Infertility is a problem that increasingly more couples are facing, about one in five couples having difficulty in conceiving a child. Infertility is defined as inability to conceive a child after one year of unprotected intercourse and its causes can be related to both men and women health aspects. Primary infertility is defined as no previous pregnancy in patient history and secondary infertility implies the existence of at least one pregnancy. The term sterility is different from infertility and is used when an effective therapy that can deal with the cause of infertility is not available.
The two partners equally share the conception failure causes:
- Female factor 30-40%
- Male factor 30-40%
- Combined factor 15 to 20%
- Idiopathic (no known cause) 2-15%
Approximately 70% of couples treated for infertility will conceive.
The Most Common Causes Of Infertility
The infertility causes can be very varied, based on independent or associated conditions, belonging to one or both partners. Some causes of infertility can not be detected or unknown disorders interact with this aspect of conception.
Causes of infertility
- Pelvic infections that interfere with the sexual organs, the most common effects being the formation of ductal clamps that affect the ductal tract or blockage of the fallopian tubes (constriction).
- Endometriosis, a condition represented by the presence of uterine tissue outside the uterus (eg fallopian tube) – a situation more common in women aged over 30 who are nulliparous (without any pregnancy in history).
- Ovarian Disease (ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian dystrophy, ovarian cancer) that lead to impossibility of forming of a normal egg, healthy, which can be fertilized.
- Congenital anomalies of the sexual organs (“T” shaped uterus)
- Diseases of the fallopian tubes, adnexitis (infection that reaches the ovary), congenital disorders, narrow fallopian tubes that do not allow the egg to reach the uterus, that are scared due to an infection with the same consequences on egg migration, which are unable to absorb the egg, or fallopian tubes which do not ensure the egg viability.
- Diseases of the uterus: congenital, structural disorders, womb infections, diseases of the cervix that do not allow penetration or migration of sperm, uterine fibroids, etc.
- Sexual dysfunction during intercourse (dyspareunia – pain during intercourse – or vaginismus), vaginitis, trichomoniasis etc.
- Menstrual cycle disorders: amenorrhea (lack of menstruation) or irregular menstruation
- Organic lesions of the central nervous system
- Hormonal disorders such as hyperprolactinemia
- Body weight – obesity seems to interfere with reproductive function
- Some chronic diseases.
- Some sexual dysfunctions (impotence, premature ejaculation or delayed ejaculation)
- Dysfunction in sperm production (quantity, mobility, structure, maturation).
- Varicose veins in the scrotum
- Infections of the reproductive organs
- Hormones dysfunction caused by mumps or drug use
- Certain chronic diseases that can cause reproductive disorders: tuberculosis, diabetes, etc
- Testicular diseases that cause their inflammation (orchitis), cysts, varicocele;
- Environmental factors: heat (eg. occupational exposure)
- Excessive smoking, more than two packs a day lowers sperm count and motility
- Toxic byproducts: lead, boric acid, ultrasound.
Men and woman common causes of infertility
- Gonorrhea, chlamydiosis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Drugs: methadone, heroin, etc
- Certain drugs that either interfere with hormone metabolism.