Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after at least one year of regular unprotected intercourse. This is different than sterility where the man or the woman are affected by a physical condition permanently preventing them to conceive.
Infertility concerns 15-20% of couples and the problem can be due to many factors, first of all woman’s age (although recent studies confirm man’s age plays a role too), drug and alcohol abuse, consumption of anabolic steroids, too much smoking, imbalanced weight (overweight or anorexia), sexual infections.
Statistically, woman’s age is the most important factor affecting fertility because after 35 years old, female’s reproductive capacity starts decreasing and at the age of 40 chances of getting pregnant drop to 10%.
Infertility at young ages can be due to pathologies like endometriosis ( where the tissue usually located in the uterus, grows outside of it), fallopian tube lesions, uterine and cervical (uterine neck) abnormality, chronic diseases, thyroid pathologies, myoma (a benign tumor composed of muscle tissue) and premature menopause.
Infertility in males, can mainly be caused by an anomaly in sperm production or quality (often due to genetics). Hormonal imbalances and viruses can have an effect, as well as alterations of the reproductive system and ejaculation, preventing the sperm from reaching the end of the vagina.
Schedule a gynecologic visit and a Pap test once a year as well as andrological visits.
Follow a healthy lifestyle and diet (for ex: the Mediterranean diet that includes, fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, etc), avoid any alcohol or smoking abuse.
Avoid or reduce stress triggers in order to keep a regular ovulating cycle.