Conditions & Causes of Infertility
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.
- Pelvic inflammatory (PID) affects more than 1 million women in the United States every year. This infection causes chronic pain and 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 are menstrual cycles that differ from a woman’s typical cycle, or from the normal range of menstruation and can impact fertility.
- 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 occurs when a woman does not release an egg during her menstrual cycle. In most cases, the woman has irregular, unpredictable or absent menses.
- 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 occurs when the lining inside the uterus (endometrium) grows outside the uterus.The two most common symptoms are pain and/or infertility.
- 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 factors contribute to about half of the identifiable causes of infertility, and males are generally included in initial infertility evaluations.
- 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.
- 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 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 can include endometriosis, infection, or other reasons may cause a woman's fallopian tubes to become blocked. IVF is generally recommended.
- 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 are non-cancerous growths in a woman’s uterine cavity. Several methods of controlling symptoms are available for women with fibroids.
- 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 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.
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.
If you have questions about infertility but are not sure where to start, access our resources by clicking on any of the topics below.