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Common Causes of Infertility

1 in 8 couples have trouble conceiving a pregnancy. While infertility can feel isolating, it’s important to know that you are not alone.

Discovering the reason for infertility is the first step toward building a family.

A variety of factors can cause infertility.

Reproductive challenges can be driven by male or female factors – some anatomical, some due to age, and others driven by disorders or conditions that simply hinder our bodies from doing their job correctly. In fact, one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to female factors, one-third due to male factors and the remaining portion can be attributed to both male and female factors, or are unexplained. Infertility doesn’t discriminate, and those experiencing it should know they are not alone.

Common Causes


Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that causes irregular menstrual cycles, infrequent or heavy menstruation, lack of ovulation, obesity, and excess hair growth. For women experiencing infertility due to PCOS, oral ovulation medications with IUI are often an effective treatment option.

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Endometriosis is a medical condition where endometrial tissue (the lining of the uterus) is found growing in other areas of the pelvis, causing pain and affecting fertility. Specialized surgeries can be effective in both increasing fertility rates and minimizing painful symptoms.

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Male Factor Infertility

Male factor infertility is caused by abnormal sperm quality, quantity, mobility or shape. There is also a condition called azoospermia which indicates no live sperm in a sample. Technologies such as ICSI with IVF or IUI can help increase fertilization rates. We also partner with leading urologists for coordinated care.

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Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have and as they age, they have fewer eggs in their ovaries, and their ability to get pregnant decreases. The loss of egg reserve can be accelerated by a number of factors such as lifestyle, smoking, genetics, exposure to pollutants, and other medical conditions. Treatments such as IVF and IUI can help these patients conceive.

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Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Recurrent pregnancy loss is indicated after two or more clinical pregnancy losses. A loss can occur at various times of gestation and the cause is oftentimes unknown. However, there are treatment options to help couples maintain a health pregnancy.

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Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that has implanted outside the normal location in the cavity of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancies can be treated by surgical options or with a medication called methotrexate. To prevent future ectopic pregnancies, IVF can be used to ensure the embryo implants into the uterus.

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Fibroids, also called myomas, are benign muscle tumors that are common for women of reproductive age. Fibroids can cause pregnancy loss and infertility, but can be easily treated with surgical removal.

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Unexplained Infertility

While finding the cause of infertility is often helpful, unfortunately, one-third of patients are diagnosed with unexplained infertility – meaning that there is not a prominent underlying condition or reason to experience difficulty conceiving.

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Infertility Testing

Learn more about what to expect from the typical fertility work up.

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