Signs of infertility in men and women

Infertility is a diagnosed condition, meaning you can’t get pregnant after having unprotected, regular sex for six months to one year, depending on your age. Often, women are blamed for infertility, but did you know that both men and women can be the cause of it? Here’s more.

Infertility in men

Testosterone levels

Testosterone is a key hormone for male fertility- if the testicles don’t produce enough of this hormone, it can lead to infertility.

Erectile dysfunction

This is when a man has difficulty getting or maintaining a firm enough erection to have sexual intercourse. If this becomes a regular occurrence, it may interfere with trying to conceive.


Obesity is often linked with infertility because it can increase the risk for other conditions that may impact a man’s fertility, such as sperm quality and sexual dysfunction.

Infertility in women

Pain during sex

Pain during sex can be a sign of an underlying health problem, which can influence a woman’s fertility. The health-related issues which can cause this can include infections, endometriosis, and fibroids. You should visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you’re experiencing pain during sexual intercourse.

Irregular periods

Irregular periods can be a sign that you’re not regularly ovulating, which can contribute to infertility. Irregular ovulation can be due to many issues, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, being underweight, and thyroid issues.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes can sometimes go unnoticed. Fluctuations in hormonal levels can cause:

Unexplained weight gain

Severe acne

Cold feet and hands

Reduced sex drive or loss of sexual desire

Nipple discharge

Facial hair in females

Thinning hair on the top of the head

Other health related conditions (cysts, menopause, cancer, obesity, STIs, chronic stress)

Substance abuse 

If you’re experiencing signs of infertility and you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year, consider going to your nearest clinic with your partner and speak to a healthcare provider. It’s important for both partners to be examined by the healthcare provider because infertility affects both men and women.

If you’ve been diagnosed with infertility, know that you’re not alone and there is help for you if you’re going through this challenging time. It’s important to be aware that there is treatment for infertility, and many other options you can explore if you’re unable to conceive naturally.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).