1 September 2022

Common Causes Of Infertility | Help With Fertility Issues

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It isn’t uncommon for people not to know they have fertility problems until they start trying for a baby. If you’ve been trying to conceive naturally without success for over 12 months, you may be considered infertile by fertility experts. Unfortunately, fertility issues are more common than people realise, however, there is hope as the majority of people can use assisted reproductive technology to start a family. 

If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for over a year, there is an equal chance that the cause of infertility could be a male factor problem or a female factor problem. Sometimes, there may even be a combination of both male and female factor problems. To give you an insight into some of the most common causes of infertility, below we have looked into factors that can impact female infertility and male infertility in more detail. 


Age has a huge impact on fertility, in particular female fertility, and as you get older, your chances of conceiving naturally decrease. A woman’s ovaries are affected by age in the same way all other organs and tissues are, and over time, the quantity and quality of eggs will decline, making it harder to get pregnant. For example, at the age of 35, women are half as fertile as they were at 25 and by the age of 40, they’re half as fertile as they were at 35. 

Although age doesn’t affect male fertility as much as it does female fertility, the quality of sperm does start to decline after the age of 45. When trying to have a baby later in life, the age of the male partner can also impact things such as miscarriage rates. 

Medical conditions

Lots of medical conditions can cause female infertility and male infertility. As you may expect, all medical conditions that impact the reproductive organs or cause hormone imbalances will affect fertility and often, increase the risk of infertility. 

Some common medical conditions that impact female fertility include; endometriosis, PCOS, tubal disease and fibroids. Medical conditions that impact male fertility include; undescended testes and STDs, and ultimately any conditions that affect sperm production or the transport process will make it much more difficult for men to conceive naturally. 

Lifestyle factors

To conceive naturally, a woman needs to have normal ovulation, tubes and uterus, and a man needs to have normal healthy sperm production. Health and lifestyle factors, such as; weight, BMI, smoking, excessive drinking and drugs can all harm the body’s reproductive system, resulting in it being more difficult to conceive naturally. 

Several lifestyle factors can have a big impact on sperm, in particular, and they can cause abnormalities in the sperm. Improving your unhealthy lifestyle and making some day-to-day changes may be able to help you conceive naturally. 

Unexplained infertility 

There isn’t always a scientific explanation for infertility and unexplained infertility can be incredibly frustrating. Even after extensive investigations, there may be no clear reason why you’re struggling to conceive and for 10 - 20% of couples that book fertility check-ups, no cause will be found for their infertility. Occasionally, men and women who have been able to conceive before in other relationships may struggle to conceive in the future too and secondary infertility can sometimes be caused by minor problems with both partners. 

Booking an appointment at a fertility clinic in Ireland

When you’re struggling to conceive naturally, it’s always beneficial to book a fertility test. During female investigations, blood tests and ultrasound scans will be used to identify any fertility issues and male investigations involve a comprehensive semen analysis to assess different parameters. Getting an overview of your current fertility status can be undeniably beneficial when you want to start a family and it will put you in the best position to decide whether particular fertility treatments can help to increase your chances of conception. 

Here at Sims IVF, we offer both male and female fertility tests, and our experienced team will help you learn more about your fertility. We have cared for thousands of patients over the years and our mission is to provide hope to anyone who needs help starting a family. Our fertility specialists will be by your side throughout your fertility journey and we will be mindful of your well-being throughout. 

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