Infertility – A distressing problems in male or female

BY Dr. Sumeetkaur Mehta , MBBS, DNB Published on December 28, 2021


Infertility is a syndrome or disease related to male and female reproductive system defined as such that this condition of infertility occurs when a couple cannot conceive after having 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse without use of birth control. Worldwide 8% to 12% of couples experience fertility problems. And you don’t have to be scared as treatment is often available.

Causes of Infertility in men

In the male reproductive system, infertility is most frequently caused by problems in the discharge of semen, lack of sperms or low levels of sperms or abnormal shape which is known as morphology and movement (motility) of the sperm. Also male fertility starts to fall after 40 years.

Main factors which Causes the infertility in men

  •  Genetic factors: A man should have an x and y chromosome. If he has two X chromosomes and one Y chromosome, as in Klinefelter’s syndrome, the testicles will develop abnormally and there will be low testosterone and a low sperm count or no sperm.
  • Hypospadias: The urethral opening is under the penis, instead of its tip. This abnormality is usually surgically corrected in infancy. If the correction is not done, it may be harder for the sperm to get to the female’s cervix. Hypospadias affects about 1 in every 500 new-born boys.
  • Radiation & Chemo Therapy: Radiation can impair sperm production. Some types of Chemo may significantly reduce sperm count.
  • Anabolic steroids: Popular with bodybuilders and athletes, long-term use can seriously reduce sperm count and mobility.
  • Illegal drugs: Consumption of marijuana and cocaine can lower the sperm count.
  • Exposure to chemicals: Pesticides, for example, may increase the risk.
  • Excess alcohol consumption may lower male fertility
  • Overweight or obesity: This may reduce the chance of conceiving.
  • Mental stress: Stress can be a factor, especially if it leads to reduced sexual activity.

Causes of infertility in women

  •  The ability to conceive starts to fall around the age of 32 years
  • Smoking significantly increases the risk of infertility in both men and women, and it may undermine the effects of fertility treatment.
  • Consumption of alcohol can affect the chances of conceiving.
  • Overweight, Obesity and Cholesterolagain can be major reasons for the increase of the risk of infertility in women as well as men.
  • If an eating disorder leads to serious weight loss, fertility problems may arise.
  • Mental stress: This may affect female ovulation and male sperm production and can lead to reduced sexual activity.
  • Ovulation disorders appear to be the most common cause of infertility in women.
  • Problems in the uterus or fallopian tubes can prevent the egg from traveling from the ovary to the uterus, or womb.


Infertility can be of two types:

  •  Primary and
  • Secondary

Primary Infertility is when a couple has not conceived after trying for at least 12 months without using birth control.

Secondary infertility is when they have previously conceived but are no longer able to do it anymore.


If a couple does not achieve pregnancy after 12 months of trying sexual intercourse, most people will visit their doctor. However, if the woman is over 35 years old, the couple may opt to see a doctor earlier due to the time it takes for fertility testing and the decline in female fertility once a woman reaches her 30s.


Couples facing fertility problems and those desiring to have children at an older age now have more solutions available than ever before. The first baby conceived through IVF was born in 1978, and since then, over 5 million individuals have been born using this technique by 2014. Advancements in technology have made fertility treatments more accessible, with ongoing improvements in success rates and safety measures. While financing fertility treatment can be expensive, there are some programs available to assist with this.


Dr. Sumeetkaur Mehta , MBBS, DNB

Gynecology & Obstetrics

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