Infertility means not being able to become pregnant after a year of trying. If a woman can get pregnant but keeps having miscarriages or stillbirths, that’s also called infertility.
Infertility is fairly common. After one year of having unprotected sex, about 15 percent of couples are unable to get pregnant. About a third of the time, infertility can be traced to the woman. In another third of cases, it is because of the man. The rest of the time, it is because of both partners or no cause can be found.
There are treatments that are specifically for men or for women. Some involve both partners. Drugs or surgery are common treatments. Happily, many couples treated for infertility go on to have babies.
Infertility affects approximately one out of every six couples. An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple who are unable to conceive over the course of one year. When the problem lies with the male partner it is referred to as male infertility.Male infertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and male infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases.
Male infertility usually occurs because of sperm that are abnormal, because of inadequate numbers of sperm, or problems with ejaculation.
Sperm can be considered abnormal for two possible reasons: unusually short life span of the sperm and/or low mobility. Sperm abnormalities may be caused by one or more of the following:
Reasons for a low sperm count or lack of sperm include one or more of the following:
Male infertility can also occur when there are problems with ejaculation. Ejaculation problems may include any of the following:
Other causes of male infertility can include:
Potential male infertility will be assessed as part of a thorough physical examination. The examination will include a medical history regarding potential contributing factors.
Your healthcare provider may use one or more of the following tests to assess fertility:
Semen analysis is the most important part of male fertility testing. Some men find it more comfortable to do semen analysis testing in the privacy of their own homes. In-home testing kits are available.
Infertility is a condition that affects approximately one out of every six couples. An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over the course of one full year. When the cause of infertility exists within the female partner, it is referred to as female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and female infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases.
The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease.
Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:
Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:
Abnormal cervical mucus can also cause infertility. Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.