Primary And Secondary Infertility: Causes Of Infertility

Infertility is diagnosed when a couple has been trying to conceive for one year without sucess. To better understand the difference between primary and secondary infertility, defining them will help:

Primary And Secondary Infertility

  • Primary – this type of infertility is when a couple has never been able to conceive.
  • Secondary – The couple is presently having difficulties to conceive but has children.

Causes of Infertility

As compared to men, women have a complex reproductive system and therefore there are more reasons for the infertility in women.

Female Infertility Causes

  • Hormone problems – these may cause anovulation or the absence of production of matured egg cell.
  • Scarred or injured ovaries – this may be brought about by surgeries near it. When the ovaries are damaged, maturation of the egg cells can be altered.
  • Premature menopause – a rare and unexplained phenomenon where women begins the stage of menopause at an earlier age.
  • Problems with the follicle – the sac that surrounds each egg cell that nourishes it until it matures is called follicle. Conditions like ‘œunruptured follicle syndrome’ may be the presenting cause.
  • Infection
  • Abdominal diseases  such as appendicitis may cause blockage in the fallopian tubes.
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy – this means that a fertilized egg cell have implanted on places other than the uterus that caused blockage and scarring.
  • Congenital defects – there are women who were born with irregularities in the anatomy and physiology of their reproductive organs that caused infertility.
  • Environmental factors such as smoking, taking drugs, and alcohol poisoning.


Causes Of Male Infertility

  • Decreased sperm count
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Hormonal imbalance in men
  • Varicocele – dilation of a vein in the scrotum that increases temperature. An environment that is not suitable for sperm.
  • Cryptorchidism – a congenital condition wherein the testes fails to descend to the scrotal sac
  • Obstruction in the reproductive tract
  • Injuries that can damage the reproductive organs
  • Certain medications
  • Environmental factors like working in areas with hot temperature r frequent hot bathes and saunas
  • Stress

Treatment For Infertility

Though the difference between primary and secondary infertility is significant, its treatment are the same:

  • Lifestyle modification
  • Hormone treatment
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), artificial insemination (AI), and more.
  • Abstinence for about a month for low sperm count
  • Surgery