Infertility Causes - Dr Natasha Andreadis

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Infertility Causes

What causes infertility?

Many people assume that successful conception is largely due to the female factors, however it is now known that males and females contribute equally to infertility. For this reason, it is vital to explore both female and male infertility causes within a couple needing assistance with fertility.

What causes female infertility?

There are many causes of female infertility. Causes can include, but are not limited to, poor ovarian function through conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, premature ovarian insufficiency, diminished ovarian reserve and irregular periods or amenorrhea.

Tubal patency refers to the function of the fallopian tubes or more specifically whether the fallopian tubes are open, blocked, or swollen. A history of particular sexually transmitted infections or pelvic infections, abdominal surgery, a previously ruptured appendix and endometriosis can all contribute to tubal occlusions. Fibroids in the uterus can also contribute to fertility problems.

Additionally, female fertility can be affected by smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, amenorrhea, excessive weight, weight loss and increased age.

What causes male infertility?

Similarly, there are many causes of male infertility. A semen analysis is usually undertaken to help determine the cause.

Conditions that may contribute to an abnormal semen analysis are varied. They include varicoceles, a condition where the veins in a man’s testicles are enlarged and cause overheating. This can affect both the number of sperm as well as the shape or morphology of the sperm.

Other medical conditions including diabetes, cystic fibrosis, infection, testicular failure, trauma or exposure to chemotherapy, radiation or environmental toxins like pesticides and lead are also potential male infertility causes.

Lifestyle and general health also play a part in male fertility. Heavy alcohol consumption or illicit drug use, supplementation of testosterone and use of anabolic steroids and smoking are also factors that can contribute to male infertility.

Links have also been made between fertility, metabolic factors and the overconsumption of food. While the full impact of the hormonal effects of obesity are yet to be fully revealed, there is emerging evidence that male infertility may in some cases be heavily correlated with obesity.

What can cause recurrent miscarriage?

Along with difficulties conceiving, recurrent miscarriage can also be a barrier to successful full term pregnancy.

Many conditions in both the male and female partner are associated with recurrent miscarriage.

Chromosomal or genetic abnormalities in both the sperm and the egg are common causes. Sometimes the male or female partner themselves may have a slight genetic irregularity, which is passed on to the offspring in a more severe form, resulting in miscarriage.

Advanced maternal age and uterine inflammation or irregularity can also contribute to recurrent miscarriage.



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