If you’ve been trying for at least a year to become pregnant, but have not been able to conceive, it may be time to speak with a medical professional to determine if you may be experiencing one of the most common causes of infertility.
5. Endometriosis – Simply put, endometriosis is a medical condition in which cells from the lining of the woman’s uterus begin forming on the outside of the uterine cavity, usually resulting in pelvic pain (severe cramping) especially during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Infertility can be related to the scars that form (and any other distortions) due to adhesions from the endometriosis, or reproduction can be affected from the chemical agents that are released.
4. Sperm Count, Shape and Mobility – Just as we place importance on taking care of the woman’s body and eggs, sperm care is equally as important. Yes, there are certain uncontrollable factors, such as genetics, that can impact a man’s fertility. However, men who take care of their bodies, eat right, maintain healthy weight and monitor their alcohol intake can positively impact the chances of fertilizing the egg. We’ve all heard about the “boxers vs briefs” debate, and males do need to consider clothing choices that capture body heat just as much as considering the intake of chemicals that can have an impact on their ability to produce sperm.
3. PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) – A common diagnosis affecting almost 1 out of every 15 women is a hormone imbalance that can cause difficulties in the ovulation cycle and can affect the ability to become pregnant. PCOS, while mostly an internal body issue can also cause unwanted changes in physical appearance including obesity, excessive facial hair and acne. Long term effects of PCOS, if left untreated, can lead to more severe issues including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. Symptoms of PCOS tend to surface during the teen years, so it’s important for young women to see their doctor sooner than later before more severe symptoms become even worse.
2. Ovulation Disorders - Various factors can impact the natural ability for a woman’s eggs to be released. If you are not menstruating regularly, this may mean that you are not ovulating. Eating disorders (excessive exercise or starvation) and obesity can greatly impact ovulation. Be sure to check with your doctor as certain medications can also have side effects associated with ovulation disorders. If you feel you are not ovulating regularly, you can purchase an ovulation predictor kit (over the counter) from your local pharmacy.
1. Fallopian Tube Damage/Blockage - Uniting the sperm and egg in a woman’s body can be impaired if the woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked. Even if the sperm unites with the egg and forms a pregnancy, if the fallopian tube is blocked, it can prevent the pregnancy from attaching to the uterus successfully, instead may cause an ectopic pregnancy in the tube. Pelvic inflammatory disease, abdominal surgery and STD’s are all common causes of such blockage. Sometimes, surgery is required to remove the scar tissue blocking the tubes.
Some infertility causes can be preventable, while other causes arise as a result of genetics. It is very important for all women to be aware of their bodies by practicing proper nutrition and a well-balanced lifestyle.
If you have tried to become pregnant and are uncertain if you may or may not be infertile, discuss with your doctor options for determining your body’s status. If you would like to speak with a doctor who specializes in reproductive endocrinology, please give Dr. Pinto a call at (214) 827.8777. We are available to answer your questions and to help you and your partner realize your dreams of creating a family.