Couples are considered infertile if they are unable to conceive during one year of unprotected intercourse.
About 40 percent of fertility problems for couples are due to a medical condition in the woman.
Causes of Female Infertility
Some reasons why women may have fertility problems include:
- Ovulatory disorders
- Tubal abnormalities
- Uterine abnormalities
- Other medical issues
Diagnosing Female Infertility
- Will take a complete medical history and do a physical exam
- Will take blood to check the hormones being released and look for any abnormalities
- May order several imaging tests to look at the uterus, fallopian tubes, and the number of follicles that are developing
Treating Female Infertility
Treatments for infertility and helping you conceive depend largely on the reason for infertility.
You may receive medications to:
- Assist with ovulation
- Stimulate follicle development to help create more than one mature egg each month
The most successful method for many women is in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Back to top
Male infertility is a contributing factor for nearly half of infertile couples.
Causes of Male Infertility
Many things can lead to male infertility, including:
- Environmental factors, such as certain chemicals
- Spending long periods of time in hot tubs
- Varioceles (a collection of varicose veins in the scrotum)
Diagnosing Male Infertility
Semen analysis is one of the most important tools when looking at male infertility and sperm abnormalities.
A trained andrologist performs the semen analysis and looks at a number of factors, such as:
- Morphology (the size and shape of the sperm)
- Presence of round cells
One of the unique aspects of sperm production is that the analyzed sperm are sperm that were developed three months before.
Therefore, the quantity and quality of the sperm depends on factors that were present three months ago. These factors may or may not have changed, or may still be present.
Once the sperm are ejaculated, they must be capable of swimming in the cervical mucus through the cervix and vagina into the uterus. Conditions that impede this process may lead to male infertility.
Treating Male Infertility
Treatments may include: