About one quarter of infertility cases are due to ovulation disorders. Other causes of ovulation disorders include ovarian insufficiency and hypothalamic amenorrhea.
What is infertility?
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In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex. Women who don’t have regular menstrual cycles, or are older than 35 years and have not conceived during a 6-month period of trying, should consider making an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist – an infertility specialist. These doctors may also be able to help women with recurrent pregnancy loss – 2 or more spontaneous miscarriages.
Causes in men
Sometimes the sperm cannot travel effectively to meet the egg.
Semen is the milky fluid that a man penis releases during orgasm. Semen consists of fluid and sperm. The fluid comes from the prostate gland, the seminal vesicle, and other sex glands.The sperm is produced in the testicles.
The following problems are possible:
- Low sperm count: The man ejaculates a low number of sperm. Around one third of couples have difficulty conceiving due to a low sperm count.
- Low sperm mobility (motility): The sperm cannot “swim” as well as they should to reach the egg.
- Abnormal sperm: The sperm may have an unusual shape, making it harder to move and fertilize an egg.
If the sperm do not have the right shape, or they cannot travel rapidly and accurately towards the egg, conception may be difficult. Up to 2 percent of men are thought to have suboptimal sperm.
Abnormal semen may not be able to carry the sperm effectively.
- A medical condition: This could be a testicular infection, cancer, surgery.
- Overheated testicles: Causes include an undescended testicle, a varicocele, or varicose vein in the scrotum, wearing tight clothes, and working in hot environments.
- Ejaculation disorders: If the ejaculatory ducts are blocked, semen may be ejaculated into the bladder
- Hormonal imbalance: Hypogonadism, for example, can lead to a testosterone deficiency.
Causes in women
Some factors can affect how easily a woman ovulates, gets pregnant, or delivers a child. These include:
Chronic diseases such as diabetes, lupus, arthritis, hypertension, and asthma
Environmental factors. These include cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, and exposure to workplace hazards or toxins.
Too much body fat or very low body fat
Abnormal Pap smears that have been treated with cryosurgery or cone biopsy
DES taken by mother during pregnancy
Sexually transmitted diseases
Fallopian tube disease
Abnormalities in the uterus that are present at birth or happen later in life
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