Last updated date: 18-Aug-2023

    Originally Written in English


    Infertility is a condition in which a couple can’t get pregnant after a year of regular unprotected intercourse. If you are a woman above the age of 35, then it shows that you've tried for six months and still haven’t conceived. 

    Infertility can also be identified in women who can conceive yet cannot carry the pregnancy to term. Primary infertility is a diagnosis for a woman who has never been able to conceive. On the other hand, secondary infertility is diagnosed when a woman has had at least one previous successful pregnancy. 

    Just like women, men can also suffer from infertility. Infertility can thus occur due to a problem with you or your partner, or it can be caused by a combination of circumstances that impede pregnancy. Luckily, there are a number of safe and efficient treatments that can dramatically increase your chances of conceiving.


    Symptoms of Infertility 

    The inability to conceive is the most common symptom of infertility. There might be no further symptoms at all. However, an infertile woman may experience irregular or nonexistent menstrual cycles at times. 

    In rare situations, males suffering from infertility may exhibit indicators of hormone imbalance, like changes in their hair growth and sexual function. With or without treatment, the majority of couples will finally be able to conceive.

    Unless you've been attempting to conceive for at least a year, you probably do not have to consult a physician regarding infertility. However, if a woman has any of the following symptoms, then she should see a doctor sooner: 

    • Is 35 years old or older and has been trying to get pregnant for at least six months or even more
    • Is above the age of 40
    • Experiences periods that are irregular or nonexistent
    • Experiences painful periods
    • Has known fertility issues
    • Has been diagnosed with either endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease
    • Has had several miscarriages
    • Has had cancer treatment

    If a man has the following symptoms, he should see a doctor:

    • A relatively low sperm count or any other sperm-related issues
    • A medical record of previous prostate, testicular, or sexual disorders
    • Has had a cancer treatment
    • Swelling of the scrotum or small testicles
    • Infertility among other members of the family


    Causes of Infertility 

    Infertility in females can occur due to various factors affecting or altering the normal biological processes, including ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. The possible infertility causes among the women can thus include the following; 

    • Ovulation disorders affecting egg release from the ovaries 
    • Blockage or damage of the fallopian tube 
    • Cervical or uterine anomalies 
    • Endometriosis 
    • Pelvic adhesion 
    • Primary ovarian insufficiency 
    • Cancer and the associated treatment 

    On the other hand, infertility in men can be associated with various conditions such as; 

    • Abnormal function or production of the sperm 
    • Sperm delivery issues 
    • Too much exposure to some environmental aspects 
    • Damage caused by cancer and the treatment 


    Risk Factors of Infertility 

    These factors can increase the chances of infertility in both men and women:

    • Age (above the age of 35 in women and over 40 in men).
    • Diabetes
    • Feeding disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia
    • Excessive alcohol consumption
    • Environment toxins exposure, including lead and pesticides
    • Excessive exercising
    • Cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy 
    • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
    • Smoking
    • Substance abuse
    • Stress
    • Weight issues such as being underweight or obese 


    Diagnosis of Infertility 

    Diagnosis of Infertility 

    Women's fertility is dependent on their ovaries producing healthy eggs. The reproductive system must let the egg move via the fallopian tubes and fertilize with sperm. The fertilized egg should then make its way to the uterus and implant itself within the lining. Female infertility tests attempt to see if any of the procedures are malfunctioning. 

    You might be subjected to a general physical examination, which may include a gynecological examination. Other tests for fertility may consist of the following:

    • Ovulation testing: This involves an infertility blood test to determine whether or not you are ovulating by measuring the levels of the hormone. 
    • Ovarian reserve testing: This test is used to figure out how many eggs are accessible for ovulation. Hormone testing early during the menstruation cycle is a common start for this strategy.
    • Hysterosalpingography: This is a procedure that examines your uterus and fallopian tubes for obstruction or any other issues. An x-ray is obtained after injecting the x-ray contrast into the uterus to check if the cavity is normal and if the fluid leaks out of the fallopian tubes.
    • Imaging tests: Ultrasound of the pelvis can be done to look for the uterine or ovarian disorder. A sonohysterogram, also known as a saline infusion sonogram, is sometimes used to view the inside of the uterus, which a standard ultrasound cannot. 

