Individuals and couples may struggle to get pregnant or stay pregnant after months of trying for a baby for different reasons. A fertility doctor can help assess the cause of your infertility and offer solutions to help you become a parent. Here are some possible causes of infertility that your doctor can help you uncover:
Causes of Infertility in Females
The female body produces the eggs for fertilization and houses the embryo until maturity. Any problems interfering with egg production (ovulation) or any part of the female reproductive system may cause fertility issues. Your fertility doctor may run some tests and check your medical history for the following conditions to determine the cause of your infertility:
Ovulation disorders affect a woman’s endocrine system, which regulates hormones and ovulation patterns. Women with ovulation disorders may have no or irregular menstrual cycles due to infrequent ovulation or complete absence of ovulation. When the body fails to release an egg each month, it lowers the possibility of conception.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
When a woman has PCOS, her ovaries and occasionally her adrenal glands overproduce androgens. High concentrations of these hormones result in the growth of small cysts, which affect ovarian follicle development and egg release during ovulation. Symptoms of PCOS include missed or irregular periods, excess body hair growth, acne, infertility, and weight gain.
Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or lupus may cause fertility issues in women. When the body’s immune system fails, it can cause autoimmune illnesses by inciting an inflammatory reaction that targets healthy cells. Autoimmune conditions may prevent fertilization and implantation in women, resulting in infertility.
Low Ovarian Reserve
Low or diminished ovarian reserve means a woman has fewer eggs in her ovaries than other women her age. A female’s egg count declines naturally as she ages, but some people experience this sooner than others. A fertility doctor can conduct ovarian reserve testing to identify diminished ovarian reserve.
About 30-50% of women with endometriosis are infertile, and 25-50% of infertile women have the condition. Endometriosis is a condition that causes the cells that line the uterine cavity to grow outside the uterus. Endometrial cells may develop in the ovaries, pelvis, and fallopian tubes, affecting the hormonal environment around the eggs, egg quality, and implantation.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths found inside the uterus. Large fibroids within the uterine cavity are more likely to affect fertility than those within the uterine wall. Fibroids can cause infertility when they alter the cervix’s location, reducing the quantity of sperm cells that reach the uterus. Fibroids can also cause infertility when they change the uterus’ shape, obstructing sperm motility or implantation.
Blockage of the Fallopian Tubes
Blockage of fallopian tubes makes conceiving more difficult because the fallopian tube is where the sperm fertilizes a female’s egg. Blockages may result from tubal ligation, endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory illness, or past surgeries. Most women with blocked fallopian tubes don’t have any apparent symptoms.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a womb, fallopian tube, and ovary infection often caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Symptoms of PID may include lower abdominal pain, unusual discharge, and painful sex. PID can scar and damage the fallopian tubes, preventing an egg from entering the womb.
Causes Of Male Infertility
A male must release a healthy sperm that can reach the ovum for fertilization to occur. Anything that interferes with sperm production, quality, or motility may cause male infertility. A fertility specialist can evaluate the male partner for possible causes of infertility, like low sperm count and motility, varicocele, retrograde ejaculation, or undescended testicles. They may also test for infertility or sperm issues caused by chromosomal defects, prolonged heat exposure, past infection or traumas, hormonal imbalances, or undiagnosed celiac disease.
Find a Fertility Doctor Near You
Consider meeting with a fertility specialist if you are below 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for over a year. Meet with a fertility specialist if you are over 35 and have been trying for at least six months. A fertility doctor can help you uncover the possible causes of your fertility issues and guide you on the next steps. Contact a reputable fertility specialist today to learn more about their fertility testing and treatment services.