Infertility: More common than you think

7.3 million people are dealing with infertility in the United States

Did you know more than 1 in 8 couples will have trouble getting pregnant? If you and your partner are having difficulty conceiving, you are not alone. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates that 7.3 million people are dealing with infertility in the United States — that’s roughly 10 percent of those trying to conceive.

Fortunately, many tests and procedures are available that can identify and treat the causes of infertility.

  • 35 to 40 percent of the time the cause can be traced to the female partner.
  • 35 to 40 percent of the time infertility can be linked to the male partner.
  • Conditions in both partners may play a role.
  • Sometimes the reason for infertility remains unknown.

Common causes for women

  • Impaired ovulation due to disease, birth defects or abnormal hormone production
  • Blocked fallopian tubes from infection or scar tissue
  • Inability of the uterus to hold an embryo due to a variety of reasons, including scar tissue on the uterine walls
  • Endometriosis

Common causes for men

  • Low sperm count; sperm production can be affected by blocked passageways, fever, infection or birth defects
  • High percent of abnormally shaped sperm
  • High percent of sperm that do not move forward
  • Ejaculation dysfunction

Other factors that can contribute to infertility include stress, smoking, alcohol use, excess weight and overall health.

When to see a doctor
Most physicians recommend that couples try to conceive for a year before seeking medical assistance. The National Infertility Association recommends couples seek professional advice sooner if a woman is over age 30; has a history of pelvic disease, miscarriage, painful menstruation or irregular cycles; or if her partner has a low sperm count.

For more information about infertility or to find an OB/GYN, visit Find a Doctor at Norton Healthcare or call (502) 629-1234 for a physician referral.

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