Infertility is typically defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the cause of infertility is female infertility one-third of the time, male infertility one-third of the time, and a combination of both male and female factors one-third of the time. It is normal to experience feelings of frustration, jealousy, anger and stress.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that there are solutions for virtually all causes of infertility. Reproductive Endocrinologists are physicians who specialize in evaluating and treating infertility and can help you identify and treat those causes. Once you seek help, you’ll find that fertility treatments offer more hope for a successful pregnancy than ever before.
Find out what is causing your infertility so you can explore options to treat it. Here are some of the common causes of infertility.
Ovulation disorders are the most common cause of female infertility. The majority of these cases can be successfully treated with medications and pregnancy can occur naturally. Unbalanced hormones, scarred or damaged ovaries and premature menopause can all cause disruptions in ovulation.
Tubal damage or disease can make it default to conceive. The fallopian tubes carry the egg from the ovary into the uterus where it can be fertilized by sperm. Scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes could be caused by surgery, pelvic infections, ectopic pregnancy, and endometriosis. Surgery can be performed with success rates around 15%. In vitro fertilization can also be utilized to bypass the tubes and IVF pregnancy success rates are 46% nationally. Utah Fertility Center’s IVF success rates are reported at 65%.
Age does affect fertility, particularly in women. A woman’s fertility begins to decline around the age of 30 and at 35, drops off more significantly. Women 40 yrs. old and over suffer infertility and/or miscarriages more often and pregnancy is much harder to achieve without seeking help. In contrast, men only see a slight decline in fertility as they age.
Any abnormality of the uterus, such as polyps, fibroids or septate uterus can affect conception. Most often women are not even aware they have polyps or fibroids until seeing a doctor but can treat the underlying condition to improve fertility. Lifestyle can also affect fertility. For example, smoking affects both male and female reproduction by reducing pregnancy rates and increasing risks of miscarriage and pre-mature births.
There are a number of causes of male infertility. Physical causes such as trauma or blockages can affect a mans sperm. There are certain genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, that can cause infertility. Hormonal imbalances and autoimmune disorders can also influence infertility. Varicoceles are enlarged veins that develop in the scrotum and prevent blood from flowing properly. A semen analysis is a test performed to evaluate sperm and male fertility.
Did you know infertility is classified by the World Health Organization as a disease? Infertility can be successfully treated and determining the cause(s) is one step closer to overcoming it.