Are Some People More at Risk of Infertility Than Others?

Led by nationally acclaimed Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Deborah Smith, the mission of our specialty team at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center is to make your dreams of becoming a parent into a reality.

We work hard to help you achieve that goal by offering a comprehensive package of infertility services that include the latest and most advanced techniques available for in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg freezing, intrauterine insemination (IUI), preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), and other highly effective fertility treatments.

Our team is also dedicated to providing the personalized care and relevant patient education necessary to address questions you may have about infertility, including concerns about factors that may increase your risk of infertility.

What causes infertility?

The root causes of infertility vary and may be linked to either male or female reproductive issues or conditions that affect both partners. For some, the underlying reason is never clearly identified.

However, we can often trace infertility in both genders to certain medical conditions, lifestyle habits, and other factors that compromise the normal function of your reproductive system.

These include:

It’s important to note that none of these risk factors guarantee infertility. Neither does an absence of risk factors ensure fertility.

Risk factors for infertility in men

Conditions specific to male infertility generally include:

Abnormal sperm production or function

Factors such as diabetes, enlarged veins in the testes (varicocele), undescended testicles, previous infections such as mumps or gonorrhea, and advanced age can affect both the number and overall health or motility of sperm.

Problems with delivery of sperm

Premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (ED), and certain structural abnormalities linked to genetic anomalies or previous injury may interfere with the natural delivery of viable sperm.

Risk factors for infertility in women

For women, infertility may be associated with:

Ovulation disorders that affect the release of eggs from ovaries

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, and other conditions linked to hormonal imbalances can interfere with ovulation. Too much exercise and certain eating disorders may also affect egg development. Advancing age and decreased egg reserves within the ovaries is also a significant risk factor for female fertility.

Uterine or cervical abnormalities

Cervical polyps, uterine fibroids, and other structural abnormalities that alter the shape of the uterus or block the fallopian tubes can prevent fertilization of an egg or impact an embryo’s ability to attach to the uterine wall.

Fallopian tube damage or blockage

Pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted diseases, endometriosis, and/or pelvic adhesions (scar tissue) can block fallopian tubes and prevent sperm from reaching the egg.

Primary ovarian insufficiency or early menopause

Most women experience menopause in their early 50s. For some, however, menstruation ends before age 40. Radiation or chemotherapy treatment, certain genetic factors, and/or immune disorders often lead to early menopause.

Treating infertility

It’s important to identify, whenever possible, the underlying cause of your infertility before developing a treatment strategy that gives you the best possible chance of success. Thus, Dr. Smith starts the process with a thorough evaluation that may include various lab tests and diagnostic studies.

She then designs a personalized plan that varies according to your circumstances. Your strategies may include:

Services offered at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center can also help prevent infertility issues. Egg freezing, for instance, allows women who are delaying pregnancy or facing cancer therapy to freeze and store viable eggs for future use.

Schedule a visit today for further information about infertility and treatment strategies offered by Dr. Smith at Rocky Mountain Fertility Center. Also feel free to explore other information available here on our website.

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