Health Issues

Health Issues That May Cause Infertility

Starting a family can be both a joyful and bitter time in a couple’s life. If you’ve been trying for some time without success, it’s time to look into infertility clinics like MCRM Fertility. This post includes some starting points for individuals that have concerns about their fertility. 

Health Issues for Women

For many couples dealing with fertility issues, the journey starts with a doctor asking the female partner some questions about their health history. It’s common to feel shame or frustration, but feel assured that you are not alone. One out of six couples in the United States struggles with conceiving. At MCRM Fertility, we start by asking both partners some questions and begin testing based on your answers. 

Problems With Ovulation

To become pregnant, women must release an egg each month. If you have a health condition that affects your chances to ovulate, this could be a factor in your likelihood of getting pregnant. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also called PCOS, affects about nine percent of women of child-bearing ages worldwide. Women with PCOS do not have regular periods or a normal ovulation schedule. Not being able to predict your period and ovulation makes it harder to conceive. 

You may also have issues ovulating if you have any kind of hypothalamic dysfunction. The hypothalamus controls hormones in your brain and works with the pituitary gland to send hormones all over your body. If this organ is not working the way it should, it can cause your menstrual cycles to be out of sync. If you have hormonal concerns, you should start by talking with your primary care doctor.

Women are born with all of the eggs they will produce in their lifetime. As women age, the number and quality of their eggs drop, and they may be diagnosed with diminished or low ovarian reserve. Age is a major factor, but other reasons may be smoking, surgery, or treatments like radiation. Your doctor will complete some tests to find out if your reserve is low. 

Other Health Concerns for Women

Problems ovulating are just one part of the puzzle for female fertility. All parts of your reproductive system need to work in sync to move an egg from your ovary to your uterus where it can be fertilized. If the egg does not travel through the fallopian tube, this is referred to as tubal factor infertility. It is the cause of up to 25% of all cases of infertility. Scarring can cause fallopian tubes to close and block the path between your ovaries and uterus. There are many reasons for scarring, like endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), or as a result of surgery or illness. Some tubal blocks are treated with surgery, and other people may need IVF treatment to become pregnant. The fertility specialists at MCRM Fertility will look at all likely causes and guide you through the options you have for conceiving. 

Endometriosis, shortened as endo, is a disease where the lining of your uterus grows in other places in your body. It can be very painful and makes it hard to get pregnant. Your doctor will assess you for symptoms of endo and offer guidance for treatment. Some women have had success treating their endo with hormonal methods. Others may have success with a minimally invasive surgery called laparoscopy to remove uterine tissue from other places in your body. 

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID, is an infection of the female reproductive organs. PID can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection that travels from your vagina to your other organs. Some women don’t have any symptoms; others may notice unusual pain and discharge. Visit your doctor at the first sign of any of these symptoms. If left untreated, PID can cause problems with fertility. 

Health Issues for Men

The female partner does not carry all of the burdens of conception. Couples dealing with infertility can trace the cause to more than one factor, and 40% of those are caused by the male factor. 

Sperm Creation

Sperm need to be strong swimmers and carry good DNA to fertilize an egg. This doesn’t happen if sperm have chromosomal defects. Defects are common and don’t normally impact a couple’s chances of getting pregnant. However, if the majority of sperm have defects, getting pregnant is less likely. Infertility clinics, such as MCRM Fertility, can complete a semen analysis to find out if sperm quality is a factor in your journey to start a family. 

Varicocele is an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum. This causes poor blood flow to the testes. In turn, the temperature of the scrotum rises, which causes the testes to produce fewer and lower quality sperm. Varicocele can be treated with surgery, but you’ll need to talk to an expert to find out what treatments are available for you. 

Sperm Transport

If for any reason sperm cannot travel from the man’s testes to the woman’s uterus, she will not become pregnant. There are many reasons why sperm may not complete their path. Some happen within the man’s body, and others occur once the sperm is in their partner’s body. 

Most people don’t learn about retrograde ejaculation until they or their partner is having trouble getting pregnant. This takes place when sperm exits through the bladder instead of the urethra. Men don’t tend to notice any symptoms besides infertility. Sometimes this condition can be solved with specific exercises or surgery.

Another aspect of the male factor is sperm capacitation. After sperm is in the vagina, it begins the process of capacitation. This is a series of changes the sperm goes through to better move through the vagina and uterus and enter the egg. If the sperm cannot begin this process, it will not be able to meet an egg and start pregnancy. 

Infertility Clinics Are Here to Help

You don’t need to feel alone on your journey to conceive. Doctors and fertility experts are here to help explain the reasons for infertility and make a plan for your family. At MCRM Fertility, we create unique plans for our patients and guide them with empathy and honesty. Contact us to start your journey to pregnancy and parenthood. 

Posted in