Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to the conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full term. There are many biological causes of infertility, some of which may be bypassed with medical intervention.About 10 percent of reproductive-age couples in the United States will have difficulty getting pregnant. About 30 percent of cases are due to problems in the woman, 30 percent to problems in the man and the rest to unexplained causes or multiple factors involving both partners.If you've had regular, unprotected sex for more than a year (or six months if you're over 35) without conceiving, see your doctor. Nearly 90 percent of couples with infertility problems can be successfully treated.
Read on to learn about the common causes of infertility, treatments, and how many couples become pregnant with treatment. Keep in mind that success rates may vary, since one couple can have multiple problems.
Common causes of infertility in Men:
A small percentage of men have a blockage in their ejaculatory duct that prevents sperm from getting into their ejaculate fluid. If your vas deferens or epididymis tubes are blocked or damaged, they can prevent your sperm from getting to your partner's egg. Infection, injury, congenital defects, or a vasectomy could cause this blockage
Possible symptoms: none
Possible solutions: Surgery to repair an obstruction or reverse the vasectomy
Success rates: Depending on the problem and the type of surgery used to treat it, about 50 to 90 percent of men have more sperm in their semen after surgery. About 20 to 65 percent of couples can conceive either through intercourse or with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Varicocele (enlarged veins, similar to varicose veins, in the scrotum) raise the temperature in the testes which may affect sperm production.
Possible symptoms: None. (The problem can be detected through a physical exam.)
Possible solutions: Surgery to repair the varicocele
Success rates: Upto 43 percent of men impregnate their partner within a year of surgery and upto 69 percent do so within two years.
If you have little to no sperm, poor sperm motility (its ability to move), or abnormally shaped sperm, your sperm may not be able to fertilize your partner's eggs on its own.
Possible symptoms: none
Possible solutions: fertility drugs; artificial insemination with donor sperm or with your own if your count, shape, and motility are not too abnormal; or intracytoplasmic sperm injection
Success rates: When fertility drugs increase egg production and are combined with artificial insemination, the success rate is between 8 and 17 percent per cycle. The success rate is about 30 percent per cycle with ICSI.