Summary of Study Session 12

In Study Session 12, you have learned that:

  1. Infertility is the inability to conceive or have children after trying for one year without any use of contraception. Although the woman is often blamed, in fact infertility occurs in both men and women.
  2. Primary infertility is when the couple has never had children, or has been unable to achieve pregnancy after one year of living together and having unprotected sexual intercourse.
  3. Secondary infertility is when a couple who already have children, or have achieved pregnancy previously, have been unable to conceive after one year of having unprotected sexual intercourse.
  4. The causes of infertility are varied and complex. According to studies from around the world, both women and men are affected by infertility.
  5. Male infertility may occur because of either a blockage of the spermatic cord, or a problem of sperm production, or because of sexual problems.
  6. The causes for female infertility include ovulation disorders, blockage of uterine tubes, and problems of the uterus, cervix or vagina.
  7. In many societies, people believe that infertility is a natural process. But many socio-cultural factors are associated with the occurrence of infertility, either directly or indirectly, in addition to the already established physical causes.
  8. Your first contact with an infertile couple is the most important in outlining the general causes of infertility, and in discussing any subsequent evaluation.
  9. Prevention of infertility includes counselling clients about sexually transmitted infections, and encouraging them to seek treatment if they are affected.
  10. There is no universal treatment or cure for infertility. It depends on the treatment of specific causes relevant to the couple.

12.8  Counselling clients with fertility problems

Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 12