Practitioners near you who treat infertility

Infertility is when you don’t become pregnant after a minimum of 12 months of carefully-timed, unprotected sex.

The 2 types of infertility are:

Primary Infertility: Relates to couples who haven’t achieved pregnancy after 12 months or more of having unprotected sex, without using birth control.

Secondary Infertility: Relevant for couples who have achieved pregnancy in the past. Yet, they’re now struggling to conceive after 12 months or more of trying.

Both types of infertility can be stressful for women and men. It can take a lot of physical and mental energy to deal with the process. Then, to not achieve the result your heart desires, month-after-month, can feel overwhelming.

It may help to know that infertility isn’t a disease. Rather, it’s the symptom of an underlying condition.

This means the key to successful infertility treatment is to understand the bigger picture of your health. This means working with a health expert who’s familiar with infertility causes, as they can simplify the process.

Women under 35: Seek infertility treatment and support if you’re not pregnant after 12 months of trying

Women 35 years or older: Seek infertility treatment and support if you’re not pregnant after 6 months of trying

Men: Seek infertility treatment and support if you have a decreased sex drive, ejaculation problems or trouble maintaining an erection.

Infertility Risk Factors

Science tells us that 30 year-old-women are usually half as fertile as 20 year-old-women. The possibility of infertility in women and men increases with these risk factors:

  • Age (women aged over 35, men aged over 40)
  • High stress
  • Diets high in sugar and fat
  • Exposure to heavy metals and environmental toxins, e.g. pesticides, hair dyes, car exhaust fumes
  • Smoking
  • High alcohol use
  • Substance abuse
  • Cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy
  • History of sexually-transimitted diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Being obese or underweight
  • Untreated coeliac disease.

Signs and Symptoms of Infertility

The main infertility symptom is being unable to fall pregnant. Other less obvious infertility symptoms and signs include:

Women: period problems (absent, irregular, heavy, painful), pain during sex, low sex drive, abnormal facial hair, thinning hair, weight gain

Men: Decreased sex drive, testicle problems (pain, swelling, small and firm size), difficulty maintaining an erection, trouble ejaculating.

Causes of Infertility

Infertility causes are different for women and men. Also, they’re exacerbated when combined with the risk factors previously mentioned.

Infertility causes in women

  • Irregular periods
  • Failure to ovulate
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Uterine problems, e.g. Fibroids, Polyps, Scarring
  • Untreated sexually-transmitted diseases, e.g. Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia 
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Nutrient deficiencies, e.g. iron, zinc.

Infertility causes in men

  1. Low sperm levels
  2. Abnormal sperm shape
  3. Poor sperm movement
  4. Blockages that prevent the ejaculation of sperm
  5. Genetic disorder, e.g. cystic fibrosis
  6. High heat exposure to the testicles, e.g.wearing tight clothing, working in hot environments, regular use of saunas.

Getting An Infertility Diagnosis

If you see a health expert to investigate infertility causes, they may suggest one of the following diagnostic methods.

Diagnosing Infertility In Women

  • A home ovulation kit to keep track of your basal body temperature and cervical mucous changes
  • Blood tests, e.g. estrogen, progesterone, LH, FSH, thyroid hormones, anti-mullerian hormone (an indicator of ovarian reserves)
  • Pelvic examinations, including a pap smear
  • Vaginal examinations, e.g. Transvaginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, laparoscopy

Diagnosing Infertility In Men

  • Blood tests, e.g. testosterone, thyroid hormones, insulin
  • Semen analysis, including sperm count and sperm motility
  • Scrotum ultrasound

Millions of couples around the world struggle with infertility.

World Infertility Awareness Month takes place in June each year. Its purpose is to help destigmatise infertility as a condition that only affects a handful of men and women. In reality, millions of couples (heterosexual and same-sex) struggle with infertility symptoms every year. World Infertility Awareness Months shines a light on their hidden struggles. It highlights infertility treatments and helps to decrease the isolation and stress associated with infertility.

Celebrities and Infertility

When Nicole Kidman was married to Tom Cruise, infertility prevented them from conceiving. This led to them adopting 2 beautiful children who they love. But, when Nicole married Keith Urban many years later, the couple fell pregnant naturally. They opted for a gestational surrogate to help them with their second child.

Gordon Ramsey, celebrity chef, has been very open about his struggle with infertility. It was a low sperm count that caused his problems. But thankfully, in vitro fertilisation allowed Gordon to father 3 gorgeous children.

