Infertility is usually defined as not being able to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. A broader view of infertility includes not being able to carry a pregnancy to term. It affects about 15% of Australian couples of reproductive age.
There are many causes of infertility. For about 4 couples in 10 it will relate to a sperm problem. In another 4 couples in 10 there will be a female reproductive cause. Sometimes there is a combination of factors or no apparent cause.
If you are female, your fertility may by affected by:
- your age
- if you have any problems with your fallopian tubes
- if you have endometriosis or an ovulation problem
- any fibroids
- if you have pelvic inflammatory disease or sexually transmitted infections (STI)
- your weight and if you smoke
Adult males may be affected by:
- problems with the tubes connected to the testes
- low sperm production
- high numbers of abnormal sperm
- genetic problems
- problems with sperm DNA
Follow the links below to find trusted information about infertility.
Last reviewed: May 2018