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  • Jennifer "Jay" Palumbo

Common Causes of Infertility



If you're a woman and under the age of 35 years old, it's recommended you try to conceive for a year before seeing a reproductive endocrinologist. If you're over 35 years old, you should see one if you've been trying to conceive for over six months. Typically, that's the overall time frame to conceive if you do not have any fertility concerns.


Suppose you're reading this and thinking, "Uh-oh. I've been trying to conceive longer than that with no success! What's wrong with me?" Don't panic. It is recommended you see a fertility doctor. They will take your health history (whether you smoke, have fertility issues in your family, etc.), run some blood work, perform an ultrasound, among other ways, to try to uncover what may be causing any problems. The positive to focus on is that many issues are treatable, and there are options such as IUI and IVF to explore if you need some help.


Common Causes of Infertility

Here are some common causes that the doctor will be looking for:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This condition can cause ovulation failure, irregular or missed periods, and is often associated with obesity, acne, excess facial or body hair.

  • Endometriosis: This is when the tissue that lines the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, usually in the abdomen on the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

  • Blockage of the Fallopian tubes: This can be caused by endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), or STDs such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.

  • Sperm Issues: This can include but is not limited to a low sperm count, an issue with the sperm's morphology (the shape), or motility (how well it swims).

  • Problem With Ovulation: Issues ovulating can be caused by PCOS, but other factors such as being overweight, underweight, thyroid issues, or some other underlying medical issue that impacts your cycle.

  • Premature menopause is usually categorized as either Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) or Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR): Essentially, your egg quality diminishes, making conceiving on your own very difficult. Some with these diagnoses consider using donor eggs.

  • Hostile cervical mucus: For sperm to survive, the cervical mucus needs to provide a "friendly" environment. In cases where a woman's cervical mucus may be too acidic can cause issues with the sperm traveling to the egg to fertilize it.

  • Unexplained infertility: This is when that no specific cause can be found. It's a difficult diagnosis because, on the one hand, it's good that they can't find a major issue, but on the other hand, without a clear picture of what's causing the problems, it's more difficult to treat.


Other Fertility Issues

For some, getting pregnant isn't the issue. However, it's unfortunate that they have problems sustaining a pregnancy and may experience more than one pregnancy loss, referred to as Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL).


In all cases, it's so important not to delay seeing a doctor. Some are understandably nervous that they may find something wrong, but it's better to know for sure so you can treat it or pursue fertility treatment. Time does matter when it comes to fertility, so if you have any symptoms, questions, or concerns, make an appointment with an RE soon!


Affording Fertility Treatment

If it turns out you need fertility treatment, and you're concerned about costs or lack of insurance coverage, we can help. We were founded by a person living with infertility who experienced firsthand the high cost and stress of treatment.

Through EggFund, you can be matched with your pre-approved offers in 60 seconds. Checking your loan offers does not negatively impact your credit score. However, your credit score will be affected once you choose an offer and formally apply with a lender. EggFund can be used to pay for:

  • Fertility testing or consultations

  • The cryopreservation of embryos

  • A mock embryo transfer

  • HCG beta blood work (pregnancy testing)

  • Ultrasound monitoring and blood work

  • Genetic Testing like PGT-A

  • Annual storage fees for frozen embryos

  • Donor Eggs

  • Prescription medicines related to treatment


Contact us to learn more.

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