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Infertility Causes

Infertility can be caused by problems with both a woman’s or a man’s or both partners’ reproductive system. A physician will typically explore issues associated with both partners in an effort to determine the aggressiveness of the treatment. A variety of tests exist to determine any root causes contributing to challenges in fertility.

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What are the Causes of Infertility?

General Causes

General factors that may contribute to male and female issues with fertility are:

  • Age is increasingly becoming a factor in fertility problems. About one third of couples in which the woman is over 35 have challenges trying to get pregnant. Specifically, with age, a woman’s ovaries are less able to release healthy eggs.
  • Stress
  • Inadequate diet
  • Exercise
  • Weight Issues
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Health Issues such as Endometriosis and Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID)
  • History of irregular or painful menstrual periods
  • Cancer Treatment with certain kinds of chemotherapy or radiation
  • Hormonal Imbalance1: According to Robert Greene in Perfect Hormone Balance For Fertility, he believes that the rising incidence of hormonal balance is driving up infertility rates. The hormonal imbalance is created by poor lifestyle choices such as eating fast food and living a sedentary lifestyle. Other factors that contribute to hormonal imbalance are our increased exposure to chemicals through our air, water and household chemicals.

Causes for Women

In women, the issues are often:

  • Irregular ovulation which can be caused by hormonal imbalances in the pituitary gland, hypothalamus or thyroid gland. * Ovarian cysts or other structural issues in the ovaries * Blocked fallopian tubes may be caused: * * Previous infection, likely associated with a STD * Endometriosis * Scarring of fallopian Tubes caused by a pelvic surgery
  • Uterine Fibroids or other issues with the Uterus and/or the Cervix may be caused by: * * Abnormalities of the uterus from birth
  • Exposure to certain drugs before birth, such as DES, which may cause changes to the uterus
  • Abnormalities in the cervical mucus which can impact the movement of sperm into the cervix

Causes for Men

In men, fertility issues are often caused by low sperm count due to:

  • Hormonal problems in the testicles or pituitary gland
  • Injury to the testicles due to radiation, toxic chemical exposure or congenital issues
  • Structural problems such as a surgical vasectomy or absence of a Vas Deferens

More about Infertility Causes for Men


  1. Perfect Hormone Balance for Fertility, Robert Greene, MD

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