Fast Facts on Infertility
- The truth is that today 1 in 6 couples have difficulty conceiving.1
- 10.9% of women ages 15-44 have impaired ability to get pregnant. That is approximately 6.7 million women having difficulty.
- Approximately 40% of infertility issues are related to the female, 40% are related to the male, and 20% are unexplained.
- A diagnosis of infertility is given when a couple has been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive after a year of trying for women under age 35, and after six months for women 35 and over.
Potential causes of female infertility:
- Cervical issues
- Unfavorable vaginal environment (such as pH imbalances)
- Damaged reproductive system (Fallopian tubes, uterus- PID, polyps, endometriosis, medical illnesses, infections, scar tissue, or birth defects)
- Ovulation (hormonal factors, cysts, weight, stress, menstrual cycles, drug & alcohol use, behavioral factors)
Potential causes of male infertility:
- Abnormal sperm (abnormally developed testicles, inflammation of the testicles)
- Low sperm count (diet, exercise, use of illicit drugs, alcohol use, genetic problems, and infections)
- Ejaculation problems (premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation)
- Low sperm motility
Other potential factors of infertility:
- STD complications
- Starting a family later in life
Once you have been diagnosed with infertility challenges, you are faced with many options. You may begin to make lifestyle changes (if you have not already done so) and/or begin conversations with your Healthcare Provider on next steps. For some the pathway to parenthood might lead to Assisted Reproductive Treatments (ART).
Common ART options:
- ICI or intracervical insemination
- IUI or intrauterine insemination
- IVF, ET or invitro fertilization, embryo transfer
- GIFT or gamete intrafallopian transfer
- ZIFTor zygote intrafallopian transfer
- ICSI or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (done during the process of IVF, ICSI can help with some male factor infertility issues)
1) National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility/conditioninfo/Pages/common.aspx