Fertility challenges

Exploring why is the first step in moving forward

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Not actual patient
6.7 million women

CDC reports that the inability to have a child affects 6.7 million women in the US—about 11% of the reproductive-age population.

Infertility is rarely simple. Often, it can take
over 6 months to conceive. Consider a fertility
evaluation if:

Less than or equal to 35 years icon

You are 35 years old or under and did not conceive after 1 year of trying

Greater than 35 years icon

You are over 35 years old and did not conceive after 6 months of trying

Common causes of fertility challenges for women

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)—a condition in which the ovaries produce higher than normal amounts of male hormones
  • Uterine fibroids—noncancerous growths that can form in and around the uterine wall
  • Endometriosis—occurs when tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus is found in other places, like the fallopian tubes, and can cause scarring and blockages

The #1 cause of fertility challenges for women is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Common causes of fertility challenges for men

  • Sperm disorders affecting sperm motility and viability
  • Infection, such as gonorrhea or HIV
  • Injury, from surgery or trauma, which may cause bodily changes or blockages
  • Exposure to toxins, such as benzenes, toluene, xylene, pesticides, herbicides, organic solvents, painting materials, lead, or heavy metals
  • Hormone imbalances, such as disorders affecting the testicles themselves, or the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, or adrenal glands

The #1 cause of male
infertility is a disorder in sperm production.

Regardless of gender, infertility can
also be caused by lifestyle factors such as:

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Drug use
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Alcohol use
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Tobacco use
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Body weight below or above average

If you are not ready to start a family yet, here are a few things to keep in mind while planning ahead:

  • Hormone levels change as people age, and that change may affect fertility.
  • Consider the egg count. In general, egg count decreases with age. Each woman is born with about 1 million eggs, and about 25,000 remain by age 37.
  • Egg freezing may also be an option. Learn more about egg freezing here.

Data collected between
2000 and 2012 show that
more women than ever are
having their first child later
in life, after age 35.

Download these tips to help you choose a clinic that
meets your fertility needs

Finding a fertility clinic
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A woman lies on grass in the sun, smiling
Not actual patients

You just read about fertility planning—now let’s talk about what to expect at your first infertility consultation

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