A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Infertility: Infertility means you cannot make a baby (conceive). Infertility is grouped into two categories:
  • Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse).
  • Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been pregnant at least once but never again.
A wide range of physical and emotional factors can cause infertility.  Infertility may be due to problems in the woman, man or both. Female infertility may occur when:
  • A fertilized egg or embryo does not survive once it sticks to the lining of the womb (uterus)
  • The fertilized egg does not attach to the lining of the uterus
  • The eggs cannot move from the ovaries to the womb
  • The ovaries have problems producing eggs
Female infertility may be caused by cancer, clotting disorders, diabetes, growths (such as fibroids or polyps) in the uterus and cervix, birth defects that affect the reproductive tract, excessive exercising, eating disorders or poor nutrition, use of certain medications, including chemotherapy drugs, drinking too much alcohol, obesity and  old age.

Male infertility may be due to a decrease in sperm count, smoking, birth defects, being in high heat for prolonged periods, heavy use of alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine, too little or too much hormones, infection, older age, cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation, and scarring from sexually transmitted diseases, injury or surgery.

The main symptom of infertility is the inability to become pregnant. Specific symptoms depend on what is causing the infertility.

If you have fertility problems you may wish to consider private treatment. This can be very expensive, and there is no guarantee it will be successful. It is important to choose a private clinic carefully. You can ask your doctor for advice, and you should make sure you choose a clinic that is licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

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