Causes of infertility
Conceiving a bundle of joy can sometimes be difficult.
Conceiving a baby - one may think it is the easiest process in the world since it's certainly is an enjoyable process. Conception, however, for some women and men takes years of praying, hoping, and in some cases, medical procedures. What should be a joyous time can end up being strenuous on relationships or marriages.
According to BabyCenter, a site for expectant parents, about 10 percent of reproductive-age couples in the United States will have a problem getting pregnant. They also state that about 30 percent of the cases are due to problems in women, 30 percent are due to cases in men and the rest are unexplainable causes or multiple factors involving both partners.
Infertility in Women
Some causes of infertility in women, according to the site, are:
Endometriosis - a condition that occurs when tissue found in the uterine lining, called endometrial tissue, grows outside your uterus, usually in the abdominal-pelvic cavity;
Ovulation Problems - any condition, usually hormonal, that prevents the release of a mature egg from your ovaries;
Poor egg quality - if your eggs are damaged or have chromosomal abnormalities, they can't sustain a pregnancy;
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - a condition in which small follicles in your ovaries don't develop into larger, mature follicles; it's also characterized by hormone imbalances and unpredictable ovulation patterns;
Blocked fallopian tubes - prevent your partner's sperm from getting to your egg and prevent the fertilized egg from getting to your uterus; leading causes include pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections, such as Chlamydia, and previous sterilization surgery;
Sperm allergy - your body may produce antibodies that kill sperm cells.
Infertility in Men
While causes of infertility are often focused on women, many physicians prefer to take a couple-approach to determining problems. In those instances, tests will be run simultaneously. Some of the most prominent causes of infertility in men include:
Blockages - a small percentage of men have a blockage in their ejaculatory duct that prevents sperm from getting into their ejaculate fluid; if your vas deferens or epididymis tubes are blocked or damaged, they can prevent your sperm from getting to your partner's egg; infection, injury, congenital defects or a vasectomy could cause this blockage;
Varicocele - enlarged veins, similar to varicose veins, in the scrotum which raises the temperature in the testes and which may affect sperm production;
Irregular sperm - little to no sperm, poor sperm motility (its ability to move), or abnormally shaped sperm; your sperm may not be able to fertilize your partners' eggs on its own;
Sperm allergy - your body can develop antibodies that can kill your own sperm, most commonly after a vasectomy, testicular torsion (where the testicle twists inside the scrotum), infection or trauma.
Every couple's situation is different. There are some cases cited that report where fertility problems can not be diagnosed or explained. Weight, excessive exercise and some environmental toxins also contribute to causes of fertility problems.