What are the causes of infertility?

Health advice

To read the first part of this article, go to Infertility.

Pour lire la première partie du billet rendez-vous à L’infertilité.

Unfortunately, infertility is common. Compared to other mammals, humans are not the best when it comes to reproduction. Only 20% of couples will become pregnant after one month. So if you don’t become pregnant within a couple of months, don’t panic.

What causes infertility? In the past, fertility problems were often blamed on women, but today we know that both men and women can be the source of the issue. 30% of fertility issues are associated with men, and 40% women. 20% of cases are a combination of several factors between the partners, and 10% of the time, it’s impossible to identify the cause of infertility.

Men:

The most common problem found in men is associated with sperm. Either due to the sperms’ mobility, form quantity or quality. In some cases, sperm may be absent in the man’s ejaculate, not because he isn’t producing any but because the pathway is blocked.

Other reasons can include a sexually transmitted disease or a hormonal problem. That said, it is essential for the man to get screened when the couple is having difficulty reproducing which might be able to explain the problem.

Women:

Many reasons can help us understand why a woman can’t become pregnant.

A later age, when trying to conceive is an essential reason because we know success rates lower over time. For example, at 30, a woman has a 91% chance of conceiving, but by 40 only 53%. Today, North American women are having babies later in life than in the past. The average age for a first child is 30.2 today. Fertility diminishes quickly after 35, and even quicker after 37-38. A 38-year-old woman’s eggs are also 38, which explains why they are not as in shape and high performance as when they were 20. The woman’s advanced age has a direct impact on fertility due to the number of eggs available (ovarian reserve) and their lower quality. However, a woman can be fertile after 35!

There are other common reasons, including egg production or quality problems, irregular or absent cycles, polycystic ovaries leading to ovulation problems, sexually transmitted diseases. These can all impact the ability to become pregnant.

Additionally, some women will have fibromas, polyps, endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, hormonal problems or early menopause before 40. This doesn’t help with fertility.

Broader Reasons Affecting the Couple:

More broadly speaking, couples can have other problems that can explain the situation, including previous cancer treated with chemotherapy, surgery on reproductive organs or systems, chronic illnesses, diabetes, smoking, alcohol, or being over- or underweight.

By looking at all the potential causes of infertility, you will note that there are some that you can control to help reach the goal of becoming parents. Others will require different degrees of medical assistance. And unfortunately, some couples will never be able to give birth to a child.

To continue reading, go to How to Increase Your Chances of Conceiving.

Pour lire la suite, voir Quoi faire pour vous donner toutes les chances de concevoir?

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What are the causes of infertility?

Par Marie Fortier Temps de lecture: 2 min
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