Infertility affects around 1 in 7 couples who are trying to get pregnant. Here at The Evewell, we understand how difficult infertility can be to deal with and we are ready to help you and support you throughout your journey.
Read on to learn what the infertility definition is, what causes infertility and the main signs of infertility in women and men to help you better understand how you could increase your chances to get pregnant.
What is infertility? Infertility is defined as when a couple cannot conceive despite having regular unprotected sex after a year of trying. Read more about how to get pregnant naturally here.
Couples who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year without success should seek medical advice. As fertility decreases with age, women over the age of 35 should see a professional after six months – learn more about how many eggs do women have here.
For females, infertility may be caused by a range of factors, such as abnormalities of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus or endocrine system. The reproductive system is very complex and it takes only one small thing in a process of hundreds to make it difficult to conceive.
Read more about coping with infertility here.
There are two types of infertility:
– Primary infertility – difficulty conceiving for someone who has never conceived a child in the past;
– Secondary infertility – difficulty conceiving again after being pregnant once or more times in the past (read more about secondary infertility here).
As we now know the infertility meaning, it’s also important to understand what may cause it.
Infertility in women can be caused by problems with ovulation, the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries. Some problems prevent the egg from being released at all, while others stop an egg from being released during some cycles, but not all.
Ovulation problems can be caused by:
– Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – read more about PCOS here
– Thyroid problems
– Premature ovarian failure – when the ovaries stop working before the age of 40
Other causes of female infertility may be:
– Age – read more about having a baby 40 here
– Scarring from surgery
– Cervical mucus problems
– Endometriosis – learn more about endometriosis here
– Side effects of medicines or drugs, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chemotherapy, neuroleptic medicines or spironolactone.
When trying to conceive, it is equally important to look into the man’s fertility too, as, in 30% of infertility cases, the issue lies with the male partner. In the male reproductive system, infertility may be caused by:
Abnormal sperm function or quality – conditions that cause abnormal shape or movement of the sperm can negatively affect fertility;
Testicular failure to produce sperm;
Ejaculation problems, such as erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation;
Hormonal imbalance and low testosterone levels.
Read more about how to increase fertility in men here.
Environmental and lifestyle factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption or obesity can also affect fertility in both males and females – learn how weight can affect fertility here.
Many couples have no infertility symptoms and have no reason to suspect they are infertile until they start trying to get pregnant. Aside from having trouble conceiving, infertility symptoms can vary significantly from one person to another. The most common signs of infertility in women may include:
– Pain during sex
– Irregular menstrual cycle
– Dark or pale menstrual blood
– Painful and heavy periods
– Hormonal changes
– Underlying medical conditions such as endometriosis or PCOS.
Some couples get pregnant quickly, while for others it can take longer. Infertility is usually only diagnosed when a couple has not conceived successfully after a year of trying. If that is the case, you should seek medical advice on your fertility problems and consider treatments that could help.
The exact cause of infertility doesn’t get found in about 20-30% of couples, which is also known as unexplained infertility.
Infertility issues affect many couples and are more common than people think. Luckily, there is a range of well-researched infertility treatments to treat what is causing fertility problems and can help you conceive, such as:
– Fertility drugs to boost ovulation, also known as Ovulation Induction
– Surgical procedures
– Assisted conception such as intrauintrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Please see the full list of fertility services we offer here.
Here at The Evewell, we only do the necessary tests to understand our patients’ fertility issues and provide bespoke treatment plans for the least invasive route to pregnancy. If you have any concerns or are experiencing any infertility symptoms, please get in touch with us to see how we can help, whether that’s a consultation with one of our doctors to guide you through the treatment process, or putting you in touch with Fertility counsellors. You can contact us by either emailing us at email@example.com or giving us a call on 020 3974 0950.