Causes of Infertility

How Common is Infertility

It is estimated that one in seven couples in Britain trying for a child have difficulty conceiving. Around about 30% of infertility cases are attributed to female factors and 30% to male factors.  20% are due to combined male and female factors and 20% of cases remain unexplained.

Age and Fertility

One of the commonest reasons behind a difficulty in starting a family is advancing age. People still feel that they have not yet reached middle age when they, especially women, start to hit the fertility limitations sometimes described as the biological clock. Fertility drops significantly when a woman reaches her mid to late thirties. It is thought that, in evolutionary terms, this is to allow her to survive long enough to raise her family. Modern medicine, hygiene, nutrition and lifestyles have all extended our life expectancy but our fertile years have remained unchanged.

When is the Right Time to Try for Pregnancy

The right time to have sexual intercourse to achieve pregnancy is at the time of ovulation. You can buy ovulation testing kits from your local pharmacy to check this but as eggs survive for up to a day after ovulation, and sperm can live for up to 2 days, you do not need to be too accurate to have a chance.

When to Consult a Fertility Specialist

If you have been trying long enough without success, if you have a known or suspected problem, or if you are older and are concerned that your probability of conceiving is reducing, you should have a consultation with a fertility specialist.

Click here for more detail on the causes of female infertility

Click here for more detail on the causes of male infertility