“The first step toward successful treatment of your infertility is to determine it’s cause-or causes. This is not always easy and sometimes, after weeks of testing, doubt may still remain as to the precise reason for your failure to conceive. Nevertheless, I am usually able to place the cause into one or more of five broad categories. I would like to spend a little time discussing each of these.”
The vast majority of infertility cause can be devided into the following
This category includes all abnormal conditions of the male reproductive system which could result in poor or absent production of normal sperm, included but not limited to low sperm counts, abnormal sperm motility or abnormal sperm shape.
Included in this category would be anatomical or medical conditions which would make it difficult or impossible for fertilization or implantation to take place. Examples would be tubal blockage, endometriosis, and uterine abnormalities such as polyps or fibroids.
This would include anything that might interfere with the ovaries ability to grow and release an egg (ovulation) on a regular basis. The most common cause of ovulatory problems is polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Decreased ovarian reserve is perhaps the most serious of the various causes of infertility. As a woman ages, so do her eggs. As eggs age it becomes increasingly difficult for them, when fertilized, to grow into healthy embryos. Only a healthy embryo can implant and develop into a healthy baby.
It has been speculated that there may be other, less common, causes of infertility. These would include cervical problems or problems with adequate development of the uterine lining. Others have suggested immunological causes for infertility. Although any of these might someday be proven to be causes for infertility, at this point they are still investigational.