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Infertility Awareness

Overview of Reproductive Health Disorders That Can Lead to Infertility 

Overview of Reproductive Health Disorders That Can Lead to Infertility 

Infertility can be difficult to deal with, not just for you but also for your partner. And without the right consultation and treatment, it could lead to stress and even impact your marital relationship in the worst-case scenario. It is important to understand that infertility can be due to reproductive disorders in one or both partners. The good news is that there are multiple ways to treat infertility so that you can fulfill your dream of being a parent. But first, you need to understand the reasons for infertility in women and men. 

Reasons for Infertility in Women 

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) 

PCOS/PCOD may inhibit the production of eggs or adversely impact their quality, affecting your reproductive health. The condition may occur due to: 

  • Chronic low-grade inflammation 
  • Androgen overproduction 
  • Insulin resistance 

Symptoms that may indicate reproductive diseases in females are:  

  • Irregular periods 
  • Extreme abdominal pain 
  • Poor libido 
  • Hirsutism  


In endometriosis, the tissue that lines the uterine wall grows outside the uterus. It can extend to around ovaries, fallopian tubes, bowels, and even the bladder. The “misplaced tissue” ultimately affects your reproductive health. A common early sign is unusual pain in the abdomen, lower back or pelvic area. However, it often goes unchecked and is diagnosed only after you fail to conceive naturally.  

Uterine Fibroids 

These are non-cancerous tumours that grow in the womb. Unfortunately, the risk of fibroids is higher among Asian and African women. Primary indicators of this are: 

  • Painful periods 
  • Frequent urination 
  • Painful sex 
  • Multiple miscarriages 
  • Persistent lower back pain 

Reasons for Infertility in Men 


Enlargement of veins in the scrotum may cause a disorder of the male reproductive system. This can affect sperm quality and cause testicular problems. Its causes include: 

  • Hormonal problems 
  • Diabetes or other chronic health conditions 
  • Chlamydia 
  • Gonorrhea 
  • Mumps 
  • HIV 
  • Genetic defects 

Undescended testicles may also indicate reproductive disorders in men. However, this is not a concrete diagnosis for poor sperm quality. 


This condition occurs when the male body produces low testosterone levels. This could hinder the proper development of male reproductive organs during and after puberty. It results in the following reasons for infertility in men

  • Sperm quality degradation 
  • Muscle wasting 
  • Abnormal genitalia 
  • Enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Osteoporosis. 

Obstructive Azoospermia (OA) 

This is the absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate. It is a common reason for infertility in men and can be due to obstructions in the: 

  • Epididymis 
  • Vas deferens 
  • Ejaculatory duct 

OA usually does not present any symptoms, until the couple tries to get pregnant. 

Diagnostic Approaches for Reproductive Health Disorders 

Your healthcare provider can diagnose diseases and disorders of the reproductive system based on the presented infertility symptoms and certain tests. 

Methods to Diagnose Reproductive Diseases in Females 

  • Pelvic exam 
  • Blood tests 
  • Transvaginal ultrasound 
  • Hysteroscopy 
  • Saline sonohysterogram (SIS) 
  • Sono hysterosalpingogram (HSG)  
  • X-ray hysterosalpingogram (HSG) 
  • Genetic Profile 

Methods to Diagnose the Reasons for Infertility in Men 

  • Scrotal ultrasound 
  • Blood tests 
  • Semen analysis 
  • Testicular biopsy 
  • Hormone profile 
  • Genetic testing 

Management and Treatment Options 

The best way to ensure infertility prevention is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and consult a healthcare professional as soon as you observe any symptoms. This helps identify reproductive disorders. With the knowledge of reasons for infertility in men and women, your doctor can put you on infertility treatments. Common fertility treatment options are: 

  • Lifestyle changes 
  • Improvements in diet  
  • Abstinence from smoking, drinking, or drug use for one or both partners 


  • Hormonal therapy for either or both partners 
  • Erectile or testicular dysfunction treatments for men 


  • Removal of uterine fibroids, scar tissue from previous miscarriage, or polyps 
  • Elimination of blockages from the male reproductive tract 

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) 

  • IVF: The egg is fertilized externally before being implanted in the uterus.  
  • IUI: Also known as artificial insemination, here specially prepared sperm is placed directly in the uterus. 
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): Here, the egg is fertlized by the sperm under laboratory condition, where the sperm is directly injected into the ovum. 
  • Assisted hatching: The embryo is “hatched” by creating a small crack in its zona pellucida or the plasma membrane. 

Prevention of Infertility and Early Intervention 

To successfully get pregnant, regular health screenings to diagnose reproductive issues at the earliest are important. If you are planning to start a family, consult a healthcare professional to learn about pro-pregnancy practices, such as dietary and lifestyle changes, stress reduction, etc. For couples above the age of 35 years, a good practice is to get fertility tests done and start with the necessary processes to improve fertility. 


Infertility may affect the mental health of one or more partners. In addition to adopting an active lifestyle and proper nutrition habits, remain aware of the symptoms of reproductive disorders. The identification of infertility symptoms early and starting fertility treatments can increase the chances of pregnancy. With technological advancements, there are multiple assisted reproductive treatments that can help you with pregnancy if all else fails. 

FAQs on Infertility 

Q: Can health problems cause infertility? 

A: Yes, health problems can cause infertility. Various reproductive health disorders, such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and uterine fibroids in women, can lead to infertility. In men, conditions like varicocele, hypogonadism, and obstructive azoospermia are common causes. These health issues can affect the production and quality of eggs or sperm, thereby impacting reproductive health. It is essential to diagnose and treat these disorders promptly to enhance the chances of conception. 

Q: Can infertility be cured? 

A: Infertility can often be treated, though the success of treatment depends on the underlying cause. Many reproductive health disorders that lead to infertility can be managed with lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) such as IVF, IUI, and ICSI offer additional options for couples struggling with infertility. While not all cases of infertility can be completely cured, many treatments can significantly improve the chances of achieving pregnancy. 

Q: How do I check if I am fertile? 

A: To check if you are fertile, you should consult a healthcare professional who can recommend a variety of diagnostic tests based on your symptoms and medical history. For women, this may include pelvic exams, blood tests, transvaginal ultrasounds, and hysteroscopies. For men, common tests include scrotal ultrasounds, semen analysis, and blood tests. These tests help identify any reproductive health disorders that may be affecting fertility. Regular health screenings and early diagnosis can increase the likelihood of successful treatment and conception. 

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