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Causes of Infertility: The Body is a Complex System

May 10, 2020

Causes of Infertility: The Body is a Complex System

Infertility is a serious issue for many women and couples. Depending on who is experiencing the issue (because it can happen to men, too), there are a variety of issues that could be present that need to be addressed. It's important to sit down and learn as much as you can about infertility so that you have the facts and can make the right decisions about how to proceed. This issue is a lot more common for both men and women than what many people might realize, but there are also a number of treatment options and alternatives available to help. 

Causes of Infertility in Men

In men, infertility can be caused by genetic defects or hereditary issues, or it can become a result of something that happens later in life. Some common causes include:

  • Varicocele, a condition where the veins on the testicles are larger than they should be, causing excessive heating that can affect the quantity and shape of the sperm.
  • Other health or genetic factors that result in low or no sperm production. 
  • Illness or injury that affects sperm count, quality, or virility. 
  • Movement of the sperm, which may also be related to shape or damages to the reproductive system. 

Causes of Infertility in Women

Women are much more complex, and there are a number of different issues that could result in infertility. Most commonly, the issues arise somewhere along the ovulation path, which can be noticed by missed or irregular periods. In some cases, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is the cause of infertility. Other times, it could be things like:

  • Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Uterus issues, including uterine fibroids

Risk Factors

In men and women alike, there are some risk factors that make someone more likely to be infertile. Typically, they are the same across genders, although women seem to have far more potential risks to consider. Both men and women can increase their risk of infertility with things like:

  • Excessive drug, alcohol, or tobacco use
  • Age
  • Stress
  • Environmental toxins
  • Poor diet
  • Health conditions related to hormones or reproductive organs
  • Weight 
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Radiation and chemotherapy treatments
  • Medications

IVF Treatment is Out There

Fortunately for everyone, modern IVF treatments will be able to help everyone start their family or add to it, thanks to the variety of treatment options that are available. Understanding the cause, of course, can definitely make it easier to find the right solution. 

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