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Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. It affects about 1 in 6 Australian couples of reproductive age.


Causes of infertility involve male, female or a combination of factors. In 40% of couples the cause of infertility is attributed to a sperm factor, in another 40% the cause is found within the female reproductive system, and a third will have a combination of male and female factors.  When no cause is identified, this is unexplained infertility.


An assessment is very important. Causes are likely to be :


  • Ovulatory Disorders

  • Endometriosis

  • Pelvic  Surgery, Infections, Adhesions

  • Tubal Blockage

  • Endocrinological abnormalities

    • Hyperprolactinaemia

    • Uncontrolled Diabetes

    • Thyroid abnormalities

  •  Uterine Abnormalities

  •  Autoimmune causes

    • Inherited Thrombophilia

    • Antiphospholipid Syndrome

    • Coeliac Disease

  • Genetic Factors

  •  Lifestyle Factors

    • Smoking

    • Obesity

    • Caffeine Consumption

    • Alcohol Use

  •  Unexplained


A sperm test is mandatory and if the sperm is normal with no antibodies then generally the male is healthy. Causes are likely to be


  • Testicular Disease

    • Congenital

    • Genetic

    • Cryptorchidism

    • Testicular cancer

    • Varicocoeles

  • Post-Testicular Defects

    • Epididymis Abnormalities

    • Vas Deferens Abnormalities

    • Defective Ejaculation

  • Hypothalamic Pituitary Disease

    • Congenital Causes

    • Tumors

    • Endocrinological abnormalities: Hypothyroid, Hyperprolactinemia

    • Dugs

    • Systemic Illness

    • Androgen Excess

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