Common Fertility Problems
Infertility is the inability to get pregnant and have a child. It is a very common problem, with an estimated 15 – 20% of couples experiencing fertility problems at some stage of their reproductive life. Infertility can be absolutely devastating and can take a huge emotional (and sometimes financial) toll on a couple.
Infertility versus subfertility
For some couples infertility is ‘absolute’. This means that getting pregnant will be impossible without using Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) at a specialist fertility clinic.
Absolute infertility is usually the result of conditions that aren’t able to be treated, such as blocked fallopian tubes in the female partner or zero sperm count caused by genetic conditions in the male partner.
Approximately 5% of the population is considered to have absolute infertility.
For other couples however, natural conception is possible but chances are reduced for various reasons. This is a much more common scenario and in these cases, the term ‘subfertility’ can be used, rather than ‘infertility’.
Causes of fertility problems
Fertility problems can be caused by a number of different factors. These include poor egg or sperm quality, low sperm count, ovulation problems, blocked fallopian tubes, problems with the uterus, inadequate cervical mucus, endometriosis and PCOS.
Some fertility problems are due to the male partner only, some to the female partner only, some are due to a combination of factors from both partners and some are due to reasons that are unknown (unexplained infertility). These can be broken down as follows:
Some common causes of subfertility are listed below. Follow the links to find out more about these conditions and what you can do to improve your chances of conception.