If you are one of the 6.1 million women in the United States struggling to become pregnant, knowing its cause is likely important to you. Learn what might be causing your infertility and how you can increase your chances for a successful pregnancy.
When you have difficulty becoming pregnant, the first thing you’ll want to know is why. At Alpha OB GYN, we offer comprehensive services to help answer that question.
Experienced gynecologist Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG, works closely with you to better understand the underlying cause of infertility, so you can begin the treatments you need to improve your chances for a successful pregnancy.
Infertility describes an inability to become pregnant after at least one year of having unprotected sex. If you are able to get pregnant but can’t maintain a viable pregnancy, you might also need diagnostic testing and treatment for infertility.
Women over the age of 35 who have not become pregnant after trying for at least six months should consider scheduling an infertility evaluation with us at Alpha OBGYN.
Causes of infertility in women
Infertility isn’t just a women’s issue. In about one third of cases, the root cause of infertility lies with the female partner. In another one third of cases, the issue lies with the male partner. For the remaining one third of infertility cases, the root cause remains unknown.
In women, common causes of infertility include:
Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrium, or the lining of your uterus, grows outside of the uterus. This tissue continues to act like it should, thickening and breaking down during your usual menstrual cycle.
The excess tissue growth can interfere with the release of eggs from your fallopian tubes and reduce the likelihood that egg will meet sperm for fertilization.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID describes an infection in the female reproductive organs, including the cervix, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This type of infection can be the result of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or because of an overgrowth of vaginal bacteria.
Infertility can occur with PID because of the scar tissue that can form on your fallopian tubes that prevent the release of an egg for fertilization.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a condition that affects your hormone levels and causes you to produce more male hormones than you should. This leads to a hormone imbalance that throws off your menstrual cycle and makes it more difficult for you to become pregnant.
Premature ovarian failure
Premature ovarian failure occurs when your ovaries stop functioning properly before you reach age 40. As a result, your periods might become irregular and make it more difficult for you to become pregnant.
Common causes of infertility in men
In men, there are several factors that can contribute to infertility. These factors might include:
A common condition is varicocele, the enlargement of the veins in the testicles. These enlarged veins can increase the temperature of the testicles and the heat can alter the integrity or number of sperm.
The motility, or movement, of a man’s sperm can interfere with fertilization. There might also be blockages in the reproductive system that prevent sperm from meeting with an egg.
Poor sperm production
Infertility can occur in men who produce too few sperm or none at all.
Getting help for infertility
If your diagnostic testing indicates that female reproductive issues are the reason for infertility, Dr. Reddy will work with you closely to determine the best course of treatment.
There are several available options that can treat infertility and improve your chances for conceiving a healthy, viable pregnancy. Depending on your needs, you might benefit from medications that stimulate ovulation or surgery to remove scar tissue, fibroids, and other obstructions from your reproductive organs.
To learn more about how you can treat infertility, call Alpha OB GYN or book a consultation online today.