Causes of Infertility

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Identifying the causes of infertility is the first step in your journey to parenthood at our DC fertility center

If you’re struggling to get pregnant, you need help from an expert. Dr. Fady Sharara, the medical director and board-certified reproductive endocrinologist at our DC fertility center, has the experience that is vital to diagnosing the causes of infertility.

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, approximately a third of infertility problems are due to male factors, another third are due to female factors, and the remaining third can be attributed to a combination of female and male factors. In some cases of infertility, physicians cannot determine the exact cause, but fertility treatment can still provide hope for the future.

Causes of infertility in females

At our DC fertility center, we evaluate many factors to determine the causes of infertility in women.

  • Problems with ovulation—These can range from abnormal menstrual cycles and hormone imbalances to problems caused by disorders such as PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome.
  • Physical damage or abnormalities—Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes or abnormalities in the structure of the uterus cause fertility issues.
  • Endometriosis—This condition causes implants and abnormal locations for endometrial tissue that can affect the way the reproductive system functions.
  • Premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency—This condition causes the ovaries to cease functioning.
  • Pelvic adhesions—This scar tissue occurs as a result of infection, injuries or previous surgeries.
  • Thyroid issues—Both hyper and hypothyroidism can be causes of infertility.
  • Cancer and other medical conditions—Female reproductive cancers as well as chemotherapy and radiation can cause infertility. Other medical conditions such as Cushing’s disease, sickle cell disease, kidney disease, celiac disease or diabetes can also cause fertility issues.

Infertility causes in the male partner

Our DC fertility center also has the expertise to diagnose the causes of infertility in men.

  • Problems with sperm function, delivery or production—Physical problems such as genetic defects, undescended testicles or retrograde ejaculation can cause issues with conception. Other problems include hormone imbalances, a total lack of sperm known as azoospermia, or a low sperm count.
  • Cancer and cancer treatment—Testicular cancer is one of the definitive causes of infertility in men. Chemotherapy and radiation to treat any type of cancer can also cause problems.
  • Chemicals and toxins—Overexposure to certain substances, including radiation or pesticides, may be causing your fertility issues. In addition, excessive use of tobacco, marijuana, alcohol or anabolic steroids frequently makes it difficult for successful conception to occur.

Our DC fertility center provides you with compassionate care during the diagnosis of your causes of infertility

Waiting to discover the infertility causes can be a trying, emotional experience. Our Virginia fertility center physician and staff provide patients with very personalized care that leads them to feel understood and cared for on their journey. If you’re searching for answers to your infertility problems, contact us.