Infertility in Men and Women and Its Causes

Infertility is happening more these days for a few reasons. Factors like stress, unhealthy diets, and certain lifestyle habits can affect our bodies. Also, as people wait longer to have kids, age can make it a bit harder to get pregnant. Sometimes, our environment and the chemicals we are exposed to can play a role too. But the good news is that doctors and experts are learning more and more about how to help people who want to have babies but are having trouble. So, while infertility is a challenge, there are ways to address it and improve the chances of having a family.

What is Infertility?

Infertility is a medical term that means a person or a couple has trouble having a baby, even after trying for a while. When a man’s sperm or a woman’s eggs have difficulty coming together to create a baby, or when a woman’s body has trouble supporting a pregnancy, it can lead to infertility.

In simpler words, infertility is when a person or a couple finds it hard to have a baby, even though they want to, because something is not working quite right in their bodies. It’s like having a puzzle with missing pieces; sometimes those missing pieces need some help to fit together and create a baby.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility can have various causes, which may affect either one partner or both. Here are some common causes of infertility for both men and women.

Causes of Infertility in Men

  • Low Sperm Count: Insufficient number of sperm in the semen.
  • Poor Sperm Motility: Sperm have trouble swimming to reach the egg.
  • Abnormal Sperm Shape: Sperm with irregular shapes may have difficulty fertilizing an egg.
  • Erectile Dysfunction: Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.
  • Varicocele: Enlarged veins in the testicles that can affect sperm production.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: Issues with hormone production that affect sperm production.
  • Genetic Factors: Certain genetic conditions can impact fertility.
  • Testicular Injury: Trauma to the testicles can affect sperm production.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol, drug use, and poor diet.
  • Infections: Infections such as sexually transmitted infections can harm sperm.
Cleveland Clinic (2022) YouTube. YouTube. Available at: (Accessed: 14 August 2023).

Causes of Infertility in Women

  • Ovulation Problems: Irregular or absent ovulation, where eggs aren’t released regularly.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder that can disrupt ovulation.
  • Fallopian Tube Blockages: Tubes that carry eggs can become blocked, preventing fertilization.
  • Uterine Issues: Conditions like fibroids, polyps, or structural abnormalities in the uterus.
  • Endometriosis: Tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, affecting fertility.
  • Age: Fertility decreases with age, the risk of chromosomal abnormalities increases, and the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40.
  • Weight: Being underweight or overweight can affect hormone levels and ovulation.
  • Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI):
  • Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol, stress, and poor diet.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infections that can cause scarring and damage to reproductive organs.
My Doctor – Kaiser Permanente (2014) YouTube. Available at: (Accessed: 14 August 2023).

Treatment of Infertility

The treatment of infertility varies based on the underlying causes and factors involved.

Treatment for Men

  • Lifestyle Changes: Similar to women, adopting a healthy lifestyle involves maintaining a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol, and managing stress.
  • Medications: Certain medications can improve sperm production, motility, and quality.
  • Surgery: Surgical procedures can correct issues like varicoceles or blockages in the reproductive tract.
  • Assisted Reproductive Techniques: Techniques like ICSI can be used to directly inject sperm into eggs during IVF.
  • Donor Sperm: If the male partner’s sperm quality is severely compromised, donor sperm can be used for fertilization.
  • Hormone Therapy: Hormones can be administered to address hormonal imbalances affecting sperm production.

Treatment for Women

  • Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol.
  • Ovulation Induction: Medications can be used to stimulate regular ovulation in women with ovulation problems or disorders like PCOS.
  • Surgery: Surgical procedures can help treat conditions such as fibroids, polyps, or blocked fallopian tubes.
  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a lab. The resulting embryos are then placed in the uterus.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Sperm is directly placed into the uterus during ovulation to increase the chances of fertilization.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): Used in conjunction with IVF, a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization.
  • Egg or Embryo Donation: Donor eggs or embryos can be used for women with diminished ovarian reserve.
  • Surrogacy: A surrogate carries the pregnancy for a woman who can’t conceive or carry a pregnancy to term.

It is important to note that the choice of treatment depends on the specific circumstances of each individual or couple. Consulting with a reproductive specialist or fertility doctor is crucial to determining the most appropriate treatment plan. They will conduct the necessary tests and assessments to identify the root causes of infertility and recommend tailored treatments accordingly.

Natural Remedies to Cure Infertility

While some herbs and natural remedies have been traditionally used to support reproductive health and fertility, it’s important to approach their use with caution. Natural remedies and herbs can have potential benefits, but they can also interact with medications or have unpredictable effects. Before using any herbs or supplements for fertility treatment, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist.

Here are some herbs that have been historically used for fertility, but remember to consult a professional before using them:

  1. Vitex (Chasteberry): It is believed to help regulate hormones and promote ovulation in women.
  2. Maca Root: It enhances fertility by supporting hormonal balance and boosting energy.
  3. Red Raspberry Leaf: It is often used to tone the uterus and support reproductive health in women.
  4. Black cohosh: Historically, it has been used to address hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities
  5. Dong Quai: Known as a “female ginseng,” it has been used in traditional medicine for women’s health.
  6. Ginseng: It is believed to improve sexual function and boost energy levels in both men and women.
  7. Ashwagandha: It is an adaptogen that may help manage stress and support hormonal balance.
  8. Tribulus Terrestris: It is sometimes used to support male fertility by promoting healthy sperm production.
  9. Saw Palmetto: It supports prostate health and male reproductive function.
  10. Ginkgo Biloba: Some believe it may improve blood flow to reproductive organs and support fertility.
  11. Cinnamon: It is known to help regulate blood sugar levels, which can impact fertility in some cases.
  12. Turmeric: Has anti-inflammatory properties and may have positive effects on reproductive health.
  13. Evening Primrose Oil: It is used to support cervical mucus production and hormone balance.
  14. Nettle Leaf: It is rich in nutrients and may be used to support overall reproductive health.

It is important to note that the choice of treatment depends on the specific circumstances of each individual or couple. Consulting with a reproductive specialist or fertility doctor is crucial to determining the most appropriate treatment plan. They will conduct the necessary tests and assessments to identify the root causes of infertility and recommend tailored treatments accordingly.


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