You're Not Alone: Infertility Causes and Treatments

If you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you’re not alone. Infertility affects about 1 in 8 couples, according to Resolve, the National Infertility Association. You receive a diagnosis of infertility when you can’t get pregnant after 12 months of regular, unprotected sex, (or six months if you’re over 35), or if you can get pregnant but can’t successfully carry a pregnancy to term.

Going through infertility can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. But Lauren Rubal, MD, our fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, is here to help. You can count on her to provide you with the support and care you need. 

Dr. Rubal would like to share some important information with you about infertility causes and treatments.

Causes of infertility

About a third of infertility cases are due to female factors, a third are due to male factors, and a third are either unexplained or due to both male and female issues, according to Resolve. Some common causes of female and male infertility include:

Ovulation problems

Pregnancy occurs when a man’s sperm fertilizes a woman’s egg. Problems with ovulation, which is the release of an egg from a woman’s ovary, can make pregnancy less likely. Ovulation problems are the most common cause of infertility in women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). These problems include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and ovarian insufficiency.

Other gynecological issues

These include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, uterine fibroids, damage from sexually transmitted infections, and other conditions that affect the structure and functioning of a woman’s reproductive system. Age also impacts a woman’s fertility.

Sperm problems

Sperm problems are the most common cause of infertility in men, according to ACOG. A variety of health conditions and injuries can impact the number, health, quality, and mobility of sperm produced by a man’s body. One of these conditions is a varicocele, a condition that develops when the veins on a man’s testicles enlarge and affect the number or quality of sperm.

Other male factors 

Certain current or past health problems, such as cystic fibrosis, mumps, kidney disease, and hormone imbalances, as well as some types of previous medical treatment, such as radiation for cancer, may impede a man’s ability to father children.

Lifestyle factors

In both men and women, lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, diet, weight, chronic stress, and using drugs may affect fertility, as can exposure to environmental toxins.

Treating infertility

Treatment for infertility depends on its cause. In some cases, medical treatment, surgery, or lifestyle changes can make pregnancy possible.

When infertility persists, you may benefit from various types of infertility treatment. These include medication, intrauterine insemination, in which your partner’s sperm is injected into your reproductive system, and in vitro fertilization, in which your egg is fertilized with your partner’s sperm in a lab and then implanted into your uterus.

You are not alone

If you’re having trouble conceiving, Dr. Rubal is here for you. She provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services for couples with infertility. To schedule an appointment with her at our office in Newport Beach, California, call 949-415-6704, or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Signs Your Periods Are Irregular

Are your periods irregular? Do you notice that their length, frequency, symptoms, and amount of bleeding differ from that of other women? Learn some facts about irregular periods, including potential causes.

5 Causes of Recurrent Pelvic Pain

Recurrent pelvic pain can interfere with your quality of life and your ability to get pregnant. Learn about 5 of the most common causes of pelvic pain and some of the other symptoms that may accompany it.