What are the causes of infertility?

The essential requirements for a couple to be fertile are healthy sperm which must be deposited at ejaculation at the cervix, ovaries that are releasing eggs (ovulation), fallopian tubes that are open and healthy and womb capable of nurturing a pregnancy .



The three most common causes of infertility are:

  • anovulation (eggs are not being released).

  • tubal factor (Fallopian tube disease).

  • male factor infertility (Q9.21



Infertility remains unexplained in about 25% of couples following investigations to identify obvious problems in these three areas.

The following graph shows the main causes of infertility in those having IVF in Canada:

Primary Diagnoses for Assisted Reproductive Technology Procedures


This chart shows the primary diagnoses responsible for infertility among couples who had an ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology) procedure. Please note that some couples have more than one cause of infertility.

SOURCE: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). Statistics quoted are for the year 1995.

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