Understanding Common Causes of Infertility
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, infertility affects approximately 10 percent of couples in the U.S. Difficulty becoming or staying pregnant can be caused by both male and female factors. Male factor infertility is often caused by issues with sperm production whereas female infertility is typically caused by tubal, egg, or uterine factors, and more. At the Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Los Angeles, CA, our team of fertility specialists provides compassionate, personalized care using the latest techniques. Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler can use a variety of advanced methods to screen for causes of infertility, then tailor treatment based on your unique needs.
By definition, infertility means that conception has not occurred after one year of trying – or six months if the female partner is over 35 years of age. There are many different reasons why a couple may have difficulty conceiving, including both male and female factors.
Common Causes of Female Infertility
Female fertility issues can be caused by issues with the eggs, the tubes, or the uterus. One specific cause of egg-related issues is if the female partner is not ovulating. One of the most common reasons that a woman may not ovulate is if she is affected by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Other causes of infertility in women include:
- Obstructed fallopian tubes
- Physical issues with the uterus
- Egg quality issues
While the exact cause of female infertility is not always apparent, there are certain risk factors that increase the chance of these issues. For example, common factors that can affect a woman’s fertility include:
- Environmental factors which include excessive alcohol consumption, tobacco use, stress poor diet, being overweight or underweight, and athletic training
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Medical conditions that cause hormonal changes
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Prior abdominal surgeries
Common Causes of Male Infertility
Approximately one-third of all infertility problems are caused by the male. Some of the ways we see male infertility are reflected in abnormalities in the sperm such as low sperm count, a low percentage of sperm that are swimming well, or an abnormality in the percentage of sperm that are perfectly shaped.
Sperm health can be affected by a man’s overall lifestyle and health. Risk factors for male infertility include:
- Environmental factors such as drug use, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking or tobacco use, or environmental toxins
- Certain health conditions, such as kidney disease
- Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy
- Surgery on the genitals
- Genetic conditions
The Screening Process
If a couple is having difficulty conceiving, Dr. Kalan or Dr. Winkler will perform a comprehensive evaluation, including a physical exam and a complete health history. To test for male factor infertility, the semen is analyzed to check for number, movement, and shape of the sperm.
Our doctors will first perform a comprehensive evaluation, beginning with a physical exam and a detailed discussion of your health history.
When testing for female factor infertility, we evaluate medical history, menstrual cycles, uterus tubes, and ovaries. If these tests come back within normal limits, then further tests can be completed to see if there are any physical abnormalities present.
Schedule an Evaluation
The first step towards reaching your goals as a family is becoming educated about your unique situation. We offer a number of treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, and intrauterine insemination, to meet our patients' varied needs. To learn more, schedule a consultation at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center by messaging us online or calling (661) 889-5173.