Understanding Infertility: A Global Perspective

Understanding Infertility: A Global Perspective

Published on: Jun 01, 2024

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Medically Reviewed and Authored by:
Pari Saharkhiz, Doctor of Medicine, Canada, Ontario

Table of contents

June is World Infertility Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the infertility challenges faced by millions of people worldwide. Infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse, affects about 15% of couples globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This blog post aims to shed light on the causes, treatments, and emotional impacts of infertility, with a focus on making the information accessible to everyone.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility can be attributed to factors affecting both men and women. In approximately one-third of cases, the issue is related to the woman, in another one-third, it is related to the man, and the remaining third is due to a combination of factors or unexplained reasons.

1. Female Infertility:

Ovulatory Disorders: These account for about 25% of infertility cases in women. Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hormonal imbalances can disrupt ovulation.
Tubal Factors: Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, often due to infections, endometriosis, or surgeries, prevent the egg and sperm from meeting.
Uterine or Cervical Problems: Abnormalities in the uterus or cervix, such as fibroids, polyps, or congenital anomalies, can hinder implantation or cause miscarriages.

2. Male Infertility:

Sperm Abnormalities: Issues with sperm count, motility, or morphology are common. These can be caused by genetic factors, infections, lifestyle choices, or exposure to toxins.
Testicular Factors: Conditions like varicoceles (enlarged veins in the scrotum), infections, or trauma can impair testicular function.
Hormonal Imbalances: Problems with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland can affect sperm production.

3. Unexplained Infertility:

In some cases, despite thorough testing, no clear cause of infertility is found. This is termed "unexplained infertility" and accounts for about 10-20% of cases. It can be particularly frustrating for couples, as the path forward is less clear.

Treatments for Infertility

Advancements in medical science have provided various treatment options for couples facing infertility. These treatments range from lifestyle changes to advanced medical procedures.

1. Lifestyle Modifications:

For some, simple lifestyle changes can improve fertility. This includes maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and managing stress. Proper nutrition and regular exercise also play a crucial role.

2. Medications:

Ovulation Induction: Drugs like clomiphene citrate and letrozole can stimulate ovulation in women with ovulatory disorders.
Hormonal Treatments: Men with hormonal imbalances may benefit from treatments that regulate hormone levels.

3. Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART):

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Sperm is directly placed into the uterus around the time of ovulation.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Eggs and sperm are combined outside the body, and the resulting embryos are implanted into the uterus.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A single sperm is injected directly into an egg, used in cases of severe male infertility.

4. Surgical Interventions:

Procedures like laparoscopy or hysteroscopy can diagnose and treat conditions like endometriosis, fibroids, or tubal blockages.

5. Dietary Supplements:

Certain dietary supplements have been shown to support reproductive health. For instance, Elan Healthcare offers a range of fertility supplements designed to enhance fertility naturally. These supplements contain key nutrients like folic acid, vitamins C and E, zinc, and selenium, which are essential for reproductive health.

For Women: Elan Healthcare’s supplements for women, such as Medfertil for Women, provide a combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support hormonal balance and improve egg quality.
For Men: Supplements like Medfertil for Men focus on improving sperm count, motility, and overall sperm health through a balanced mix of essential nutrients.

Emotional Impact of Infertility

 The journey through infertility can be emotionally taxing. Couples often experience feelings of sadness, frustration, and isolation. The stress of infertility can strain relationships and affect mental health. It is crucial to acknowledge these feelings and seek support. Counseling, support groups, and open communication with partners and healthcare providers can help navigate the emotional challenges.


Infertility is a complex issue that affects millions worldwide. Understanding its causes, available treatments, and emotional impacts is essential in supporting those affected. As we observe World Infertility Awareness Month, let us foster a compassionate and informed approach to addressing this significant aspect of reproductive health.


1. World Health Organization. (2020). Infertility definitions and terminology. (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infertility)
2. American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2020). Quick Facts About Infertility. (https://www.asrm.org/topics/topics-index/infertility/)
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Infertility FAQs. (https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm)
4. Mayo Clinic. (2021). Infertility: Causes. (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infertility/symptoms-causes/syc-20354317)
5. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2020). How is infertility treated? (https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility/conditioninfo/treatment)
6. Elan Healthcare. (2023). Fertility Supplements.(https://www.elanhealthcare.ca/fertility-supplements)

By understanding and discussing infertility openly, we can provide better support to those affected and promote a more empathetic and informed society.

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