Male and female infertility

10.09.2012 | By: Izabela M

Read about some of the factors of male and female infertility and make the lives of couples who want to conceive a child a misery...



male and female infertility

The inability to conceive can cause many unpleasant feelings. (PhotoXpress)


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Reasons for infertility are often the diseases of sexual organs

Half of the time couples are surprised by problems when conceiving due to female infertility. 30 percent of the cases are due to male infertility and the remaining 20 percent are couples that can’t conceive because of complex problems of both partners. There can be many complications in many areas with women and that’s why the percentage is higher. The most common reasons for infertility are the diseases of sexual organs. Medical tests can determine the cause with almost every couple, but each new test that doesn’t help takes away some hope. They perform hormonal tests on men, find out the vitality of sperms, they perform acrosome tests (they check if the sperms are capable of fertilising an egg) or a surgical research. With women they can perform hormonal tests, a postcoital test (problems of the cervix), a laparoscopy or a hysteroscopy.

Female infertility

Inability to ovulate

During ovulation an egg is usually lowered from one of the ovaries every month. Some women can’t ovulate or the process is disrupted. This can happen due to a hormonal imbalance and the maturation of the eggs can’t be stimulated because of this. The ovaries can also be affected by a disease, they can be abnormal or aren’t even there. Sometimes great stress can also disrupt ovulation. Problems with ovaries are treated with medication, which is successful 90 percent of the time.

Blockage of oviducts

Oviducts carry sperms to the egg and direct eggs into the uterus. When there’s a malfunction or scar on the oviducts, their function is disabled. The reason for the blockage is usually an inflammation of the pelvis, which is a consequence of a chlamydia infection. The problem can be treated in many ways, but the success of the treatment is relatively small (30 to 40 percent). The treatment methods are a surgical procedure and a procedure called tuboplasty.

The uterus and the cervix mucus

A smaller percentage of problems that lead to infertility is caused by the inability of the egg to implant itself into the uterus and the inability of sperms to get through the cervix and into the uterus. The reasons for the first problem are medical issues, like tumours, polyps, and inflammations. The reasons for the second problem are the lack of mucus, mucus that’s too thick or the cervix is secreting antibodies which are destroying the uterus.

Male infertility

Sperm count

One millilitre of semen usually contains from 60 to 100 million sperms. When the number of sperms in semen reduces drastically, the couple will most likely have problems conceiving. An analysis can also show the share of abnormal sperms.

Poor mobility of sperms

The ability to get pregnant is also reduced if the semen contains many sperms with poor mobility. In many cases such sperms can’t penetrate to the uterus. The reasons for poor mobility are hormonal diseases, smoking, mumps in adulthood, alcohol, various types of medication and injuries or diseases of the Opens internal link in current windowtesticles.

Treatment for male infertility

First you have to have your testicles examined and then have your semen analysed. The analysis is performed several times because the number of sperms differs from day to day. Blood samples are also usually taken in order to test the level of hormones. If it’s about a hormonal imbalance, the condition may be improved with medication. When it’s necessary, surgeons also perform the removal of the blockage in the spermatic duct.

Change your way of life!

To get rid of the factors which have a negative effect on fertility, we often have to look to our way of life as well. It’s definitely recommendable to give up long workdays and a stressful way of life, smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, underwear that’s too tight, staying in hot places and saunas for too long (especially men) and it’s also vital not to give in to eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia. The treatment of infertility brings out many feelings and frustrations, even anger, guilt, sadness and isolation. The biggest help for a couple is mutual support, encouragement and the thought that many other people are dealing with the same problem.


Read more about sex and sexuality in our Lover's Guide.