Pelvis | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Infertility (Symptom)
Infertility means not being able to get pregnant after one year of trying (or six months if a woman is 35 or older). Women who can get pregnant but are unable to stay pregnant may also be infertile.
Both women and men can have problems that cause infertility. About one-third of infertility cases are caused by women's problems. Another one third of fertility problems are due to the man. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by unknown problems.
There are many potential causes of infertility, and fertility problems can affect either the man or the woman. However, it is not always possible to identify the cause.
Common causes of infertility in women include lack of regular ovulation (the monthly release of an egg), blockage of the fallopian tubes and endometriosis, although in 25-30% of cases the cause is unexplained. In men, the most common cause is poor quality of semen (the fluid containing sperm that is ejaculated during sex).
For some people, leading a healthy lifestyle and staying up to date with regular health checks and tests may help to prevent infertility.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Types of fertility treatment available include: medical treatment for lack of regular ovulation; surgical procedures, such as treatment for endometriosis; assisted conception, which may be intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).