Causes of Infertility
Female infertility – 35-40% of all fertility problems
Ovulatory Dysfunction can prevent proper release of eggs from the ovaries. Irregular menstrual pattern can suggest this problem. Your physician may be able to treat this condition with medication.
Poor Egg Quality results from damaged eggs or eggs containing a chromosomal abnormality which cannot sustain pregnancy. Egg quality declines significantly in a woman’s late 30’s and 40’s, making it more difficult to conceive a healthy pregnancy. Using another person’s eggs is a possible solution to this problem.
Fallopian Tube Blockage can prevent the sperm from meeting the egg during conception attempts, and can increase the risk for ectopic pregnancy. A history of pelvic infections is a risk factor for blocked tubes. If this condition is diagnosed, in-vitro fertilization may be used to get around this problem. If the condition is from a previous sterilization procedure, a surgery may be able to reverse the condition and restore fertility.
Endometriosis, a condition in which the uterine lining grows in areas outside the uterus, is known to be associated with infertility, but can frequently be treated with hormonal or surgical therapies.
Male infertility – 35-45% of all fertility problems
Obstruction in the male tubes such as those that can be caused by varicose veins in the testicles, are thought to contribute to male fertility problems. Surgery to correct or repair the problem is possible in many cases.
Low sperm counts or poor sperm motility is another problem found in some men that accounts for infertility. Sperm counts can be caused by previous infections in childhood (i.e. mumps), traumatic injury to the testicle, genetic disorders, medications, chronic diseases, and exposure to work hazards such as solvents/radiation/high temperatures. Possible treatments include fertility drugs for the man, artificial insemination, injecting sperm directly into the egg during in vitro fertilization, or using donor sperm.
Sperm allergy is an uncommon cause of infertility, in which the male or female produces antibodies that kill sperm. This is most common after a male vasectomy. Assisted reproductive technologies are frequently used to help the couple improve their chance to conceive.
Unexplained infertility – 15-20% of all fertility problems
Infertility that persists in the face of normal fertility testing. The cause may not yet be known or detected by current medical science. Assisted reproductive technology can be used to help the chances of fertility.