The main causes of infertility in men and women

Date Added: December 5, 2009

Author: Cecilia Silva

Infertility (also known as sterility) is the inability to conceive a child after, at least, a year of attempts. Infertility is not always a female problem. In 30% of cases infertility is due to female factors. In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the male. The remaining cases are triggered by a combination of male and female factors or by unidentified factors.
Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in females. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Irregular or absent menstrual periods can signal that a female is not ovulating normally. Less common causes of conception problems in females include plugged salpinges because of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or operation for an ectopic pregnancy, physical problems with the uterus, uterine fibroids.
A lot of things can affect the female inability to have a baby. They are age, strain, unhealthy diet, athletic training, being obese or underweight, chain smoking, substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), well-being problems that impair the hormonal balance.
At present more women conceive their first baby when they are in their 30s or 40s. Actually, about 20% of Americans are estimated to have their first baby after the age of 35. So, age is an increasingly common cause of conception problems. Almost 30% of couples where the woman is over 35 have reproduction problems.
The most common cause of male infertility is a varicocele – an abnormal enlargement of the vein in the scrotum that drains the testes. This may adversely impact upon sperm production. Some drugs can also cause sterility. Other causes of male infertility may include low sperm count, undescended testes, health problems. Men who smoke have a 13-17% lower sperm count that those non-smokers. High alcohol intake can considerably decrease the sperm count. Tight-fitting apparel and extended periods of sitting can bring on a drop in sperm count through excessive heating of the testes. Marijuana, cocaine and anabolic steroids all reduce the sperm count and badly influence motility. Sometimes the cause of male infertility is unknown. In these cases, there may be an underlying genetic problem.
Both males and females require some form of assisted conception if they fail to conceive a child naturally.