It is estimated that 1 in 8 couples around the world suffer from fertility problems. Fertility problems affect both men and women and can be a result of various causes, including age, lifestyle, and medical conditions. Fertility problems are not only a problem for older couples. Even if you are under the age of 35, you may encounter fertility-impacting issues.
There are many factors that can affect a couple’s ability to conceive. These factors include: age, stress, medical conditions, lifestyle habits (smoking and drinking), infections, and more. There is not one single cause of infertility that applies to all couples and it is important to explore the various causes of infertility.
Lots of factors can cause fertility problems, including:
- hormonal disorders (polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and problems with the thyroid or pituitary glands)
- physical disorders (obesity, anorexia nervosa or excessive exercise)
- disorders of the reproductive system (infections, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis or a low sperm count)
Infertility has many causes, including medical, hormonal, genetic, and environmental factors. It’s important to work with a doctor or specialist to find the cause and get the right treatment. However, there are other things that you can do to improve your fertility. For example, quitting smoking and drinking alcohol could have a positive impact on fertility.
When should I get help if I am struggling to fall pregnant?
If you have been trying for a baby for 1 to 2 years without success, see your GP for advice and they will refer you to a fertility specialist.
If you’re having trouble conceiving, talk to your doctor about what could be causing the problem – they may recommend a fertility evaluation.