There are many causes of infertility. Establishing a diagnosis is the first step towards developing a treatment plan and helping you grow your family.
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Studies show that up to 40% of cases of couples struggling to conceive are related to female infertility, which can be caused by a variety of conditions or health factors. Common reasons for female infertility include:
Roughly 25% of all infertile women have issues with ovulation. There are many reasons why a person may not ovulate regularly, many of which are treatable through lifestyle changes or fertility treatment.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Your physician will take the time to help you understand the IVF process. They will explain each step to you in detail along with the timeline for your treatment. A complete IVF cycle consists of a number of smaller steps or phases. This summary is meant as a general guideline to serve as a reference for you.
A woman’s fertility starts to decline gradually after age 30, and more dramatically as she gets into her late 30s. As a woman ages, the chance of genetic mutations and/or fetal abnormalities also increases. Treatment may include testing each embryo to determine whether all of its chromosomes are normal.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects approximately 10% of women in their childbearing years. Treatment may include medication, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, and/or IVF.
Approximately 35 to 50% of women with infertility also have endometriosis. Treatment may include surgery or IVF.
This condition occurs when endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, grows into the outer muscular tissue, causing structural issues. Treatment includes medication and (less frequently) surgery.
Cervical disorders can prevent the sperm from being able to enter the uterus. Treatment may include Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or IVF.
Excessive clotting is associated with recurrent miscarriage as well as slow fetal growth and high blood pressure. Treatment frequently includes blood-thinning medication.
The disease itself, along with treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, can greatly diminish or damage sperm and eggs. To prevent this, many patients freeze their eggs or sperm or embryos for future use prior to receiving cancer treatment.
Everyone’s fertility is affected to some degree by lifestyle. Being overweight, smoking, drinking alcohol, being sedentary, and even exposure to some plastics can all decrease fertility. Treatment includes proper diet, weight loss, moderate exercise, and avoiding harmful substances.
Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
We offer specialized assistance to those faced with the heartache of recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Defined as having two or more miscarriages, recurrent pregnancy loss can be caused by many things, with the risk going up with age.
We have established our Center for Recurrent Pregnancy Loss because we recognize the emotional toll that those with RPL endure. We offer counseling, compassionate care, and extensive expertise to those who suffer from repeated miscarriages in order to maximize the chances of starting a family.
Causes of Male Infertility
Infertility does not affect only women — millions of men suffer as well. In fact, new studies show that in approximately 40 percent of couples dealing with infertility, the male partner is either the sole cause or a contributing cause of infertility. Difficulties range from issues with sperm production to obstruction of sperm delivery.
Sperm Production Disorder
The most common male infertility factors include azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced) and oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced). Other times, sperm cells are malformed or they die before they can reach the egg. In rare cases, infertility in men is caused by a genetic disease, such as cystic fibrosis, or a chromosomal abnormality.
Sometimes, sperm is not able to travel which can make it difficult to conceive. Obstruction can be caused by a number of reasons and is often treatable.
Other Causes of Infertility
- Secondary Infertility is the inability to become pregnant — despite engaging in regular unprotected intercourse — following the birth of one or more biological children who were born without the aid of fertility treatment or medications.
- Unexplained infertility is the failure to determine a cause of infertility after a thorough evaluation of both the male and female partners. Approximately 10 percent of infertility is unexplained.