What Causes Infertility

The causes of infertility differ in males and females, which is quite obvious. Infertility is defined as a failure to conceive a child despite having unprotected sex on frequent occasions for more than a year. This happens due to some issues with the reproductive system of one or both partners. Despite trying several times, the couple may fail to conceive, which can leave them disappointed and frustrated.

There are some common lifestyle factors that can impact the ability to conceive among both males and females. These factors include weight, age, smoking, drug abuse, and alcohol intoxication. They can be controlled and the ability to conceive can be restored. Now let us look at the reasons why males and females experience failure with conception.   

Reasons for infertility among males

Some common factors that contribute to male infertility and make it difficult for them to impregnate their partner are given below:

Sperm disorders

  • Most of the time, infertility issues in males stem from sperm-related disorders. Sperm health is extremely important for conception. Sperm is considered completely healthy when it is matured, perfectly shaped, and has high motility so that it can swim to the egg and get it fertilized. Sperms that are immature, oddly shaped, or unable to swim can lead to conception failure. 
  • Low sperm count can be an issue in some males, which occurs due to hormonal problems. It can also be attributed to kidney disorders, infections, genetics, or lifestyle choices that lower the number of sperms in the seminal fluid.   

Structural problems

When the ducts that connect the reproductive organs obstruct and gets blocked, the sperm may not get passed to the urethra in order to get ejected. This causes erection failure, which makes conception impossible. The ducts or the genital tracts may get clogged after some infections such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or after undergoing surgical procedures.   

Sexual dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is an inability to attain or sustain erections. When the erection does not happen, the individual will not be able to eject seminal fluid, which is why fertilization does not happen. Also, males with ejaculatory disorders like premature ejaculation may also face difficulties with conception.   

Genetic disorders

Some males may develop disorders related to chromosomes, which leads to the abnormal development of their reproductive organs.

Most of these defects can be corrected with medical assistance. The doctor will examine the condition and identify the problems. Based on analysis they will suggest appropriate treatment corresponding to the issue.  

Reasons for infertility among females

Some females may experience some complications in pregnancy after the age of 35. They remain fertile until the age of 50 or around the late 40s. The factors that cause infertility among females are given below:

  • Ovulation disorders

Ovulation is the process of the meeting of sperm with the ovum, which is the egg. The egg gets fertilized only after contact with the sperm. But females with ovulation-related disorders may experience menstruation problems. The egg may not get released from the follicle, which can happen due to the abnormal growth of the follicle. When the egg is not released, fertilization does not take place, thereby leading to infertility.  

  • Fallopian tube damage

Pelvic inflammatory disease among some females can affect the fallopian tube and block its passage. This disease can happen due to some sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Damage to the fallopian can also happen because of endometriosis, which can lead to abnormal growth of endometrial tissue in the fallopian tube, which contributes to fallopian tube damage.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOs)

Females having PCOs may fail to get their monthly periods and as a result, they cannot conceive. In PCOs, the egg may fail to get released from the follicle. This happens because the follicle does not mature and burst to release the egg. As the egg is not released, the fertilization does not happen.

  • Uterine and cervical abnormalitie

The growth and development of some non-cancerous tumors, called uterine fibroids can lead to cervical abnormalities. The growth and development of tumors in the uterine walls can block the fallopian tube and prevent the meeting of egg and sperm. It also prevents the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine lining, thereby affecting conception.

  • Endometriosis

In the case of endometriosis, the tissues that normally line the uterus in other areas of the pelvis, including ovaries, fallopian tubes, and intestines may develop abnormal tissue growth. This development of abnormal tissue can affect the fertilized egg’s ability to get implanted in the uterine wall. 

  • Abnormal cervical mucus

The cervix produces a fluid, which is called cervical mucus. The thickness and volume of cervical mucus change according to hormonal fluctuations. Sometimes, the mucus may turn into poor quality, and it may not become clear and thinner to make it easier for the sperm to swim all the way to the egg and fertilize it thereafter. This can affect fertilization.

Most of these defects can be corrected with the help of treatments that can fix fertility problems. Reproductive endocrinologists are the healthcare professionals that can specifically help address fertility issues and increase the couple’s chances of conception. It is necessary to see an endocrinologist, that will treat the abnormalities that prevent pregnancy.

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