Common Causes of Infertility in Men and Women
There are many different male and female infertility causes that prevent a couple from being able to have a child. Medically speaking, a person is struggling with infertility if they have been having unprotected sex for over a year without conceiving or being able to carry a pregnancy to term. Being able to discover the cause of the infertility is essential to discovering a treatment for the condition. These are some of the most common causes of infertility.
Male Infertility Causes
Difficulty delivering sperm: In some cases, a man produces perfectly normal sperm in a reasonable number, yet his body struggles to actually deliver the sperm during intercourse. In many cases, this is due to a structural problem that blocks the glands leading from the testicles to the penis. Structural problems may be caused by a variety of issues, including cystic fibrosis, testicle injuries, or a vas deferens blockage. Trouble delivering sperm can also be due to recurring erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation that prevents a man from having intercourse successfully.
Abnormal sperm: If a man produces damaged sperm, the sperm may not be strong enough to travel to an egg and implant in it. Sperm abnormalities are typically caused by genetic defects, diabetes, sexually transmitted infections, or undescended testicles.
Diminished sperm production: A low sperm count is one of the most common male infertility causes. Even if the sperm are healthy, a man’s chances of conceiving are lowered if he does not produce a lot of sperm. There are many things that can cause a lowered sperm count, including cancer treatments, antibiotics, steroids, alcohol usage, pesticide exposure, tobacco usage, or excessive time in hot tubs. Men who are overweight and inactive also tend to have lower sperm counts.
Female Infertility Causes
Uterine problems: Many female infertility causes have to do with uterine abnormalities that make it impossible to carry a fetus to full term. This can include uterine fibroids, cervix abnormalities, a septate uterus, endometriosis, or scar tissue buildup. These problems may keep an egg from implanting properly, or they may make it difficult for the uterus to support the fetus.
Ovulation disorders: Anovulation occurs when something disrupts the normal ovulation cycle and keeps eggs from being released. This can be due to hormonal issues like hypothyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome. Women who are not at a healthy weight often have irregular periods and ovulation because weight abnormalities greatly influences hormone production. Being underweight and overweight can both cause anovulation. For no known reason, some otherwise healthy women may go through early menopause, so their ovaries stop working at a very young age.
Blocked fallopian tubes: If the fallopian tubes are blocked, it is impossible for an egg to reach the uterus following ovulation. Fallopian tube damage often occurs after pelvic inflammatory disease because all the inflammation associated with pelvic inflammatory disease causes scarring in the tiny fallopian tubes.
Medical disorders: There is a wide range of various medical conditions that can affect fertility. Women who have celiac disease, lupus, and other autoimmune conditions struggle to conceive. Genetic conditions like Fragile X syndrome and Turner syndrome also affect pregnancy outcomes.