What is Infertility, and how is it caused?

Throughout the world, many women sadly tend to run into issues regarding fertility. Let alone in the United States about 10% of women *roughly 6.1 million* have issues specifically regarding the process of pregnancy.

But what is infertility?

Infertility can be described as the process of not being able to get pregnant after a year of trying. Infertility does not only apply to women but also applies to men. Over 1/3 of all infertility cases are due to men’s problems. Furthermore, in some cases women can get pregnant but are unable to carry out a full pregnancy can be infertile.

What are the causes of infertility?

Infertility can be caused by a broad spectrum of reasons. Some main reasons include:

  • Ovulatory Dysfunction: In order for a women to convict, an egg has to release from the ovary during ovulation. In the cases that a menstrual cycle is inconsistent, irregular, or does not ovulate at all, ovulation can be affected.
  • Uterine Problems: A fertilized embryo has to implant in the womb (endometrium) in order to grow. Abnormal uterine anatomy, fibroids, and polyps can affect this process and make it more difficult to occur.
  • Tubal Factor: When an egg has been released during the menstrual cycle, it has to be picked up by the fibril end of the Fallopian tube to then be transported down to meet the sperm. Thus creating fertilization in the tube. Past scarring or infections can affect the tubes and their potency, thus creating issues when it is time for the tubes to safely transport the egg and fertilized embryo.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis occurs when there is a presence of tissue on the outside the uterus. This tissue can cause scar tissue and lot’s of pain. As a result in a higher risk of infertility.
  • Age: Typically at around the age of 35 for women fertility decreases due to the lower quality and quantity of eggs.
  • PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can ultimately lead to infertility. This is because with PCOS menstrual cycles can become irregular or missed, causing the inability of fertility.

As infertility is prevalent in the United States, it is important to know if either partner is at risk or susceptible to infertility. An easy step to take precaution would be to make sure would be to make an appointment with your OB/GYN.

By: Olivia Katsura