Infertility is a condition in which a couple has problems conceiving, or getting pregnant, after one year of regular sexual intercourse without using any birth control methods. Infertility can be caused by a problem with the man or the woman, or both.The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 8-10% of couples experience some form of infertility problem. Globally, at any point of time about 50-80 million people suffer from infertility. However, the incidence of infertility may vary from region to region. In France, 18% of couples of childbearing age said that they had difficulties in conceiving.
Causes of infertility can be found in about 90% of infertility cases, but despite extensive tests, about 10% of couples will never know why they cannot conceive. Between 10% and 30% of cases of infertility have more than one cause. Male or female infertility each account for about 30% to 40% of cases. In men, sperm defects (their quality and quantity) are usually responsible. Female infertility is more complex.
Ovulatory disorders and anatomical abnormalities such as damaged fallopian tubes are the most common culprits. Other less frequent causes include, for example, endometriosis, tuberculosis and hyperprolactinemia. Male factors can be divided into three main categories: Sperm production disorders affecting the quality and/or the quantity of sperm; anatomical obstructions; and other factors such as immunological disorders. Immunological or endocrine problems and failure of the testes to respond to the hormonal stimulation triggering sperm production account for a third of all cases of male infertility. However, in a great number of cases of male infertility is due to inadequate spermatogenesis (sperm production) or sperm defects, the origin of the problem still remains unexplained.
Factors leading to infertility
Not necessarily . The incidence of infertility in men and women is almost equal. Infertility is exclusively a female problem in 30-40% of the cases and exclusively a male problem in 10-30% of the cases. Problems common to both partners are diagnosed in 15-30% of infertile couples. In spite of thorough medical investigations, the causes of the fertility problem remain unexplained in only a minority of infertile couples (5-10%).
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