Causes of Infertility in Men vs. Women

Many couples spend years dreaming about having children and expanding their families. They yearn to be parents and experience the love and responsibility that comes with raising a child. They start trying to have a family when the timing is right but keep coming up empty-handed. 

After months or even years with no pregnancy, the dreaded “I” word starts to come to mind. Luckily, infertility is more of a definition than a diagnosis. Many couples are able to conceive after initially learning that they’re struggling with infertility. 

Unlike other conditions, there are many different causes of infertility. Although sometimes seen as an issue with the female body, both partners may play a role in a couple’s inability to become pregnant. Learning the causes of infertility in both men and women can help identify where the disconnect exists in not creating a child.

When dealing with infertility, you need a great obstetrician and gynecologist on your side. Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG and the rest of our team are here to help. Dr. Zikria is board-certified through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. If anyone can help you triumph over infertility, it’s Dr. Zikria.

On infertility

Infertility is defined not as the inability to conceive, but rather not being able to get pregnant after a year or more of frequent unprotected sex. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10% to 15% of couples deal with infertility issues. Infertility does not discriminate on sex – both men and women are equally likely to be infertile. 

The Cleveland Clinic has found that four main things must occur for a couple to become pregnant:

  1. A woman must release a healthy egg from her ovaries.
  2. A man must produce sperm that will fertilize the egg.
  3. The egg must travel to the uterus.
  4. The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus.

Errors that lead to infertility can occur before, during, or after this process. 

Infertility in women

Some of the top reasons a woman becomes infertile include hormonal issues or structural issues that prevent an egg from reaching or attaching to the uterus. Dr. Zikria has identified ovulation cycle disruptions as a major cause of infertility. Other possibilities include: 

Infertility in men

When it comes to men, it’s all about sperm. Low sperm count or abnormal sperm function can make pregnancy a challenge. Other issues include: 

Although this blog is about differences in infertility, it should be noted that in many cases infertility is linked to both partners. An evaluation with Dr. Zikria is the best way to determine the true cause of infertility.

Infertility does not have to mean never having children. Dr. Zikria can help. Call or send a message to our Milpitas office today. 

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