Center for Reproductive and Fetal Medicine

MEN AND WOMEN INFERTILITY - CAUSES

Couple

MEN AND WOMEN INFERTILITY - CAUSES

Infertility is defined as the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after trying for at least a year.

About 40% of infertility cases are due to a problem with the man's sperm. About another 40% of infertility causes is due to a problem with the woman. Some of the causes include ovulation problems, fallopian tube problems, cervical problems and endometriosis. About 20% of infertility cases are due to problems in both men and women or to an unknown cause.

 

Male infertility

Infertility problems in men can be due to problems in their sperm. Some men may have low sperm count or low motility, while some sperm may have abnormal morphology. An abnormal sperm volume can also reduce the chances of successful fertilization.

There are many conditions that can negatively affect your sperm, such as having only one testicle, testicles that are smaller than normal or abnormally large veins (varicose veins) in the testicles. There are things that can affect sperm formation (spermatogenesis), including exposure to various toxins, alcohol abuse, drug use, anabolic steroid use, diabetes and thyroid or other endocrine problems. There are treatments that can help male infertility. A Reproductive Medicine specialist can improve your sperm motility by giving small doses of testosterone. You can get rid of varicose veins through surgery. There is also a procedure called intrauterine insemination (IUI) that can help. Intrauterine insemination is the direct injection of sperm into the inner cavity of the uterus (endometrium) and aims to increase the number of sperm introduced into the fallopian tubes, thus helping to fertilize the eggs. 

 

Female infertility

Ovulation problems are responsible for most cases of female infertility. If there are problems with ovulation, there may be no eggs for fertilization. Thyroid and pituitary problems can be responsible for ovulation problems.

 

Endometriosis

Endometriosis can lead to pelvic adhesions. Pelvic adhesions are the fibrous tissue (scars) that prevent sperm from reaching the egg or prevent fertilization. Pelvic adhesions can also block a fallopian tube. Hysterosalpingography is an X-ray test that can show if a fallopian tube is blocked. This examination perfectly illustrates both the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes, often giving immediate and substantive answers to the causes of female infertility.

There are also medications that can cure endometriosis. In addition, surgery may be required if there is an obstruction caused by pelvic adhesions.

 

Problems with the cervix

Problems with the cervix can also cause infertility. The cervix produces mucus, which helps transport sperm to the uterus. Occasionally, the mucus is very thick and prevents sperm from entering the uterus. There are some cases where there is a smaller amount of mucus due to injury that reduces the number of glands in the cervix. Also, if surgery or infection has caused scarring on the cervix, the opening in the cervix may become smaller, making it harder for sperm to enter. 

 

If you have questions about male and female infertility, call us at (+30) 2310 277 032 to make an appointment at the "Alexandros Traianos Center for Reproductive Medicine & Fetal Medicine" located at 2 Patr. Ioakeim Street, Thessaloniki.

 

 

* The content on this blog is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health care providers with questions you may have about medical conditions.

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FREQUENT QUESTIONS

The association of IVF drugs with cancer risk is a major concern for women enrolled in these programs. But the plethora of bibliographic reports collected from credible scientific studies and published in reputable medical journals worldwide are reassuring and do not confirm this concern.

Of course not. In about a third of cases, infertility is due to the woman (female factor), while in a third of cases, it is due to the man (male factor). The remaining one-third is due to both (both men and women) or even to unknown factors.

The quantity and quality of a man's sperm can be affected by his health and lifestyle. Some factors that can reduce the quantity and / or quality of sperm are:

  • the alcohol
  • drugs
  • environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
  • smoking
  • health problems
  • medicines
  • radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • the age

Success rates vary at each IVF Center. Very important factors are also the age of the woman, the levels of her hormones and of course the sperm of the husband. Rates generally range from 45% or slightly higher for women up to 35 years old.

Infertility is defined as the failure to conceive after one year (or 6 months, if it is a woman over 35) with normal, regular sexual intercourse. In other words, when a year passes without the woman becoming pregnant, the couple should consult their doctor to determine the cause of the pregnancy and then treat it. We must all, however, be aware and not forget that the age factor is the most critical for female fertility and that the individualized approach of each couple is the "golden key" that solves the problem.

The number of treatment cycles a woman can undergo is not specified. It is certain that in our country there are high level obstetricians-gynecologists and organized infertility treatment centers, which offer impeccable medical services at this level. If there are correct indications (eg ovaries that respond to stimulation therapy, good quality endometrium, etc.) the success rate -especially with the use of newer techniques and biotechnological drugs, which show increased bioactivity compared to conventional drugs from urine- totals approximately 65%-70% after 4 cycles of treatment.

At the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Dr. Traianos we offer egg / sperm cryopreservation services for those who have a personal or medical reason and need this service. We use the most modern vitrification technique in the freezing of sperm and eggs.

The collection of eggs takes 10-15 minutes, it is not painful, it is done under intoxication and after the end of the process you return to your activities.

In general, experts agree that the fact that a couple has already had a child can be considered evidence that there is no infertility problem in the first place. It is like a small test that has been done and proves that they "succeeded" at least once. On the other hand, we need to know that in the meantime things may have changed and a problem may have arisen (eg the man may have had some inflammation that affects the quality of his sperm or has mediated something that affects female fertility: an inflammation, a gynecological surgery, an abortion, etc.). In any case, if a reasonable period of time (one year) passes and a couple can not achieve a pregnancy, then he should with the help of his doctor investigate if there has been a problem that causes infertility.