Causes of Male and Female Infertility

causes of male and female infertility

Are you trying to have a baby but facing difficulties in conceiving? Are you unsure of what's causing your struggles?

At times, the journey to conceiving could be very uncertain and frustrating, however, please know that you are not alone. In fact, it is quite normal for couples to be unaware of the causes, since infertility could occur due to a range of reasons. For some couples, the health conditions of one or both partners could have influences on their ability to conceive. Whereas for others, infertility happens even as both partners are perfectly healthy. According to researches, about 15% of medical assessments lead to inconclusive results. Therefore, 15% of couples will end up not knowing the exact reasons for infertility. Having said that, you should still discuss fertility issues with your doctor, since this remains your best chance at identifying a possible cause.

Female Infertility

For women, infertility could occur due to a range of health conditions. While some of them have symptoms (i.e. abdomen cramps, painful intercourse, acne, irregular period, etc.), others do not. Generally, female infertility could become a concern after six months to a year of having unprotected and regular sex.

In terms of evaluation for diagnosis, women often undergo ultrasound tests, which are expected to reveal the structure of their uterus and ovaries. Health care professionals might also suggest hormone testing, as this could identify hormonal imbalance.

Causes of Female Infertility

These are some of the possible diagnosis for female infertility:

  • Ovulation and menstruation irregularity or ovarian insufficiency.
  • Problems in the fallopian tube, cervix, uterus or ovaries. For example blockages in fallopian tubes, enlarged ovaries or abnormalities in the uterus.
  • Endometriosis or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (P.C.O.S).
  • Exposure to radiation or chemotherapy from cancer treatments.
  • Lack of physical activity or excessive physical activity.

For specific diagnoses, there are treatment options available. For example, doctors can prescribe medications to improve the symptoms of irregular or missing ovulation. Surgical intervention is possible for those with endometriosis or blockages and abnormalities in the fallopian tubes. If your diagnoses are inconclusive or if you still have trouble conceiving after treatments, you could consider In-vitro fertilization (IVF) as an alternative option to parenthood.

Male Infertility

Male infertility is often in correlation with abnormal sperm production, which could be evaluated through semen analysis. This is an assessment of sperm motility, quantity, as well as their morphology. Doctors might also suggest hormone testing if they suspect abnormal production of testosterone or other hormones.

Causes of Male Infertility

The possible causes of male infertility are:

  • Varicocele condition. This causes enlarged veins inside the loose skin surrounding a man's testicles, which often results in low sperm count.
  • Ejaculation issues (i.e. injuries) which could influence the ejaculation of semen despite normal semen production.
  • Infections of reproductive organs, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
  • Imbalance of hormones that occurs as a result of abnormal thyroid or pituitary glands function.
  • Specific genetic conditions.
  • Frequent or excessive smoking and/or consumption of alcohol.
  • Exposure to radiation or heavy materials.

There are several treatment options available for male infertility, depending on their diagnosis. For example, Varicocele condition can be treated with surgical procedures. Male fertility may improve with certain lifestyle changes, like quit smoking or reduce alcohol consumption. Acupuncture is another option that could help improving sperm motility and morphology.

Overall, regardless of cause and diagnosis, it is a fact that infertility can put significant stress on those trying to conceive. Even though assistance from medical professionals and fertility clinics are important, couples and individuals also need emotional support from family and friends on their journey to parenthood.