What Is infertility?

Normally, most couples are able to become pregnant within the first year of trying.  However, approximately 10% will still not be pregnant and are thus considered to have a fertility problem.  Infertility is defined as the inability to achieve a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sex.  It is important to understand that most couples with infertility will eventually conceive and have children either on their own or with medical assistance.

What causes infertility?

Infertility is a symptom of a problem which may be due to a number of causes.  A consultation with a fertility specialist involves a review of each partner’s medical history and physical examinations along with medical testing to determine the factors involved in a couple’s infertility.  A thorough fertility evaluation allows one to understand available treatment options and decide on the treatment plan that is most appropriate for you and your partner.

The following are some of the common causes of female infertility:

  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Ovulatory disorders
  • Diseases of the uterus and/or fallopian tubes
  • Disorders of the ovary
  • Abnormal ovarian reserve (poor egg quality/quantity)
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvis adhesions (from sexually transmitted infections or other inflammatory diseases: appendix, gallbladder, bowel)

The following are causes of infertility in men:

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility
  • Abnormal sperm morphology
  • Undescended testicle
  • Testicular varicocele
  • Genetic abnormality

The following health and lifestyle factors are associated with infertility:

  • Age – Both female and male fertility decline with age.
  • Weight -overweight or underweight
  • History of chemotherapy or radiation
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, like lead or pesticides
  • Excessive drug or alcohol use
  • Tobacco use
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Injury to the scrotum and/or testicle

When to See a Doctor

If you have been trying for a year or more to get pregnant, or if you are over the age of 35 and have been trying for 6 months or longer without success, it may be time to discuss your concerns with a physician. The doctors at The Fertility Institute are experienced at treating all forms of infertility. We have accomplished over 17,000 pregnancies and are available to help you achieve the family you desire.