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Feb 2023

Understanding the causes of infertility in men and women

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Feb 05, 2023

Infertility is the condition where a couple fails to conceive even after trying for 12 months with unprotected sex. Every one in ten women is facing problems in conceiving. Fertility issues can occur both in men and women.

Infertility can be primary as well as secondary. When a couple cannot get pregnant after having unprotected sex for around a year is defined as primary infertility. Bedises, when a couple has had conceived before but is no longer able to conceive, is defined as secondary infertility.

What causes infertility in men?

  • Low sperm quality: This is one of the main reasons for infertility in men. Low sperm quality and count can decrease the chance of fertilizing eggs.
  • Ejaculation disorder: Semen comes from the seminal vessel, prostate gland and other sex organs. But if the ejaculatory duct is blocked, then semen might ejaculate in the bladder.
  • Medical condition: A testicular injury, infection and surgery can cause low sperm count.
  • Hormonal disbalance: Hormonal disbalance affects the sperm. For example, hypogonadism can cause a lack of testosterone.
  • Genetic factor: genetic factor hugely affects a man’s fertility. For example, klinefelter syndrome is a rare genetic condition, in which a male has one Y chromosome and two X chromosomes. While a usually male only has one X and one Y chromosome. This disorder can cause abnormal development of testical, low sperm or no sperm count.

What causes infertility in women?

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: This is one the primary reasons for infertility in women. Polycystic ovary syndrome causes abnormal menstruations and ovulation issues. If you have PCOS and have issues regarding ovulation, then go for fertility tests for women. Also female fertility test cost is quite reasonable.
  • Thyroid disorders: Having underactive or overactive thyroid gland can cause hormonal imbalance, which can lead to ovulation problems.
  • Hyperprolactinemia: Prolactin is a hormone which is responsible for milk production in women. Hyperprolactinemia or high prolactin levels disrupt the secretion of follicle stimulating hormones, this is why breastfeeding women cannot get pregnant. If a woman is not pregnant or breastfeeding has high prolactin levels, it may result in infertility problems.
  • Low egg quality: Similar to low sperm quality, women having low egg quality can affect their ovulation. As a woman gets older, the egg quality and quantity also decreases with time.
  • Medical condition and surgery: Some conditions including AIDS and cancer can affect a woman’s ovulation. On the other hand, pelvic surgery can cause infertility.

Apart from all these reasons, there are certain risk factors of infertility as well. Age, obesity, chemotherapy, radiation, STIs, alcohol abuse, smoking and stress can hugely affect a couple's fertility. If your age is over 30 and trying to conceive throughout a year without protected sex, and still not getting any hope then consult with a doctor as soon as possible.