Causes of Infertility
Infertility is a frustrating and difficult disease, but your hopes of having a baby can be achieved. Identifying the reasons or barriers keeping your from conceiving takes an evaluation of the three things required to become pregnant. Those three components are egg and sperm as well as a place for them to fertilize, implant, and grow. Each can be evaluated through diagnostic testing. Once the cause(s) have been identified, fertility treatments are customized for your particular situation and are best suited to overcome those barriers. 40% of couples will have female factor infertility, 40% will have male factor and about half of those couples will have both. For the other 20% of couples, a specific cause is not identified. Although this is referred to as unexplained infertility, there are algorithms and protocols in place to successfully treat and overcome unexplained infertility.
Ovulation Disorders: Hormone imbalances, thyroid irregularities, Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and other medical conditions can alter a woman’s cycle and disrupt ovulation.
Tubal Factor: Blocked fallopian tubes, prior surgeries and Endometriosis can affect the function of the fallopian tubes.
Uterine Factors: Fibroids, polyps, scarring as well as uterine malformations and endometrial infections can cause difficulty for an embryo to implant.
Egg Reserve/Egg quality: A woman is born with ALL of her eggs. Over time her egg reserve becomes depleted and egg quality decreases as a woman ages. Endometriosis and PCOS can also affect egg quality.
Other: Cervical and Vaginal environments can affect the ability for sperm to reach their destination
Sperm: Values sperm is evaluated for includes volume, Count, Motility, Morphology and Forward Progression.
These account for 20% of infertility and are defined as the inability to identify the cause by our standard diagnostic tests, such as a semen analysis, hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and hormone testing. There is still a reason, just not as obvious. An example is when all the tests are normal including the HSG, but the tubes do not function properly. Endometriosis is a common underlying reason for tubal dysfunction. Unexplained infertility can be frustrating because there is no direct reason, but there is a proper algorithm or treatment plan that will overcome or find the reason over time.