CAUSES OF INFERTILITY
MALE FACTOR INFERTILITY
Male factor problems essentially fall into one of two categories: productive or obstructive. Problems with sperm production can stem from congenital (present at birth) problems with the testicle, hormone-related issues, varicose veins, environmental exposures, or cancer.
Obstructive issues impair the transport of sperm to the semen. Production within the testicle is usually at a normal level but a problem can occur with the outflow tract. Causes can include:
- Prior surgery
- Congenital abnormalities (problems that are present at birth)
- We often focus treatment on either reconstruction of the transport system or retrieval of sperm for use in assisted reproduction.
- Problems with the uterus, Fallopian tubes, or ovaries
- Irregular or no ovulation
- Hormonal imbalances
- A woman’s age, which affects ovarian reserve
- Advanced Age
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Ovulatory Disorders
- Premature Ovarian Failure
- Tubal Disease
Female infertility can have many potential causes but predominantly fall into four main categories:
Women in the late 30s and 40s are considered to be of advanced maternal age, while conception is still possible it can be difficult to achieve without the assistance of fertility treatment.
Age is the biggest factor affecting egg supply. This is true for all women: the older you get, the fewer eggs you have. Your body does not produce more eggs, nor is there any available treatment to increase the quantity or quality of your egg supply.
Even though statistical trends have shown that the age of women at the birth of their first child has steadily been on the rise since the mid-1970s, a woman’s fertility peaks in her mid-20s, begins to decline around 27, and drops off more steeply after age 35. A woman’s fertility is measured by her ability to achieve a pregnancy on a given month. For women, the ability to conceive is tied to the quality of her eggs. As women age, hormonal changes begin to take place. There is a lot going on but of particular interest are the two main hormones controlling the development and release of the egg each month. These are follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and lutenizing hormone (LH).
1 in 80 pregnancies are considered to be ectopic pregnancies- when a pregnancy is established outside of the uterus such as in the fallopian tubes. In such cases, one or both of your tubes might not be fit for transportation and / or fertilisation of an egg.
Endometriosis is a common problem that occurs when lining from the uterus works its way into other parts of the body including the abdomen and bowels.
Fibroids are common and usually benign muscle tumors found in the wall of the uterus that can impact the ability to conceive.
Women experiencing higher levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production, often do not ovulate regularly making conception difficult to achieve.
PCOS is the most common ovulatory disorder representing 85% of diagnosed all ovulatory disorders. Conception can occur with lifestyle modifications and fertility treatment.
There are many reasons why a woman may not ovulate regularly, many of which are treatable through lifestyle changes or fertility treatment.
Premature Ovarian Failure is the medical term used to describe the early onset of menopause, generally occurring before the age of 40. Conception in women with this condition is still possible with the assistance of fertility treatment.
Tubal Disease is a disorder in which the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged. Usually caused by a history of infection, surgery, or endometriosis.