Infertility is more common than many people realize. It affects about 10% of couples—that’s more than 1 million—in the United States. Both men and women face fertility problems. About 1/3 of the time an issue is discovered with the woman, and about 1/3 of the time it is a problem with the man. Sometimes, a combination of female and male factors are the issue. Approximately 20% of the time, the cause of a couple’s infertility is unexplained. Our goal is to determine precisely where the problem lies, so we can do everything possible to make your dream of building your family a reality.
Common Infertility Issues
Countless factors affect fertility in women. Some of the most common include ovarian aging, ovulation disorders, fallopian tube damage, and uterine abnormalities.
Women are born with a finite number of eggs, and it is normal for the egg supply to decline in both number and quality over time. The chance of pregnancy decreases about 3–5% each year after the age of 30, and women above the age of 40 may find it challenging to conceive. Ovulation disorders may cause irregular cycles and make conception difficult. Damage to the fallopian tubes can prevent fertilization and make getting the embryo to the uterus a challenge. Anatomic differences in the uterus, such as polyps or fibroids, may disrupt the normal implantation process.
Male causes of infertility include anatomic issues, hormonal problems, and decreased sperm parameters. Differences in sperm concentration, movement, and shape can make the fertilization step challenging. Since a large portion of infertility is due to male factor, it is very important to consider both partners at the start of the fertility evaluation.