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What are the most common causes of infertility in men and women?

Infertility, a common concern for couples aspiring to parenthood, can arise from various factors impacting both men and women. These encompass hormonal irregularities, structural hindrances, lifestyle choices, and age-related effects. This overview highlights the fundamental causes that often underlie challenges in achieving conception.


  1. Ovulatory Disorders: Irregular ovulation or lack of ovulation is a common cause of female infertility. Conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and hypothalamic dysfunction can disrupt the normal ovulation process.

  2. Tubal Issues: Blockages or damage to the fallopian tubes can prevent the egg from reaching the sperm or the fertilized egg from traveling to the uterus for implantation. Pelvic inflammatory disease or previous surgeries can contribute to tubal issues.

  3. Endometriosis: This condition occurs when tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, leading to inflammation, pain, and adhesions. Endometriosis can affect fertility by impairing egg quality, implantation, and pelvic anatomy.


  1. Low Sperm Count: A low sperm count (oligospermia) or complete absence of sperm (azoospermia) can significantly impact male fertility. Causes include hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, and lifestyle choices.

  2. Poor Sperm Motility: Sperm need to be able to swim effectively to reach and fertilize an egg. Poor sperm motility (asthenospermia) can hinder this process and reduce the chances of successful conception.

  3. Abnormal Sperm Morphology: Sperm with abnormal shapes or structures (teratospermia) may have difficulty penetrating and fertilizing an egg.


  1. Age: Advanced age can affect fertility in both men and women. Women experience a decline in egg quality and quantity, while men may have reduced sperm quality as they age.

  2. Unhealthy Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and poor diet can all negatively impact fertility in both genders.

  3. Underlying Health Conditions: Chronic conditions like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and autoimmune diseases can affect fertility in both men and women.

  4. Stress and Psychological Factors: Chronic stress and psychological factors can disrupt hormonal balance and the reproductive process in both genders.

  5. Unexplained Infertility: In some cases, despite thorough testing, the cause of infertility remains unknown. This can be frustrating for couples seeking answers.

While the aforementioned factors represent common causes of infertility, it's important to acknowledge that this landscape is intricate, with various other contributors.


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