may be caused by any number of conditions. And there are a variety
of causes associated with those conditions—both internal and
external. Some people are just born with it while other times outside
factors may affect fertility, and a pre-existing disease or condition
may interfere as well.
Fertility and the ability to conceive involves
the proper functioning of a number of aspects of your and your
reproductive symptoms, including:
- Healthy sperm
- Sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg
- Ability of a fertilized egg to implant in a woman’s
- Sufficient embryo quality
- Healthy eggs
- Unblocked fallopian tubes
In men, infertility is caused by either
a lack of sperm or malformed sperm. Some men produce no sperm at all.
A man can be born with fertility
these fertility problems are associated with a genetic disease such as cystic
fibrosis, but they can also be attributed to injuries later in life. A man’s
lifestyle has a great influence on his fertility, and drug and alcohol abuse
may reduce sperm quality. Environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead,
can also affect fertility in men.
In women, infertility is most commonly cause
by ovulation problems. Ovulation is the process whereby an egg is released
from the ovary and made available
for fertilization. You might be aware that you have an ovulation problem,
because you have irregular periods or amenorrhea (absence of periods).
can be influenced by your lifestyle—if you are overly stressed, have
an improper diet or an eating disorder, or if you have an excessively strenuous
exercise routine, ovulation may be affected. Some hormonal problems also
affect ovulation, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal
and common cause of infertility that may also affect metabolism. Women with
develop enlarged ovaries and multiple small cysts. PCOS can be managed with
weight loss and exercise that might stimulate renewed ovulation.
also affect ovulation. Most professionals agree that after 35 the ovaries
begin to release fewer eggs. Menopause will render you infertile
you no longer release any eggs. Besides ovulation difficulties,
many other factors that contribute to fertility problems, including
which inhibit the sperm’s access to the released egg. Endometriosis
is a pre-existing condition that causes adhesions and cysts in the uterus
can be very painful. It may also cause infertility. Some women are born
developed reproductive organs, including the uterus. Uterine fibroids are
often associated with repeated miscarriages and infertility.
After you meet
with your provider to discuss the possibility of infertility, he or she
will conduct an extensive interview to make sure that you are
having sex at the right times to promote conception. The interview will
by a full physical exam and preliminary blood tests. You may undergo
tests and screenings to help identify the problem. Knowing the
cause of infertility
crucial to deciding on the appropriate treatment. Men usually undergo
semen analysis, a test to check for any defects in the sperm, etc.
Both you and
will be tested for hormone levels, which can show any ovulation or sperm
production problem. After these initial tests, if there is no identifiable
round of tests will be ordered. Your provider might choose to test your
fallopian tube function with an x-ray using a contrast dye to view any
the uterus or fallopian tubes or laparoscopy, which provides a direct
view of the
reproductive organs by internally inserting a fiber optic camera. The
results of these tests may provide an explanation for your problems
Sometimes, a couple’s inability to conceive or carry out a pregnancy
is unknown. In fact, at least 10 percent of all infertility cases have
unknown causes. In those
cases, it may be more difficult to find the right treatment, although other
options may be explored.