There are 2 types of infertility:
- Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year having sex without using birth control methods
- Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been able to get pregnant at least once, but now are
Causes in menThe following are common causes of infertility in men.
Semen and sperm
- Low sperm count: The man ejaculates a low number of sperm. A sperm count of under 15 million is considered low. Around one third of couples have difficulty conceiving due to a low sperm count.
- Low sperm mobility (motility): The sperm cannot “swim” as well as they should to reach the egg.
- Abnormal sperm: The sperm may have an unusual shape, making it harder to move and fertilize an egg.
- Birth defects
- Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation
- Exposure to high heat for prolonged periods
- Heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine
- Hormone imbalance
- Medicines such as cimetidine, spironolactone, and nitrofurantoin
- Older age
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Scarring from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), injury, or surgery
- Toxins in the environment
- Vasectomy or failure of vasectomy reversal
- History of testicular infection from mumps
Causes in women
- A fertilized egg or embryo does not survive once it attaches to the lining of the womb (uterus).
- The fertilized egg does not attach to the lining of the uterus.
- The eggs cannot move from the ovaries to the womb.
- The ovaries have problems producing eggs.
- Autoimmune disorders, such as antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)
- Birth defects that affect the reproductive tract
- Cancer or tumor
- Clotting disorders
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Exercising too much
- Eating disorders or poor nutrition
- Growths (such as fibroids or polyps) in the uterus and cervix
- Medicines such as chemotherapy drugs
- Hormone imbalances
- Being overweight or underweight
- Older age
- Ovarian cysts and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic infection resulting in scarring or swelling of fallopian tubes (hydrosalpinx) or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Scarring from sexually transmitted infection, abdominal surgery or endometriosis
- Surgery to prevent pregnancy (tubal ligation) or failure of tubal ligation reversal (reanastomosis)
- Thyroid disease