Infertility Factors

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Female Infertility Factors

The most common female infertility factors include:

Ovulation disorders
About one quarter of infertility cases are due to ovulation disorders. If a woman has an ovulation disorder, she may ovulate infrequently or not all. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common disorders impacting ovulation. Other causes of ovulation disorders include ovarian insufficiency and hypothalamic amenorrhea.

PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) - is a very common endocrine condition in reproductive-aged women. It affects approximately 5-10% of young women and often leads to difficulty conceiving. Women with this condition can experience irregular periods, abnormal hair growth, acne, and can have ovaries containing multiple small cysts.

PCOS negatively impacts fertility because women with the condition do not ovulate, or release an egg, each month due to an overproduction of estrogen by the ovaries. Because ovulation does not occur regularly, periods become irregular and increased levels of hormones such as testosterone can affect egg quality, inhibit ovulation, lead to insulin resistance, and increase the risk disorders such as gestational diabetes.

Age
Infertility due to age is one of the most common causes of female infertility. As a woman gets older, the number of her eggs decreases rapidly. Additionally, the quality of her eggs also decreases increases the chance of chromosomal abnormalities. Studies have shown that approximately 70% of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities.

Tubal Factor
Tubal factor fertility is when there are problems in the fallopian tube(s), which prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg.

Tubal factor infertility is when a woman’s fallopian tube(s) are blocked or damaged which prevents the sperm from reaching and fertilizing the egg, or the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus. One or both fallopian tubes may be impacted. In instances of partial blockages, this can increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Tubal factor infertility is responsible for 25-35% of infertility cases in women.

Endometriosis
Endometriosis is when the tissue of the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. About 10% of reproductive age women are affected by endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a condition that affects approximately 5-10% of reproductive-aged women and up to one third of women with infertility. Women with endometriosis can experience painful periods that often are not relieved with over-the-counter pain medications. Women with this condition may also suffer from pain with intercourse and/or bowel movements. Endometriosis is caused by cells from the lining of the uterus found in various locations in the abdomen and pelvis, commonly on the ovaries. Surgical visualization of endometriosis implants is the mainstay of diagnosis of the condition.

Endometrial Polyps
Endometrial polyps are growths found in the uterine cavity. Large polyps or multiple polyps can impact fertility by interfering with the ability of embryo to implant and should be removed. The impact of small or single polyps is more controversial.

Uterine Fibroids
Fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus. They are very common (approximately 40% of women have them them). However, the presence of fibroids alone doesn’t necessarily cause infertility or predispose a woman to pregnancy loss. Fibroids that distort the uterine cavity have an impact on the ability of an embryo to implant and should be removed surgically. The impact of fibroids located elsewhere in the uterus are controversial and do not always require surgery.

Male Infertility Factors

The most common female infertility factors include:

Obtructive azoospermia
occurs when a man’s testes produce enough sperm, but there is a plumbing problem that prevents the sperm from traveling out of the testes and entering the ejaculate in the urethra/penis.

Non-obstructive azoospermia
is a set of disorders that cause a man to produce abnormal sperm. All of these disorders either decrease production or cause no sperm production at all.

Oligospermia
is a medical condition found in men, which is characterised by a low sperm count in their semen. To impregnate a woman, a healthy amount of sperm in a man's semen is usually necessary.

Varicocele
A varicocele is a common cause of  male infertility, and can lead to low sperm production and decreased motility and quality. Similar to a varicose vein in the legs, blood pools within veins in the scrotum, resulting in swelling and dilation.