Infertility is a common problem that many couples face which may be caused by a variety of issues. On an episode of Healthful Woman, Dr. Fox and reproductive endocrinologist Dr. Susan Lobel explained the most common causes of infertility and how they can be treated. Listen to that episode on HealthfulWoman.com or continue reading below to learn what commonly causes infertility.
Dr. Lobel explains that there are three common causes of infertility: irregular menstrual cycles, problems with the uterus or fallopian tubes, and issues with the sperm. Various tests with your OB/GYN or a reproductive endocrinologist can help you determine the cause of your infertility.
Irregular cycles can make it difficult for couples to predict when a woman is ovulating and may indicate hormonal issues or other complications that contribute to infertility. Dr. Lobel explains that “if a patient has a bleed every 28-30 days (plus or minus two), she’s likely ovulating normally,” meaning that these patients can rule out an irregular cycle as a cause for infertility. However, those with irregular cycles may be facing issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a thyroid issue, or hypothalamus issues.
Anatomical issues with a uterus may include a bicornuate (heart-shaped) uterus, fibroids, or polyps. Each of these might impact implantation. Some patients can have these problems corrected surgically. IVF is usually recommended if the problem is blocked tubes.
Problems with sperm production or quality range in both their causes and treatments. For some cases, Dr. Lobel explains that the cause may be as simple as a side effect from medication or simply using saunas or hot tubs too frequently. However, problems with sperm can also be caused by issues like dilated veins in the scrotum, which would require medical intervention and treatment from a urologist. If low sperm count issues cannot be suitably addressed, IVF is typically a good solution.
Most OB/GYNs and reproductive endocrinologists advise patients to try to conceive naturally for at least a year if they have no known reproductive health problems and are under 35 years old. Patients who know they have a condition or who are over the age of 35 are advised to wait about six months before seeking fertility care.
If you’re dealing with fertility issues, schedule an appointment with an OB/GYN at Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates in New York City. We can assess the likely cause of your infertility by reviewing your menstrual cycle, ordering hormone level tests or HSGs, or refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist.
To schedule your appointment, call Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates at (212) 235-1335 or contact us online.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!