    In other cases, the gynecologist can recommend the following tests to diagnose infertility; 

    • Hysteroscopy to check for uterine disorders  
    • Laparoscopy, which evaluates the internal organs via a camera


    On the other hand, these tests can aid in the diagnosis of a male fertility issue:

    • Semen analysis: This test looks for sperm issues like poor motility and low sperm count. Some men may require a needle biopsy to retrieve sperm from their testicles for testing. For the majority of men, it is the only testing that will be necessary during their infertility treatment. 
    • Blood tests: Thyroid, testosterone, and other levels of the hormone can all be checked with a blood test. Chromosomal abnormalities are also diagnosed using genetic blood tests.
    • Scrotal ultrasound: A scrotal ultrasound can detect varicoceles or other male testicular issues.


    Infertility Treatment Options 

    Infertility Treatment Options 

    If you and your spouse have been attempting to conceive but have been unsuccessful, you might want to seek medical help. A number of factors can influence the sort of infertility treatment advised, including; 

    • If known, the underlying reason for infertility 
    • The duration you have been trying to become pregnant
    • Your ages
    • Both you and your partner's general health
    • You and your partner's unique preferences, after consultation on the available treatment choices 

    Treatment options for women:

    Some women require one or two treatments to increase their fertility rate. Others might require a combination of treatments in order to conceive. The common treatment options include; 

    • Fertility medications to stimulate ovulation

    Fertility medicines are the most common treatment for females who are unable to conceive because of ovulation problems. Ovulation is regulated or induced using these drugs. However, you should first consult your provider concerning your fertility medicine choices and the associated benefits or risks. 

    • Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

    Healthy sperm are inserted directly into the uterus during IUI when the ovary produces one or more eggs for fertilization. The timing of this technique may be coordinated with the regular menstrual cycle or using fertility drugs, based on the cause. 

    • Fertility restoration surgery

    Hysteroscopic surgery can be used to address uterine disorders like endometrial polyps, intrauterine scar tissue, a uterine septum, and certain fibroids. Nonetheless, pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, and bigger fibroids may necessitate laparoscopic surgery or abdominal incision surgery. 


    Treatment option for men:

    The infertility treatment for males with general sexual issues or a shortage of healthy sperm can include the following;

    • Lifestyle factors modification

    Improvements in lifestyle and some habits, such as quitting certain drugs, lowering or eliminating dangerous substances, increasing the frequency as well as the timing of sex, frequent exercising, and optimizing some aspects that might otherwise affect fertility, can be helpful. 

    • Medications

    Some medications can help increase sperm count and enhance the chances of successfully getting pregnant. These drugs can as well improve testicular function, particularly sperm production and their quality. 

    • Surgical procedure

    Surgery might be able to correct a sperm obstruction and restore fertility in some cases. In other circumstances, treating a varicocele surgically can boost the chances of conceiving. 

    • The retrieval of sperm

    When ejaculation is difficult, or there is no sperm in the ejaculated fluid, several approaches are used to collect sperm. They may also be utilized when assisted reproductive procedures are considered, but the sperm levels are low or aberrant.


    Complications of Infertility Treatment 

    Infertility treatment complications can include;

    Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): This is a condition in which the ovaries are enlarged and painful as a result of fertility medicines used to promote ovulation, especially when combined with ART. 

    Multiple pregnancies: Multiple pregnancies like twins, triplets, or even more is the most popular side effect of infertility treatment. The higher the number of fetuses, the greater the chance of premature labor or delivery and pregnancy disorders, including gestational diabetes. 

    Infection or bleeding: With assisted reproductive technology or reproductive surgery, there is a possibility of bleeding or infection, as with an invasive operation. 



    Infertility comes with a number of issues. It might have an impact on your relationships as well as your emotional well-being. On the other hand, treatments tend to be pricey and put a burden on your budget. But regardless of these, your provider can help you figure out what's causing your infertility. 

    Usually, this is the first step in determining the appropriate treatment to help you expand your family. Although most couples finally become pregnant, others opt for adoption. Your healthcare practitioner can, however, go over your alternatives with you.