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Infertility - Causes

In men

A problem known as varicocele that causes the veins on the testicle of a man to become extremely large, which consequently affects the number and shape of sperms, is a common cause of infertility in men. Other possible causes such as genetic defects or health problems such as diabetes that can alter the ability of a man to produce sperms can lead to infertility. Some injuries or damage to the reproductive system can block the sperms as well. Factors that can affect the health or number of sperms include –

  • Medications
  • Smoking
  • Extreme consumption of alcohol
  • Age
  • Environmental toxins such as pesticides
  • Health problems like kidney disease or hormone problems
  • Radiation treatment or chemotherapy for cancer

In women

A majority of fertility problems in women are triggered due to hindrance in the process of ovulation. Irregular or absent menstrual periods indicate that the woman is unable to ovulate normally. A hormonal imbalance problem known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) interferes with normal ovulation and is reported to be the most frequent cause of female infertility. Another disorder known as primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), which causes the woman’s ovaries to stop functioning in a normal manner before she turns 40, also leads to infertility.

The other causes of infertility include physical problems with the uterus, blockage in the fallopian tubes, and deposition of masses of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus. The factors that can alter a woman’s ability to get pregnant include –

  • Stress
  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Extreme consumption of alcohol
  • Poor diet
  • Athletic training
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Disorders affecting hormone levels

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