According to the WHO, Infertility is the inability to conceive a child. A couple may be considered infertile if, after two years of regular sexual intercourse, without contraception, the woman has not become pregnant (and there is no other reason, such as breastfeeding or postpartum amenorrhea).
The two kinds of infertility:
Primary Infertility: When the couple in question has never has never been able to conceive.
Secondary Infertility: The failure to conceive following a previous pregnancy.
Infertility is a widespread problem, and is perhaps, more common than you think it is. A 2012 report by the World Health Organization revealed that about 15% of the couples in reproductive ages are infertile, worldwide. That’s a lot of people.
Causes of Infertility:
Now, there are several causes of infertility.
In females: Some of the most common causes of infertility include
- Tubal blockage
- Ovulation problems
- Hormonal imbalance
- Certain medications, mainly chemotherapeutic drugs
- Thyroid disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
Other factors that can play a part in female infertility include:
- Age – after the age of 35, fertility in women declines sharply
- Gynaecological problems such as previous miscarriages or ectopic pregnancy
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Diabetes, epilepsy, bowel diseases, and other systemic medical conditions
- Lifestyle problems such as stress, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, excessive exercise, being underweight
In males: The most notable causes of infertility are
- Decrease in sperm count
- Heavy smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol and cocaine
- Hormonal imbalance
- Retrograde ejaculation
Other factors that may play a part in infertility include:
- Inflammation of the testes, known as orchitis
- History of any infection that caused scarring and blocking of tubes within the epididymis as it joins the vas deferens
- Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery – although, research has now pointed to drugs which can help treat infertility after cancer treatment
- Surgeries such as those to correct hernia, undescended testes, or twisted testicles
- Lifestyle problems such as obesity, diabetes, stress, or alcohol/drug addiction