopian tubes. Fibroids can also lead to infertility by making it difficult for an embryo to implant in the uterus, and may cause repeated miscarriages of baby.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - This common hormonal imbalance affects 5 million women in world. It affects the development and release of eggs from the ovaries, and when left untreated it can result in irregular periods and a lack of ovulation.
Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) - This condition is founded in women 40 years old or younger whose ovaries no longer function properly. It may be caused by chromosomal defects, certain cancer treatments, or unknown causes. A woman dealing with POF is unable to ovulate/release eggs and could potentially lose her reproductive capabilities.