Symptoms and causes

Causes in women

The female reproductive system is a particularly complex mechanism, which can be disturbed by the slightest changes or abnormalities. Among the most common causes:

  • Cycle disorders: a normal cycle lasts approximately one month. But if the body fails to produce hormones at the right time, the cycle is disrupted. One of the most common causes is PCO, an ovary disorder. A strong decrease or increase in weight can also disrupt the hormonal balance.
  • Fallopian tube disorders: the fallopian tube is where sperm and eggs meet for fertilisation; therefore, it is very important. If the fallopian tube is damaged or blocked, for example due to previous inflammation or scarring, fertilisation cannot take place.
  • Endometriosis, a condition in which the endometrium grows outside the uterus, for example in the fallopian tubes.
  • Deformities of reproductive organs.
  • Age: more and more women choose to become pregnant later in life.

Causes in men

The quality of the male sperm also depends on a delicate reproductive system. The main causes of issues with sperm quality include:

  • Abnormalities of the reproductive organs, such as undescended testicles, varicose veins or an inguinal hernia.
  • Environmental factors such as the work environment and contact with harmful substances.

Other

In addition to specific male or female causes, there are other factors that can play a role, such as smoking, drinking or drug use. A disorder of the immune system or a genetic abnormality can also be diagnosed in both men and women.

Diagnosis and treatment

Investigations

Couples who have attempted to become pregnant for more than a year should make an appointment with our fertility specialists. At the centre, we highly value an initial, extensive conversation between the doctor and both partners. Several questions are posed about the medical background, profession and possible causes.

Based on this conversation, the appropriate examinations are determined in consultation with the patient.

The most common examinations include:

Treatments

With fertility treatment, most people immediately think of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), but that is by far not the only possibility. Below we list the various steps, each one going further to give nature a helping hand.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Fertility
Urology Centre

Latest publication date: 25/01/2021
Supervising author: Dr Ameye Filip