Why is infertility so common?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), six percent of married women in the U.S. between the ages of 15 and 44 are infertile (have tried to get pregnant for at least one year). However, infertility in couples is not always due to the woman having a medical issue. Nearly 35 percent of couples experiencing infertility are traced to male factors (low sperm count, for example) combined with female factors (polycystic ovarian syndrome, diminished ovarian reserve, irregular periods). Only about eight out of every 100 couples with fertility problems discover the cause lies exclusively with the man.
What is causing rising infertility rates involving ovulation and conception? Experts point to several possible causes, such as poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, chronic stress and chronic diseases associated with being overweight or obese. In addition, more women are choosing to establish themselves in careers before deciding to get pregnant. Research shows that women over 35 have a much more difficult time achieving pregnancy due to reduced numbers and quality of eggs.
Common Causes of Infertility in Women
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)--when women fail to ovulate normally, eggs are not released and pregnancy cannot occur. PCOS, a condition elevating testosterone levels in a woman's body, interferes with the production of reproductive hormones necessary for ovulation.
- Disorders of the Pituitary or Hypothalamus Glands--these two glands make hormones needed to support normal functioning of the ovaries. Anovulation (absence of ovulation) may occur if the pituitary or hypothalamus is affected by a disease or disorder.
- Premature Ovarian Insufficiency--when ovaries stop producing eggs before a woman is 40, she may be diagnosed with POI, or "premature menopause". Some cases of POI are caused by radiation, chemotherapy or a serious medical condition. In most cases, however, the cause of POI is unexplainable.
- Blockage or Obstruction of the Fallopian Tubes--having a history of abdominal surgeries, endometriosis, pelvic infections, a ruptured appendix or sexually transmitted diseases may cause fallopian tube abnormalities and infertility.
Nearly all conditions preventing conception can be treated successfully with medications, surgery or an assisted reproductive technology (ART) such as IVF or IUI. These types of fertility treatments involve doctors handling embryos and eggs outside the woman's body. In general, an IVF procedure begins with ovulation induction, followed by removal of viable eggs from the ovaries and combining these eggs with sperm in a lab dish. Once an embryo develops, it is placed in the uterus for implantation.
Although infertility seems to be increasing today due to a variety of lifestyle factors, New York Reproductive Wellness offers the latest and most effective fertility treatments for women who want to get pregnant. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our fertility doctor.