Infertility in South Africa | A Parent24 Series

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"For both men and women, age is a leading cause of infertility." Photo: Getty Images
"For both men and women, age is a leading cause of infertility." Photo: Getty Images

Infertility is a complex, expensive, lonely, upsetting and misunderstood journey that 15% to 20% of South African couples go through.

In women, the common causes include endometriosis, uterine fibroids and thyroid disease. In men, fertility problems can be caused by low sperm count or low testosterone.

For both men and women, age is a leading cause of infertility.

The journey towards starting a family can be a lonely one, because it can be hard for people to understand what you are going through as a couple. Sometimes couples find it too emotional to talk about to others.


This article is one of a series on Infertility in South Africa. Find the complete series here.


As much as having a child should bring families together, some families are in torn apart by infertility due to how expensive and how emotionally taxing the condition is, not to mention disappointing too.

Many couples on this journey also have to deal with added, and unnecessary, pressure from their families and friends who ask them when they will have children.

They may also have to face name-calling and condemnation, being called "barren" or overcome blame for their infertility - often without even knowing where the problem lies.

Read: What the fertility doctors wished you knew about fertility challenges

Parent24 interviewed trained fertility specialists in reproductive medicine, a specialist gynaecologist, a reproductive medicine assistant, healthcare practitioners, senior social workers, adoption educators as well as women and men who have experienced infertility first-hand, to find out more about this issue.

From traditional medicine to  IVF treatment to adoption, we spoke to couples who shared their most sensitive experiences to give hope to others who are struggling with infertility. 

Next: These are the leading causes of infertility in South Africa: why should this worry you?

Find the complete series here: Infertility in South Africa

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