Infertility is usually defined as not becoming pregnant after one year of trying, but some couples may have concerns much sooner – for example, if the woman is not having regular periods or ovulating.

Very broadly, about half of infertility is male-based and about half female-based.


The good news is that today, many people who experience infertility do manage to have a baby. It may just take a little longer than average, or they many need some advice and assistance to get there.

Common causes of infertility in women:
  • Tubal problems
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Polycystic ovaries
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Hormonal problems
  • Autoimmune (antibody) disorders

Common causes of infertility in men: 

The cause of most male infertility remains unknown. Known causes can include the following:

  • Failed vasectomy removal
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Blocked ducts
  • Absence of vans deferens
  • Undescended testes in childhood
  • Autoimmune (antibody) disorders

Unexplained infertility

Many couples will not have a clear-cut infertility diagnosis – over 50% in fact.  This can be difficult, as often ‘making a plan’ feels like the best thing you can do. However, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility can often have better outcomes, as the couple usually have normal tubes and sperm and ovulation is occurring.

Unexplained infertility can sometimes be linked to age. You can work out your age/chance using the biological clock. If you’re concerned, don’t delay – talking to a fertility doctor is the best thing you can do to help you understand your options.