Treatments for Infertility

Infertility treatments that help conception include:


  • Women – Used to regulate hormones and stimulate ovulation
  • Men –  Helps raise testosterone and treat erectile dysfunction


  • Women – Unblocks fallopian tubes, and removes uterine fibroids and polyps. Women who seek surgical treatment for endometriosis may double their chances of conceiving.
  • Men – Unblocks the tubes that store semen. Varicocele surgery can improve sperm health and boost the chances of pregnancy.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

A medical professional uses a long, thin tube to insert sperm directly into the uterus.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) – Involves a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs being collected, then combined outside of the body in a laboratory. The fertilised embryo is inserted into the woman’s uterus for development.
  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) – A similar process to IVF, however the egg and sperm are transferred to a woman’s fallopian tubes for fertilisation via laparoscopy. This uncommon procedure is usually chosen for religious reasons.
  • Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) – Similar to GIFT, except the fertilisation occurs in the laboratory before implantation into the fallopian tubes.
  • Third-party ART – Involves the use of donor eggs, sperm or embryos. Sometimes, a surrogate or gestational carrier brings the child to full term (like in Nicole Kidman’s situation).

Alternative Therapies

Allied health professionals offer natural infertility treatments. Speak with Acupuncturists, Naturopaths, Psychologists.

What Works For Infertility – Natural Options

Here are some natural, drug-free infertility treatments:


Helpful for optimising fertility and improving the success rate of IUI and IVF. It’s useful for women and men as it can improve blood flow to the uterus to encourage ovulation, and increase sperm count, quality and motility.


Assist with regulating hormone levels, improving reproductive health, and correcting nutrient imbalances. In women, chaste tree supports estrogen/progesterone balance and improves menstrual regularity. Also, zinc is often recommended for men with low sperm counts. Naturopaths can give you more detail about which are right for you.

A Healthy Diet

This is essential for fertility. Fill your diet with lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins and pure water. Ditch processed foods, especially those that are high in sugar and trans/saturated fats. It’s also important to limit alcohol, sugary drinks and soft drinks.

Maintain a healthy weight

This will improve your chances of conception. Being overweight or underweight can increase the likelihood of infertility symptoms. It also increases the risk of birth defects.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxing therapies, such as massage, meditation, yoga and reflexology, help decrease stress and increase the success rate of ART.

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)

Useful for women and men who are feeling stressed, anxious or depressed as a result of infertility. Stress exacerbates infertility, which can be tricky as dealing with infertility can be highly stressful. CBT, conducted by a Psychologist, is a reliable alternative to anxiety/depression medications, and in some cases it’s even more effective.

Find A Professional

The following health experts can help with infertility treatment:

  • Acupuncturists
  • Naturopaths
  • Nutritionists
  • Psychologists
  • Massage Therapists
  • Yoga Instructors
  • Reflexologists

Find health experts in your area who treat Infertility

Supporting Someone with Infertility

Here’s how to help someone with infertility:

  1. Be sensitive. If your friend is dealing with infertility, take a sensitive approach by not asking too many questions about the situation. By all means, make sure they know that you support them and are there if they want to talk. But, having someone check in on every step of the journey, or each month to see if conception has happened, will only increase their stress.
  2. Be patient. It’s overwhelming to follow a conception plan and/or use IVF medications in the long term. Loads of physical and emotional effort are required every step of the journey, especially if medications are messing with your moods. Consequently, your friend may be a little more irritable than usual. If this is the case, be patient with them and provide the space and understanding they need.
  3. Be inviting. Your friend may find it difficult to attend your children’s events, such as birthday parties, cricket matches, dance concerts and other special occasions. Always invite them to these events. Then, they can decide whether they want to attend or not. Never just assume they won’t want to attend, as this can be isolating and create unnecessary stress.


What are 5 causes of infertility in women?

  1. Failure to ovulate
  2. Blocked fallopian tubes
  3. Endometriosis
  4. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  5. Thyroid diseases

What are 5 causes of infertility in men?

  1. Low sperm count
  2. Abnormal sperm shape
  3. Poor sperm movement
  4. Blockages that prevent the ejaculation of sperm
  5. High heat exposure to the testicles, e.g.wearing tight clothing, working in hot environments, regular use of saunas.

Which are the most common infertility symptoms?

  • Period problems (absent, irregular, heavy, painful)
  • Pain during sex
  • Low sex drive
  • Abnormal facial hair
  • Weight gain
  • Testicle problems (pain, swelling, small and firm size)
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Ejaculation problems

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