What Causes Infertility?

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2:30 pm April 4, 2012

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There are many answers to the question of what causes infertility. In about one-third of American couples who are faced with the difficulty of conceiving, the liability goes to the woman alone. In another one-third, it is solely a case of male infertility. The rest of the reported cases are a combination of male and female problems that both have to be worked on. Whatever the cause, however, it is important to note that a large majority of infertility problems are reversed after one year of trying with medical assistance.

1.    Hormonal Imbalances. Many women don’t have pregnancies taking place because they are not ovulating in the first place. Hormonal imbalances, such as too little or no follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH) to stimulate the release of a mature egg cell for fertilization, are what causes infertility for nearly 30 percent of all couples. They are often the result of a malfunctioning hypothalamus or pituitary gland and are often treated successfully with the use of fertility drugs.

2.    Damaged Fallopian Tubes. Around 25 percent of all infertility cases are due to the fact that the woman’s fallopian tubes are either blocked or damaged. There are several reasons for this. One is the presence of a sexually-transmitted disease that causes scarring and inflammation in the tubes. Abdominal disorders can also affect the fallopian tubes even when the reproductive system is entirely healthy. Surgeries in the past may also have affected the tubes.

3.    Endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where there is an excessive growth of the cells of the uterine lining, or endometrium. In fact, the growth is too unnecessary that endometrial cells are found in different parts of the reproductive system where they should not be, such as in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and elsewhere. In extreme cases, the endometrial cells can also reach the brain. At least 6 to 7 percent of American women have endometriosis and around 30 to 40 percent are infertile.

4.    Varicoceles. What causes infertility commonly in men are varicoceles, large veins found in the testicles. Varicoceles are not particularly painful for many men, but they largely impair the ability to produce healthy sperms. This is because they insulate the testes and keep the sperm cells warm, when they should always be kept cool to be healthy. This is why the testicles are kept outside the body, so the sperm cells are not subject to the high core body temperatures.

5.    Lifestyle Factors. A huge percentage of infertility cases are due to the poor health habits of men and women who want to conceive. What causes infertility for most of them is an unhealthy diet of trans-fatty fast food and little vitamin and mineral intake. A sedentary lifestyle that keeps you overweight is also a huge factor in the infertility equation, as well as being underweight. Stress also plays a role sincethe release of too much stress hormones can make your entire system go out of whack and affect the production of other hormones that are needed to induce ovulation. Also, exposure to harmful substances – and there are a lot of those, including caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, drugs, environmental toxins, heavy metals, etc. –affect the body’s ability to produce normal and healthy sex cells.

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