By Dr. Sonali N Tawde, Gynaecology
While getting pregnant may seem like a simple process, but it is fairly complex as it needs the physiological factors in both the partners to work just right. Let’s look at some of the common infertility problems that men and women might encounter:
Common Causes of Female Infertility-
1.Ovulation Disorders: These disorders are usually caused by hormonal disturbances and may affect the normal formation & release of eggs in the menstrual cycle. It may be caused due to polycystic ovary syndrome or other endocrine disorders.
2.Endometriosis:This is a condition where endometrial tissue that grows within the uterus, starts growing outside, it causes pain during menses, pain during intercourse as well as the inability to conceive.
3.Damaged or Blocked Fallopian Tube: This is also a common cause which blocks the passage of the eggs from the ovaries into the uterine cavity. The blocks may be caused by infections like genital tuberculosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases, sexually transmitted diseases or endometriosis.
4. Abnormalities with the Uterus or Cervix: Abnormal shape of the uterus including congenital abnormalities, issues with the cervical mucus which glide the sperm to the egg, or altered path due to uterine fibroids. These will result in the sperm not being able to reach the egg and thus result in fertilization failure.
5.Hormonal disturbances: Thyroid disorders, increased prolactin levels can cause infertility.
6.Thin endometrium: Due to previous infections causing endometritis (e.g.tuberculosis), past procedures like curettage, myomectomy can cause adhesions in endometrial cavity and affect implantation.
Common Causes of Male Infertility-
1.Addictions: Habits like smoking, tobacco, excessive alcohol drinking or drug abuse put them at risk of infertility.
2.Ejaculatory dysfunction: Even if sperm production is normal, problems such as retrograde ejaculation, premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction can lead to fertility issues.
3.Treatments related to other diseases: Certain medications such as chemotherapy for treatment of cancers or radiotherapy can lower sperm count.
4.Hormonal disturbances: Thyroid and other hormonal disorders, Diabetes may result in lower sperm count and thus infertility.
5.Occupational hazards: Like radiation exposure, working near high temperatures can lower the sperm count.
6.Azoospermia: Either due to ineffective production of sperms or due to block in passage of semen or due to hormonal disturbances, sperm count can be zero.
7.Varicocoele: Can lead to sub optimal semen report depending upon severity and duration of varicocoele.
8. Infections: It can lead to decreased motility and sperm count.