Causes of Infertility: Male and Female Infertility Causes

Causes of Infertility: Male and Female Infertility Causes

A time comes in every couple’s life when they wish to take the next step and plan to become parents. That is what makes them complete. From a couple to a family! …Yes it’s true. With every first baby born, a new mum and a new father are born too. Your life takes a big turn and suddenly brings you a lot of joy. You suddenly feel satisfied and complete in life.

Unfortunately, not all couples are blessed with kids when they wish to conceive. But this is not the end of the world; infertility is very rare to be permanent.

Infertility is said to be when a couple is unable to conceive after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. This is when you can seek your medical practitioner’s attention and get to know your chances of becoming a parent easily.

Causes of Infertility

Factors that may lead to infertility are not restricted up to the women but male factors are equally important and may cause inability to have a child. We will describe the male and female factors and their chances of occurring in man and woman in percentages:

Causes of Male Infertility

Defective sperm production

The most important predictors of sperms are its motility, quality of sperm motility, the concentration of motile sperms, total motile sperms and sperm morphology. A normal sperm count is 40 million to 300 million per ml sperms that are effective to achieve pregnancy.

Here are few terms used when male has more or less sperm count:

Oligospermia: when the sperm count is less than 20 million per ml

Severe oligospermia: when the sperm count is less than 5 million in total specimen

Azoospermia: absence of sperms

Morphology of sperms means the shape of the sperm. It is important to have a normal shape which is oval head and a tail. Other than this may cause the penetration of sperm improper.

Normal Seminal Analysis
Volume More than 2 ml
Sperm Concentration More than 20 million per ml
Total Sperm Count 40-300 million
Motility More than 50%
Morphology More than 30% with normal morphology

If a man has abnormal results he may be asked by his GP for an examination of his genitalia and a history would be taken. A history may tell an exposure to heat, chemicals or chemotherapy that may effect his ejaculation or penetration. Examination of man’s genitals is very important .The size of his testicles is evaluated and scrotum is palpated to detect problems like varicocele that may result in infertility.

Men with oligospermia and varicocele may be treated and may regain better chances of making a baby but men with azoospermia or severe oligospemia may be further investigated to sort out the cause of infertility example testicular failure.

Azoospermia or absence of sperms is an absolute barrier to conception and severe oligospermia has very few chances of making a baby and they have an option of donor insemination whereas men with oligospermia may be given medications or hormones for example testosterone that would improve his chances of being fertile and having a baby.

Causes of Female Infertility

Ovulation Factors

An ovulation is obvious in women with amenorrhea and can be present in women with normal menstrual periods. Ovulation day is important to know to raise your fertility chances and get pregnant easily. Ovulation is the release of egg from the ovaries. Ovulation is the 14th day of menstrual cycle, assuming the average 28 day cycle, taking 1st day of menses as day 1.

You may be able to measure your ovulation day by measuring a hormone Luteinizing hormone (LH) which is at its peak during ovulation. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) may result in infertility and may also present with acne, weight gain, high sugar levels and irregular menstrual cycle. Medications are available for the treatment of these conditions only under doctor’s guidance which may be helpful to relieve your symptoms along with increasing chances of getting pregnant.

Tubal Factors

Fallopian tube can be narrowed or blocked by adhesions due to caesarean section, or any intestinal surgery or a very common cause can be Fibroid which is a mass that is dependent on hormones and surgery is its only treatment as it may result in scarring of the uterus and blocking the tube with its increasing size. An Ultrasound is used to detect the abnormalities of uterus.

Cervical Hostility

Cervix is normally lubricated with secretions (mucus) which are released by hormones such as estrogen and progesterone which help in motility of sperm through the cervical opening upto the fallopian tube where female egg is waiting to meet the sperm. It is excluded by a test called Postcoital test. Cervical hostility can be compromised by some bacterial infection called Bacterial vaginosis which may be treated with antibacterial and keeping hygiene.

Postcoital Test

A post coital test is taken after a couple had intercourse and the woman lies on her back to retain all the sperms in her cervix for about 20 mins. And around 8-12 hours later doctors comes in and takes a specimen from the woman’s cervix to determine the strength of penetration of the mucus by actively moving sperm and their numbers per field.

Female factors are best treated accordingly and have many chances to become pregnant and be called a mum soon.