Infertility Conditions and Causes

Many conditions can affect a couple’s fertility and even their well-being. Here you can find information on some of the common conditions of infertility which we treat in our practice.

The information provided here is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what is known about these conditions. We hope these brief descriptions will help you to understand your own condition better and make your visit with us, or your primary provider, more productive.

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  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
    Pelvic inflammatory (PID) affects more than 1 million women in the United States every year. This infection causes chronic pain and infertility.
  • Lifestyle Causes of Infertility
    Causes of infertility are not always reversible, but for some men and women, improving health and making smarter lifestyle choices can improve fertility.
  • Abnormal Periods
    Abnormal periods are menstrual cycles that differ from a woman’s typical cycle, or from the normal range of menstruation and can impact fertility.
  • Pelvic Pain & Infertility
    Pelvic pain refers to pain in the pelvic region – the area below the belly button and between the hips. It can be associated with a range of systems in the body, including gynecologic, gastrointestinal, urinary or musculoskeletal issues.
  • Anovulation
    Anovulation occurs when a woman does not release an egg during her menstrual cycle. In most cases, the woman has irregular, unpredictable or absent menses.
  • Diminished Ovarian Reserve
    Women with diminished ovarian reserve have few eggs left or eggs that are of poor quality, reducing the chances of conceiving with in vitro fertilization. See how we test ovarian reserve.
  • Endometriosis
    Endometriosis occurs when the lining inside the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus.The two most common symptoms are pain and/or infertility.
  • Hirsutism
    When a woman has increased body hair, similar to that seen in men, she may have hirsutism. The symptoms often improve with medical or cosmetic treatment.
  • Male Infertility Factors
    Male factors contribute to about half of the identifiable causes of infertility, and males are generally included in initial infertility evaluations.
  • Ovarian Cysts
    Ovarian cysts are solid or fluid-filled sacs located within or on the surface of the ovaries. Ovarian cysts can result in abnormal ovulation and, depending upon source or size, can hamper a woman’s fertility.
  • PCOS
    Women with polycystic ovary syndrome do not ovulate on a regular basis, and infertility is a very common complaint. PCOS occurs in about 7 percent of women.
  • Recurrent Miscarriage & Pregnancy Loss
    Recurrent pregnancy loss is when a woman has experienced two or more consecutive miscarriages with the same partner. There are many possible causes of RPL, categorized as chromosomal, anatomic, immunologic, infectious, hormonal or genetic, environmental, and unknown.
  • Tubal Disease
    Tubal disease can include endometriosis, infection, or other reasons may cause a woman's fallopian tubes to become blocked. IVF is generally recommended.
  • Uterine Anomalies
    Uterine anomalies are anatomical problems with the uterus that women are born with – developing when a female is growing in her mother’s womb.
  • Uterine Fibroids
    Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths in a woman’s uterine cavity. Several methods of controlling symptoms are available for women with fibroids.
  • Uterine Polyps
    Uterine polyps are bulb-shaped growths that develop in the uterus, and they can prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the uterine wall correctly.
  • Unexplained Infertility
    Unexplained infertility does not mean there is no cause for a couple’s infertility. It just means that our diagnostic tools and examinations have failed to detect the cause. Treatments can still result in pregnancy.

Infertility conditions & causes overview

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) defines a couple as infertile if they have not achieved a pregnancy within 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Infertility affects more couples than you think, so you are not alone if you’re having difficulty getting pregnant or maintaining pregnancy through delivery. At some point, 15 percent of couples struggle with infertility. Recurrent pregnancy loss affects another 3 percent of couples.

Tennessee Reproductive Medicine offers extensive family planning and preservation, as well as fertility testing and diagnosis for men and women looking to build their families.

If you have questions about infertility but are not sure where to start, access our resources by clicking on any of the topics below.

Find more detailed information by visiting TRM’s Health Library and Doctors’ Blog, or contact us online.

How to get pregnant

Before turning to reproductive medicine, learn how to get pregnant naturally and read about typical conception rates.

Getting Pregnant

Check your fertility

If you're concerned about your fertility or trying to get pregnant without success, take our online fertility check quiz.

Check Your Fertility

Common causes of infertility

Infertility can be due to age, a lack of regular ovulation, problems with the female anatomy such as blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, fibroids, or polyps, low sperm counts and/or other issues with the male anatomy. Male factors contribute to approximately half of the identifiable causes of infertility. Learn about the many common conditions that can affect a couple’s fertility or even their well-being.

Infertility Causes

Fertility testing & diagnosis

The goal of testing in both men and women is to determine causes of infertility and diagnose correctable issues. Typically, men and women should consider getting tested if they have not been able to achieve pregnancy after a year of having regular, unprotected intercourse.

Testing for Women

Testing for Men

Infertility treatments

Learn more about treatments offered at TRM, including IVF, genetic screening and robotic surgery.

Infographic: Do I need treatment?


Treatments & Services

Donation & surrogacy

Egg, embryo or sperm donation and surrogacy are viable options to grow a family. Learn about each process including risks and benefits. Donation & Surrogacy