Really good information on this page Jonny. It's missing a few of the topics so try and complete these when you can. It will help having another revision tool.
Male Infertility

What is infertility?

Infertility is the inability for somebody to contribute to conception.

Male infertility can be caused by many different things.


  • Low Sperm Count - one of the major causes of male infertility is having a low sperm count, the average number of sperm a man should have is roughly between 35 and 200 million sperm/millilitre of semen. An infertile man could have anything below 35 million sperm/mililitre, in some cases they could have none at all.
  • Abnormal Sperm - if a man has this, their sperm could be not formed properly, and so there would be difficulty when trying to fertilize an egg. Their sperm could also have low mobility, meaning the sperm aren't agile enough to travel fast enough to reach the egg.
  • Failure to Ejaculate - some men can be infertile due to them being unable to ejaculate, where they will suffer from what is known as 'retrograde ejaculation', and the sperm will ejaculate backwards into the bladder opposed to the vagina, therefore the egg cannot be fertilized.
  • Exposure of Testes to High Temperatures - if the testes are exposed to high temperatures the mobility of the sperm can be decreased. *FUN FACT* men who wear tight underwear and trousers can expose their testes to high temperatures and suffer from infertility.
  • Blocked Sperm Ducts - a small number of men can have blocked sperm ducts which means that the sperm is unable to reach the partner's egg. This can be caused by infections such as mumps, injury to the testicles, congenital defects or a vasectomy.
  • The taking of Drugs, drinking of alchohol and smoking - can affect sperm count and impair movement of the sperm.
  • Varicoceles - abnormal enlargement of the vein that is in the scrotum, draining the testicles.


There are many different treatments available for men who suffer from infertility, however some treatments may work for some people, but not others, so there are a large amount available. The treatments vary depending on the cause of the infertility is.
  • Varicoceles can be treated through surgery. In the particular surexternal image figure3.jpggery shown to the right, the affected veins are tied off to detour the blood flow into normal veins.
  • Artificial Insemination (now known as intrauterine insemination or IUI) - sperm is "washed", which means the "best" sperm are concentrated down, then injected directly
into the woman's uterus through the cervix.
  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) - when sperm is injected directly into a woman's egg.
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) - very similar to IVF, where a single sperm is injected into a woman's egg.


Female Infertility


  • Failure to produce mature eggs - caused by a reduced production of FSH and normal or increased production of LH, oestrogen and testosterone. This causes the ovaries to not produce normal follicles in which the eggs can mature
  • Malfunction of the Hypothalamus - if the hypothalamus fails to send signals to the Pituitary gland to produce FSH and LH, then it will be unable to stimulate the maturation of the egg, and so immature eggs will result.
  • Malfunction of the Pituitary Gland - as the Pituitary Gland is for producing and secreting FSH and LH. When the gland is malfunctioning, either too much or too little of the substances are produced, and so the ovaries will fail to ovulate proparly.
  • Scarred Ovaries - the ovaries can be scarred from things such as extensive, invasive or multiple surgeries for repeated ovarian cysts can cause the capsule of the ovary to become damaged or scarred, such that the follicles cannot mature proparly and ovulation doesn't occur.
  • Abnormality of the Uterus - at least 10% of all cases of female infertility are caused by an abnormal uterus. Conditions such as fibroid, polyps and adenomyosis may lead to obstruction of the uterus and fallopian tube


  • Fertility Drugs - these drugs 'trick' the ovaries into producing eggs, sometimes more than one egg in a single cycle. One type of the drugs, 'Clomiphene' works by stimulating the Pituitary Gland to produce large amounts of FSH, and in turn the FSH will stiumulate the ovaries to produce eggs, and sometimes can produce two eggs at one time - and such women on Clomiphene have a 10% chance of having twins.
  • The methods for treating male infertility revolving around injection of sperm into the females egg are all viable for treating female infertility as well -see 'IUI', 'IVF' and 'ICSI'.

Heart Disease

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Heart disease, or Cardiovascular disease are the terms given to a group of problems that occur when the heart doesn't function correctly.

There are many different type of Cardiovascular diseases:
  • Arteriosclerosis - this is the hardening of the arteries, or the loss of elasticity in arteries. It is often associated with hypertension.
  • Angina - this is severe chest pain caused from a lack of blood within an area of heart muscle. It can be caused by such things as partially blocked arteries, which happens when there is a build up of plaque withing the artery, blocking blood flow
  • Atherosclerosis - a disease in which there is a build up of plaque within the arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood.

These are just a few of the many types of Heart diseases that can affect people.


  • Atherosclerosis - making lifestyle changes can help treat or prevent the build up of plaque. The most important of these is to have a healthy diet, as it will aid in maintaining a healthy weight and healthy lifestyle.
- the clogged arteries can also be widened, bypassed or cleared, by the processes of Angioplasty, Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting and carotid Endarterectomy.
  • Angina - slowing down if physical exertion triggers angina to reduce the amount of episodes. Avoiding large meals and rich foods that leave you feeling stuffed should be avoided if they cause angina episodes to reduce the number. Also stressful or upsetting situations should be avoided if at all possible as they can often cause angina to trigger.
  • Atherosclerosis - the same methods used to clear the arteries in treatment of Atherosclerosis can be used to treat Arteriosclerosis. Another treatment that can be used is Rotational Atherectomy.
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