Identifying the Common Causes of Infertility in Men and Women

Usually, both of you visit an infertility clinic whenever you notice a delay in having a child. After interacting with you and going through the reports of a few recommended tests, your doctor states that you or your partner have infertility, causing a delay in your parenthood. As a couple, you should be aware of it. Infertility is a complex condition that affects both men and women. It occurs due to a variety of factors.

Here are some common causes of infertility separately for men and women. 

Infertility in Women

Infertility in women is different from the one in men. Here are some common causes of female infertility:

  • Ovulatory Disorders – Ovulatory disorders are a common cause of infertility in women. Hormonal imbalances, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can disrupt the normal ovulation process, preventing the release of mature eggs from the ovaries.
  • Fallopian Tube Disorders – Fallopian tube disorders can also cause infertility in women. Conditions such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or previous pelvic surgeries can result in scarring and damage to the fallopian tubes, making it difficult for eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus for fertilisation.
  • Uterine Disorders – Uterine disorders, such as uterine fibroids or endometriosis, can also contribute to infertility. Uterine fibroids are benign growths in the uterus that can interfere with implantation of a fertilised egg, while endometriosis is a condition where the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus, leading to inflammation and scarring.
  • Age – Age plays a significant role in female fertility. As women age, the quality and quantity of their eggs decline, leading to reduced fertility. The decline in fertility becomes more significant after the age of 35.
  • Lifestyle Factors – Lifestyle factors, such as excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, poor nutrition, and high levels of stress, can also impact female fertility. These factors can disrupt hormonal balance and negatively affect reproductive health.

Infertility in Men

As males are totally different from females and have a different reproductive system, so causes of infertility in men are distinguished from the one in females. Here are some common causes of male infertility. 

  • Sperm Disorders – Sperm disorders are a common cause of male infertility. Low sperm count, poor sperm motility (movement), or abnormal sperm morphology (shape) can all contribute to difficulties in achieving pregnancy. These conditions can be caused by genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, lifestyle choices (such as smoking or drug use), or exposure to environmental toxins.
  • Varicocele – Varicocele is a condition where the veins in the scrotum are enlarged, leading to increased heat around the testicles. This can negatively affect sperm production and quality, leading to infertility.
  • Ejaculatory Disorders – Ejaculatory disorders, such as retrograde ejaculation, where sperm is ejaculated into the bladder instead of out of the penis, can also cause infertility in men.
  • Hormonal Imbalances – Hormonal imbalances, such as low levels of testosterone, can impact male fertility. Hormones play a crucial role in sperm production and maturation, and imbalances can disrupt this process.
  • Lifestyle Factors – Similar to women, lifestyle factors also play a role in male fertility. Poor nutrition, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, recreational drug use, and high levels of stress can all negatively impact male reproductive health.
  • Genetic Factors – Genetic factors can also contribute to male infertility. Certain genetic conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome or Y chromosome microdeletions, can result in reduced sperm production or other sperm abnormalities.

In some cases, infertility may be caused by a combination of factors in both men and women, making it even more challenging to identify the precise cause.

Diagnosing the underlying cause of infertility often requires a comprehensive evaluation by a fertility specialist, which may include a medical history review, physical examinations, hormonal testing, imaging studies, and other specialised tests. Your doctor will help you get rid of infertility and enjoy parenthood with personalised fertility treatments. 

Read More: Pregnancy Risks By Age Chart

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