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New Jersey Fertility Doctor, Jane Miller, M.D., Explains the Causes of Infertility

What You Should Know about Infertility

Here is how we define infertility: when a couple tries to conceive (without using birth control) for 6 to 12 months and is unable to conceive during that time period. During their reproductive years, one in six couples has infertility issues. Many couples who experience infertility problems assume that the problem always lies with the woman, but this isn’t true. In fact, 40% of infertility problems are caused by female infertility problems and 40% by male infertility problems. In 10% of cases, the cause of infertility is unexplained, but we can usually treat even these unidentifiable problems.

North Hudson IVF, headed by New Jersey fertility doctor, Jane Miller, MD and scientific director, T. Timothy Smith, Ph.D., offers hope for couples and individuals who are trying to start a family. Our team will work with you to diagnose and treat your problem, including issues like unexplained infertility, secondary infertility or recurrent miscarriages.

Causes of Female Infertility

Female infertility can be caused by many different issues, including:

  • Endometriosis—when the endometrium (normal tissue from the uterine lining) attaches to organs in the pelvis and begins to grow, this tissue can cause irritation that can lead to infertility. Up to 50% of women with infertility problems have endometriosis.
  • PCOS—(polycystic ovarian syndrome) affects 5 to 10% of women. It causes infertility because abnormal hormone levels lead to irregularities in ovulation. Women with PCOS also are at a higher risk for miscarriages.
  • Age-related issuesadvanced maternal age and diminished ovarian reserve, anovulation, as well as primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause).
  • Ovulation disorders—problems with ovulation occur in approximately 25% of women who have fertility problems.* An example of this is anovulation (when you are unable to produce and/or release eggs).
  • Thyroid disorders—hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism may cause problems with the menstrual cycle.
  • Structural causes—such as uterine issues, cervical mucus issues, tubal abnormalities.
  • Fallopian tube blockages—the fallopian tubes are a critically important part of conception, and when they are blocked it can prevent the egg from joining the sperm, as well as preventing the fertilized egg’s passage into the uterus.
  • Pelvic adhesions—scar tissue (or adhesions) can be due to previous infection or previous surgeries.

Causes of Male Infertility

Male infertility can also be caused by several different problems, including:

  • Abnormal sperm—sperm with decreased motility (movement) or morphology (size and shape of the sperm) or a low sperm count.
  • Structural abnormalities—obstructions in the testes or retrograde ejaculation (when semen does not move out of the penis, but instead goes backward into the bladder).
  • Varicoceles—dilated varicose veins in the testes.
  • Past injury—trauma to the testes or reproductive organs caused by injury or surgery.
  • Medications and medical treatment—this includes anabolic steroids, marijuana and radiation treatment or chemotherapy used in the treatment of cancer.
  • Health issues—problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, or past infections (such as the mumps).
  • Environmental factors—overexposure to certain chemicals and pesticides, overuse of saunas and hot-tubs.

We Want to Help You with Your Infertility Problems

The many causes of infertility may seem overwhelming; however, the good news to take away is that 80 to 85% of couples who work with a reproductive endocrinologist (or fertility specialist) will be able to get pregnant and have a baby.**

If you have concerns about infertility, and you are searching for a New Jersey fertility doctor who cares about you and the future of your family, contact North Hudson IVF and schedule a consultation with Dr. Miller.

**According to a 2006 study by the William Mercer Foundation

Causes of Infertility