Infertility Overview

  • Infertility is a condition identified when a couple can’t conceive despite having regular unprotected sexual intercourse over a period of a year or more.
  • In approximately one third of cases, the issue resides with the male partner, in another third it resides with the female partner, and in the rest, both partners have issues or the cause isn’t known.

Causes of Infertility in Females

  • Common causes of infertility in females include problems with ovulation, structural problems in the uterus or fallopian tubes, and early onset of menopause.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that might disturb regular ovulation.
  • Early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency refers to the condition in which the ovaries stop functioning before normal age.
  • Problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes can prevent the egg from travelling from the ovary to the uterus, or womb, where fertilisation occurs.
  • Endometriosis is a condition where bits of the tissue that lines the womb (endometrium) start growing in other places, such as the ovaries which can negatively impact fertility.

Causes of Infertility in Males

  • Male infertility may be due to low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or blockages that prevent the delivery of sperm.
  • Illnesses, injuries, chronic health problems, lifestyle choices and other factors can also play a role in causing male infertility.

Infertility Treatments

  • There are several kinds of infertility treatments, the choice of which depends on the cause of infertility.
  • For women, this may involve stimulating ovulation with medication or performing minor surgery to remove blockages in the fallopian tubes.
  • Men may be recommended changes in lifestyle or medication to increase sperm production.
  • In certain cases, procedures such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or surrogacy might be considered.
  • IVF involves fertilising the egg with sperm outside the body before implanting it into the woman’s uterus.
  • Surrogacy involves another woman carrying and giving birth to the baby for the couple who want to have a child.

Impact on Physical and Mental Health

  • Infertility conditions can have a significant impact on the mental health of the affected individuals or couples, including feelings of depression, anxiety, or low self-esteem.
  • It’s important to speak with healthcare providers or mental health professionals about these feelings to seek appropriate support and treatment.