Our New Jersey Fertility Center Treats the Structural Causes of Infertility
What You Need to Know about Structural Causes of Infertility in Women and Men
When we refer to structural causes of infertility, we are talking about infertility caused by conditions that affect the anatomical structures of the female and male reproductive systems (i.e., the uterus, the ovaries, the testicles, etc.). Jane Miller, MD and scientific director, T. Timothy Smith, Ph.D., work together at our New Jersey fertility center to help our patients not only discover structural causes of infertility, but also to treat them so they can begin to achieve their goals of starting families.
Structural Causes of Infertility in Women
Women who experience infertility may be affected by:
Blocked Fallopian Tubes: The hollow fallopian tubes (located on each side of the uterus and connected to the ovaries) are vital to a successful conception because that is usually where fertilization occurs. If one or both of the fallopian tubes is blocked, it will lead to infertility problems. At our New Jersey fertility center, we diagnose and/or treat blocked fallopian tubes caused by:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Damage due to surgery for an ectopic pregnancy
Ovarian Cysts: Not all ovarian cysts (fluid-filled sacs that grow inside the ovaries) cause fertility problems, but there are two types that do:
- Endometrioma (a blood-filled cyst that develops due to endometriosis)
- Ovarian cysts that are caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Fibroid Tumors: These benign (non-cancerous) tumors of muscle tissue often do not cause any symptoms or problems for women; however, they can sometimes actually change the shape of the uterus or even create problems in the cervix. The presence of fibroid tumors (often caused by endometriosis) may make it difficult for the embryo to implant and/or grow in the uterus.
Uterine Abnormalities: At our New Jersey fertility center, we are very familiar with uterine abnormalities as a structural cause of infertility. There are several problems that can occur within the uterus. Some women are simply born with a congenital uterine anomaly (abnormal uterine shape). Uterine abnormalities that we treat include:
- Uterine septum
- Uterine scarring or Asherman’s Syndrome
- Uterine problems caused by serious infections, exposure to chemotherapy or radiation treatments
Structural Causes of Infertility in Men
Male infertility can be due to structural problems such as:
Varicocele: This is one of the most common and treatable causes of male infertility we see in our New Jersey fertility center. A varicocele is basically a varicose vein located in the scrotum. It may create fertility problems by:
- Raising the temperature in the testes
- Interfering with normal blood flow to the testicle, causing sperm abnormalities
Retrograde Ejaculation: This structural problem occurs because the neck of the bladder doesn’t close during a male’s orgasm, causing semen to move backwards into the bladder, instead of ejecting out through the penis. When this problem occurs, it creates fertility problems because the semen will not reach the female. At our New Jersey fertility center, we can help men with this problem by referring them to an urologist who may be able to surgically correct the problem, or we can help with assisted reproductive technologies.
Testicular Problems:Another structural cause of infertility in men is an obstruction in the testes, including the vas deferens (or tubes) and the epididymis (or storage ducts). These structures are important in a successful conception because they are both the storage place and the delivery system for sperm to the urethra, allowing sperm to be delivered. Problems with the testes may be due to:
- Congenital (present from birth) defects
- Genetic diseases such as CF
- Past surgeries and infections
- Cancer treatment
At North Hudson IVF, we offer many treatment options for structural causes of infertility in both women and men. If you are having problems making parenthood a reality, please contact us to set up an appointment at our New Jersey fertility center so we can begin helping you to create your family.