Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after one year of having regular sexual intercourse without using birth control. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), infertility affects 10%-15% of couples.
Causes of Infertility
There are many possible causes of infertility in both men and women. Common causes of infertility are often linked to:
- Health conditions
If no cause is found, it is called unexplained infertility.
Age and Fertility
Age can have a big impact on fertility, especially for women. In women, age is the best indicator for the number of eggs remaining as well as the quality of those eggs. According to the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (ACOG), fertility starts to decline in a woman’s early 30s and declines more rapidly after age 37.
Age can affect male fertility as well, but not as quickly or predictably.
Other than the natural decline of fertility with age, the following factors may contribute to female infertility:
- Ovulation disorders that affect the way eggs are released from the ovaries
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage
- Cervical abnormalities
- Uterine abnormalities
- Endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus and affects the function of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and uterus function.
- Ovarian aging
- Ovulation & menstruation deteriorates before the age of 40
Male Factor Infertility
Infertility is often considered a female problem, but there is often a male factor to infertility. According to the CDC, male factors contribute to about 35% of infertility cases. Male infertility may be linked to:
- Ejaculatory disorders: Disruption of ejaculatory function can contribute to infertility.
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed ejaculation
- Retrograde ejaculation
- Some or all of the semen is discharged back up into the bladder
- No ejaculation occurs at sexual climax
- Testicular disorders: Any disruption of testicular function can contribute to infertility. These conditions may be caused by trauma to the testes, medications, cancer treatment, and medical conditions.
- Hormonal disorders: Hormonal imbalances caused by improper function of a man’s pituitary glands or hypothalamus can contribute to infertility.
- Genetic disorders: Genetic disorders can result in low sperm count or no sperm production at all. Disorders include:
- Y-chromosome microdeletion
- Myotonic dystrophy
- Klinefelter’s syndrome
How is Infertility Treated?
- Ovulation Induction
- Intrauterine Insemination
- In Vitro Fertilization
- Donor Egg
- Fertility Preservation
- Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery
Schedule an Appointment at West Virginia Fertility Institute
Women who are healthy and under 35 should try to get pregnant a year before seeing a fertility specialist. Women over 35 should see a specialist after 6 months of trying to conceive.
The expert providers at West Virginia Fertility Institute specialize in a variety of treatments for infertility. This includes fertility testing to determine the causes of infertility. Together, we can come up with a personalized plan for treatment that fits your individual circumstances. If you have questions about infertility or any of our services, please call our office at (304) 345-9292 to schedule a consult.