Infertility Symptoms and Causes

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The causes of infertility are many, and can range from super simple to amazingly complex. Many cases of infertility actually have more than one cause and those causes can sometimes be extremely hard to pinpoint. Experts say that around one third of fertility problems are caused by a problem that is attributed to male factor infertility.

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Another one third of fertility problems are attributed to female factor infertility. The final one third of fertility problems are attributed to both male and female fertility issues. Read on for some of the most common causes of fertility issues.

1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a very common female reproductive problem, which is often attributed to female infertility problems. Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue ends up in the wrong place, outside of the uterus.

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When endometriosis occurs, it affects the function of all the female reproductive organs, including uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. It is a very common cause of infertility.

2. Sperm Problems

Sperm problems are a very common cause of male infertility. They include abnormal sperm counts, poor sperm quality, poor sperm motility (movement) and more. It’s important that more than 40 percent of a man’s sperm be good swimmers in order for him to be able to make a baby.

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Also, a man need to have more than 39 million sperm in each ejaculation to have a good chance at conceiving. As you can see, sperm play a huge role in conception.

3. PCOS

PCOS, or PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, is another very common cause of infertility in women. PCOS causes a woman’s body to produce too many androgens, or male hormones.

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The presence of these androgens means that a woman’s body won’t produce enough estrogen, which of course makes it harder to conceive. Clomid, the first choice drug to induce ovulation, is particularly effective in helping women with PCOS.

4. Damage To The Fallopian Tubes

It is very common for women with fertility problems to have issues with their fallopian tubes. STDS and other problems can cause the fallopian tubes to become scarred. When the tubes are scarred, it can become nearly impossible for the egg and sperm to meet.

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Unfortunately, once the fallopian tubes are scarred, it can be impossible to reverse the damage. Usually, women with blocked or scarred fallopian tubes opt for procedures like IVF or IUI, or the use of a donor egg.

5. Egg Problems

Another common female reproductive problem is the lack of enough viable eggs in a woman’s body. This can be due to premature menopause or another problem. Every woman is born with a set number of eggs and that number cannot be changed or increased.

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When those eggs are gone, they are gone. If a woman wants to have a baby after her egg supply has been depleted, she will need to use a donor egg and IVF, or a gestational carrier/surrogate.

Dr. Karen Leham is double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocronology and Infertility. Dr. Leham completed her residency at Loyola University, followed by a fellowship at UCLA.
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  • Lauren Ross

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