For so many people around the world, having and raising children are extremely important events in their lives. Infact, some people believe fulfilling the need for reproduction make them whole and complete.

According to recent studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 8- 10% of couples are facing some kind of infertility problem. Globally, this means that 50-80 million people are facing this problem.

Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after having unprotected sexual intercourse for at least one year, for women over 35 years old – six months. It also means the biological inability to contribute to conception and it affects one in six couples. Female infertility accounts for one third of all infertility cases.


According to a study carried out by the health science journal1, the most common cause of female infertility is problems in the fallopian tubes followed by unknown causes, disorders of menstruation and infertility due to problems in the uterus.


  1. Damage to the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This can be caused by one or more of the following
  • Abnormal cervical mucus: This can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • A previous infection
  • Polyps in the uterus
  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • A birth Defect
  • Scar tissue or adhesions
  • Chronic medical illness
  • A previous ectopic pregnancy


  1. Ovulation Problems
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • A tumor or cyst
  • Extremely brief or nonexistent menstrual cycle

Age, alcohol or illicit use of drugs, obesity are factors that also contribute to infertility in women.


It is advised that you see your doctor if you’ve unsuccessfully been trying to conceive for six months, when you do this, a medical examination is carried out to determine what the cause(s) might be.


When infertility is caused by genetic abnormalities, there is usually nothing that can be done to prevent it. Women can however advised to avoid illicit drugs & alcohol consumption and take steps to prevent sexually transmitted infections & diseases. They should also ensure to have annual medical checkups especially when sexually active.


Fertility treatment significantly improve the chances of conception but varies from woman to woman.

Fertility drugs, hormone treatment and various assisted reproductive techniques like In vitro Fertilization (IVF) AND Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) have been employed in the treatment of infertility.

The course of treatment is usually however determined by the cause. – Some of the drugs prescribed are used to stimulate ovulation.



So whether you’ve been having trouble getting pregnant or are just starting to try, here are some good reasons to see a fertility specialist for an evaluation.

The process of trying to conceive is not often the easiest of processes especially when you are actively trying and also not been diagnosed of an anomaly. What this means is that for many couples trying to conceive, seeing a fertility specialist is an essential part of the process, sometimes it is not just patience you need, you might need help too as the information you get from the clinic helps you get proactive by addressing potential problems and also deciding on treatment options if the need be.

So when is the ideal time to book an appointment with a fertility specialist?

  1. If you have been trying for over a year (or 6 months if you’re 35 or older).

Infertility is actually defined as the inability to biologically contribute to conception after having unprotected sex for 12 months or six months if you are above the age of 35, so of you fall into this category, it is better to go see a fertility expert so you and yourpartner can be assessed and a targeted course of treatment can be made or decided upon.

  • If you have been diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer treatments usually have long term effects on fertility, so it is important to discuss with a fertility specialist what options are available for you to preserve your fertility while undergoing treatment. These options usually involve cryopreservation but each individual is different and at this point, the specialist knows best.

3. Do you have painful or irregular periods?

You should book that appointment then as this could be a sign of an ovulatory disorder. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition that interrupts ovulation and makes periods painful, irregular, and sometimes, completely nonexistent, is the most common. Although statistically, ovulatory disorders are the most common causes of infertility in women, most of them can be treated with medication

4. If you’ve had Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).

Pelvic inflammatory diseases are infections of the female reproductive organs like the uterus, fallopian tubes and sometimes the ovaries. Most of the time, it is caused by bacteria from sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea. Anytime you have these infections, there is an inflammation that can lead to scarring. Scarring can interrupt ovulation, or simply block the fallopian tubes and prevent the process of fertilization between the sperm and egg.

5. You have endometriosis.

This is quite similar to the pelvic inflammatory disease in the sense that it causes scarring as well and this can affect fertility. Treatments and outcomes vary greatly, but for many people, removing scar tissue can improve pregnancy outcomes, especially when paired with fertility treatments like IVF. So if you have a long history of endometriosis while trying to conceive, then you should consider seeing a fertility specialist.

6. If you are over 40.

It is not impossible to have a baby after the age of 40 although the older a woman gets, the greater chance her eggs will contain chromosomal abnormalities, which can result in miscarriage or the baby having a serious condition like Down syndrome. Seeing a fertility specialist will help you assess your risk and explore alternatives for starting a family.