Understanding Infertility: Common Causes and How to Cope

Understanding Infertility: Common Causes and How to Cope


Infertility is a common issue faced by many couples in the United States, with an estimated 6.1 million women between the ages of 15 and 44 experiencing difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term. In this article, we'll explore the most common causes of infertility and provide information and resources for coping with this challenging experience.

Common Causes of Infertility

Ovulation disorders

One of the most common causes of infertility is ovulation disorders, which affect about 25% of infertile women. Ovulation disorders occur when the ovaries fail to release eggs regularly or at all. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of ovulation disorders, affecting about 5-10% of women of reproductive age. PCOS is characterized by the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries and can cause irregular periods, acne, and excessive hair growth.

Fallopian tube damage

Another common cause of infertility is damage to the fallopian tubes, which can occur due to a variety of factors such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or previous surgery. Damaged fallopian tubes can prevent the egg and sperm from meeting, making it difficult to conceive.

Male factor infertility

Infertility is not just a female issue; about 30% of infertility cases are caused by male factor infertility. This can be due to issues such as low sperm count or poor sperm quality.

Uterine or cervical abnormalities

Abnormalities in the uterus or cervix can also make it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. Fibroids, polyps, or a congenital malformation of the uterus can cause infertility.

Advanced maternal age

As women age, their fertility declines. Women over the age of 35 may have a harder time getting pregnant and are more likely to experience complications during pregnancy.

Expert Opinion:

"Infertility can be caused by a combination of factors, and it's important for couples to seek help early on," says Dr. Jane Miller, an infertility specialist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "By identifying and treating the underlying causes of infertility, we can help couples increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy."

Industry Statistics:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 12% of women of childbearing age in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) estimates that infertility affects one in eight couples in the United States.

The ASRM also reports that male infertility is a factor in about 30-40% of infertility cases.

The CDC estimates that about 5% of women of childbearing age in the United States have PCOS.

Coping with Infertility

Seek support

Dealing with infertility can be a difficult and emotional journey, and it's important to seek support from friends, family, and professionals. Support groups can provide a safe space for couples to share their experiences and receive emotional support.

Consider counseling

Infertility can take a toll on a person's mental health, and counseling can be a helpful tool for coping with the emotional aspects of infertility. A therapist can help individuals and couples work through their feelings and develop coping mechanisms.

Educate yourself

Learning about infertility and the various treatment options can help couples feel more in control of their journey.

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