What Are the Most Common Causes of Infertility?

Just how common is infertility? About 10 percent of American women (6.1 million) between the ages of 15 and 44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Consider the delicate processes that must go right for pregnancy to occur:

  • The woman’s body must release an egg from one of her ovaries (ovulation).
  • The egg must travel through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (womb).
  • Male sperm must join with (fertilize) the egg along the way.
  • The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (implantation).

A problem during any of these steps can result in infertility.

The most common causes of infertility in women

For women, infertility is largely rooted in ovulation problems. Without normal ovulation (due to irregular or absent menstrual periods), there are no eggs to be fertilized.

Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This hormone imbalance, which can interfere with normal ovulation, is the most common cause of female infertility. Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is another disruptor of regular ovulation. POI occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before she is 40, but POI is not the same as early menopause.

Other, less common causes of female fertility problems include:

  • Fallopian tube blockages from pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Physical problems with the uterus.
  • Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous clumps of tissue and muscle on the walls of the uterus.

Common causes of infertility in men                                                            

Men can be born with problems that affect sperm. In other cases, problems begin later in life due to illness or injury. For example, cystic fibrosis can trigger infertility in men. However, male infertility is more commonly linked to:

  • A condition called varicocele, in which the veins on the testicle(s) are too large. This raises the temperature in the testicles, which affects the number or shape of the sperm.
  • Producing too few sperm or none at all.

Leading edge, experienced fertility care is close to home                      

For more than 25 years, Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility has been at the forefront of fertility services in Ohio. While we know that millions of couples struggle to start a family, to us, you’re the only parents-to-be in the world. Our fellowship-trained, board-certified physicians tune in to your journey, creating individualized, advanced treatment plans designed to make your dreams of a baby come true. And with locations in Columbus, Akron, Canton and Youngstown, we strive to make your care as accessible as possible.

To schedule an appointment, call us today at 866-537-2461 or use our convenient online form to request an appointment.

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RGI made our dreams come true! And Samantha’s gift of hope….there really aren’t words to express how they changed our lives. We won their grant in 2019 and it has continued to bless us several years later. Every time we make a financial decision I think of SGH and how I don’t know if it’d be possible if it wasn’t for them.
RGI and Samantha’s Gift of Hope has forever changed our lives in the best way possible because they have given us the greatest gift we could ever get—our sweet daughter. We have this joy of being parents we had previously only dreamed about, and honestly weren’t sure we would ever have. Now, everyday is filled with baby giggles and snuggles, cheering her on to her next milestone (which is currently crawling), and trying to be the best parents we can be. We will never be able to repay RGI and Samantha’s Gift of Hope, but we will forever be grateful to them and are daily reminded of it.
RGI made it possible for us to experience the joys of becoming parents. There is no greater feeling or love in this world that we’ve experienced than bringing Liam into this world. We truly understand the miracle and blessings babies are. SGOH we will forever feel grateful for. We cannot thank Lisa, Matt and Sam enough for their generosity and helping couples pay towards their IVF journeys. Honestly, SGOH really does provide HOPE. Winning the grant also helped us to feel like this is really happening, it’s meant to be.
Because of Samantha’s Gift of Hope, our dream of having a child came true. We could focus more on each step of the process and keep a positive attitude through it all instead of constantly worrying about what things cost and how we would make it work. Now, our sweet Tenley girl is 1 week old and I continue to be thankful each day for the opportunity Samantha’s Gift of Hope gave us. We are now living out our favorite roles as mom and dad and are filled with so much love for our little girl!
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