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6 Potential Causes of Infertility

6 Potential Causes of Infertility

Between women having babies later in life, toxins in the environment, and the stresses of modern life, more couples than ever struggle to have a baby. In fact, about 15% of couples in the United States are infertile.

Fertility experts, Dr. Sharon Moayeri and Dr. Nidhee Sachdev treat both female infertility and male infertility at OC Fertility in Newport Beach, California with empathy as they understands how difficult it can be when faced with trouble while trying to conceive. That’s why 

Have you been told you’re infertile, or worry that you might be? Following are six of the most common reasons for infertility and what can be done to correct or circumvent them.

1. Problems with ovulation

Normally, a woman releases a number of eggs per menstrual cycle, and just one ripens and continues its journey down the fallopian tubes, where it may meet sperm and become fertilized. If you don’t release eggs each month, or if none of them ripen, or if your period and ovulation are irregular, you may have trouble conceiving.

Many women have a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which affects their ovulation and menstrual cycle. To find out if you ovulate regularly, we give you a take-home test that evaluates your cycle. If your cycle is irregular, we may recommend hormonal therapy to get you back on schedule.

2. Uterine abnormalities

Your uterus and the opening to the uterus — known as the cervix — may have structural abnormalities that complicate your ability to become pregnant. One of the most common types of uterine abnormalities are fibroids, which are benign tumors that can sometimes grow large enough to complicate carrying a baby to term. 

You could also have scarring or damage to your uterine lining due to a prior dilation and curettage. Some women have “hostile” cervical mucus. Normal mucus helps the sperm travel through the cervix and into the uterus. However, hostile mucus might be too acidic or scant to facilitate the sperms’ travel.

3. Endometriosis

Your endometrium is the tissue that lines your uterus and becomes engorged with blood just before your period. However, if you have a condition called endometriosis, the endometrium grows outside your uterus, too, and may even cover your ovaries and fallopian tubes. 

If you have endometriosis, your periods could be painful and heavy. You may also have trouble conceiving or carrying a child. We may recommend hormonal therapy or other treatments to reduce your endometriosis.

4. Damaged fallopian tubes

Egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tube. After a sperm fertilizes an egg, the embryo continues down the tube into the uterus, where it implants into your uterine lining.

However, if your fallopian tubes are damaged by a sexually transmitted disease (STD), another type of infection, or any other condition, you may have scar tissue, blockages, or other abnormalities that inhibit the movement of eggs, sperm, and embryos. We may recommend a minor surgical procedure to repair your fallopian tubes. 

5. Early menopause

Although most women hit menopause at around age 51, some women enter this stage of life much earlier. Menopause that occurs before the age of 40 is known as “premature menopause.” 

Although menopause can’t be halted or reversed, hormonal therapy can help you stay comfortable. You may wish to explore options such as donor eggs so that you can carry a baby to term. 

6. Problems with sperm

Problems with the woman’s reproductive organs or endocrine system account for only about one third of cases of infertility. Abnormalities in the man’s sperm account for another third.

Sperm must be active, well-shaped, and occur in great numbers to swim up the fallopian tube to fertilize an egg. From 1973 to 2011, men’s sperm counts in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand plummeted by 59%. Chemicals and toxins — particularly plastics — seem to be at the root of the problem.

Men may also have structural problems that prevent the sperm from ejaculating into the woman’s vagina. In addition, hormonal imbalances, stress, and infections can affect their fertility, too. 

In yet another third of cases, both the female and the male have problems that affect their ability to conceive as a couple. That’s why we always evaluate and examine both partners to identify all of the factors involved in your infertility. We then recommend treatments or other options for finally creating the family of your dreams. 

To find out why you’re having trouble conceiving, call us today at 949-706-2229 for a fertility evaluation or book an appointment on our website. 

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