Infertility refers to a disease of the reproductive system characterized by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse in individual less than 35 years, and after 6 months in individuals more than 35 years of age. There are several causes of infertility. They are described below
Causes of male infertility
Abnormal sperm production or function due to undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems such as diabetes or infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, mumps or HIV. Enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele) can also affect the quality of sperm.
Problems with the delivery of sperm due to sexual problems, such as premature ejaculation; certain genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis; structural problems, such as a blockage in the testicle; or damage or injury to the reproductive organs.
Overexposure to certain environmental factors, such as pesticides, radiation, cigarette smoking, alcohol, marijuana or taking certain medications, heat, such as in saunas or hot tubs, can raise the core body temperature and may affect sperm production.
Damage related to cancer and its treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy. Treatment for cancer can impair sperm production, sometimes severely.
Causes of female infertility
Hormonal disorders due to diseases such as polycystic ovary syndrome, thryroid disease, mental stress, excessive exercise, eating disorders, injury or cancers of hormone producing organs.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities, including abnormalities with the opening of the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the shape of the uterus, uterine fibroids may rarely cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes. More often, fibroids interfere with implantation of the fertilized egg.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage, often due by inflammation (salpingitis) as a result of pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
Endometriosis, which occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus, may affect the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause), that is when the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40 years. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors are associated with early menopause, including immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome, radiation or chemotherapy treatment, and smoking.
Pelvic adhesions – which are bands of scar tissue that bind organs after pelvic infection, appendicitis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.