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Infertility (Male & Female) - Causes & Treatment Options

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What is Infertility?

Infertility means not being able to become pregnant after a year of trying. If a woman can get pregnant but keeps having miscarriages or stillbirths, that’s also called infertility. It is fairly common. After one year of having unprotected sex, about 15 percent of couples are unable to get pregnant. 

Infertility may result from an issue with either you or your partner or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy. Infertility or a couple being unable to conceive a child can cause significant stress and unhappiness.

Eden Centers for Advanced Fertility believes that everyone who desires a family deserves to have one. We will do everything using nature, science and ethics to help you achieve your goal. But what happens when nature fails us? Infertility used to be a sensitive subject that many were too embarrassed to discuss. That is no longer the case. 

Now infertility is a common issue that affects over 6 million women in the US according to the CDC. Infertility has become a part of our culture’s conversation. It is our job at Eden to help educate the community and guide our patients so that they have the tools to make informed decisions about their fertility paths.

Also Check Out Our Detailed Guide [PDF] on Academia Infertility in Men & Women [Overview, approach and evaluation]

Infertility in Male & Female

What Causes Infertility in Male & Female?

Infertility can be one of the most difficult challenges a person will face in their life, and there are a multitude of causes of infertility in males and females.

  • Advancing maternal age:
  • Ovulation disorders:
  • Tubal occlusion (blockage):
  • Uterine fibroids:
  • Endometrial polyps:
  • Male factors affecting sperm function:
  • Endometriosis:
  • Genetic defects/DNA damage
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use, marijuana use, and tobacco smoke
  • Steroid use
  • Surgical removal of one of the testicles due to cancer
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Damage or injury to the reproductive organs

Additional factors:

  • Poor diet that is lacking in nutrients
  • Athletic over training
  • Stress

Does infertility affect me?

If you have been actively trying to conceive for 1 year with no results you may be suffering from infertility.

infertility-causes

Female infertility

— In a third of couples experiencing infertility the cause is female related. Age is a significant factor affecting female infertility. Women must experience ovulation in order to become pregnant. 

The normal aging process can affect the quality of eggs released. Physicians may perform a physical to examine the reproductive body parts and a blood test to assess hormone levels.

What Causes infertility in Female?

  • Ovulation problems
  • Blocked fallopian tubes
  • Fibroids
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Endometriosis (the lining of the womb to grow outside of the uterus)
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Pelvic adhesions
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Hydrosalpinx (swelling and fluid at the end of a fallopian tube)
  • Physical problems with the uterine lining.
What Causes infertility in Female?

Male Infertility

 — In a third of couples experiencing infertility the cause is male related. Male infertility can be caused by a varicocele, abnormal sperm production, infection, ejaculation issues, antibodies, hormone imbalances, tumors, chromosome defects, medications, and several other factors. 

It is essential when working up a couple for infertility treatments that the men undergo evaluation to help ensure the treatment plan addresses all areas affected.

What Causes infertility in males?

  • Morphology — abnormalities in sperm shape and size.
  • Varicocele — veins on testes emanate too much heat affecting sperm.
  • Number of sperms produced
  • Movement of the sperm, if they do not swim forward.

Infertility Risk Factors:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Unhealthful Diet
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Stress
  • Weight fluctuation
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Hormonal imbalance

Is Infertility Treatable?

There are many variables that factor into fertility. The first step is to find out what is affecting your ability to conceive through a thorough evaluation.

Steps:

  1. Medical Exam
  2. Egg, Uterus, and Ovary Evaluation
  3. Semen Analysis
  4. Measure Hormone Levels

Once your fertility specialist in Newport Beach has completed your evaluation in most cases we can identify the infertility issue and help provide you with a solution. Because each patient is unique, we are able to create a custom fertility plan to meet your needs.

Fertility Treatments

Fertility Treatments

Ovulation Induction — Ovulation induction uses medication to stimulate egg development and release (ovulation). Approximately 25 percent of female infertility cases stem from problems with ovulation, so ovulation induction can be a beneficial and cost-effective first treatment.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)— The process of concentrating processed and evaluated sperm directly into the uterus with the intention that the sperm will be closer to the egg.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Embryo Transfer (ET) — In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a fertility treatment where a woman’s eggs and man’s sperm are combined in a laboratory in order to create an embryo(s). 

IVF is a process whereby eggs are collected and then fertilized by sperm outside the body, in an embryology laboratory. IVF is a major breakthrough because it allowed for successful pregnancies in women that were previous deemed permanently infertile

Depending on the diagnosis and age of the woman, an Embryo Transfer (ET) will take place. This is a procedure where a single embryo is transferred to the woman’s uterus using a thin catheter (elective single embryo transfer or eSET). There are typically 4 steps to an IVF cycle:

  • Controlled Ovulation Stimulation (COS)
  • Egg Retrieval
  • Fertilization (IVF or ICSI)
  • Embryo Transfer – In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) describes a technique where a woman’s eggs and man’s sperm are combined in a special laboratory in order to create an embryo(s). 

Depending on the diagnosis and age of the woman, an embryo or embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus through her cervix to enhance the chances of pregnancy. The first birth resulting from IVF was in 1978 in England. 

When does it make sense to go for IVF?

  • Are over the age of 38
  • have blocked fallopian tubes
  • have reduced ovarian reserve
  • decide to use donor eggs
  • suffer from advanced endometriosis
  • when a gestational carrier is needed
  • are dealing with severe male infertility which may require the use of advanced technologies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), testicular sperm extraction (TESL), or microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA).
  • may require genetic screening

When this technology was first introduced,

IVF was only recommended to women with blocked fallopian tubes. Currently, IVF fertility treatment success rates have improved dramatically, and IVF is used for heterosexual and same sex couples experiencing infertility and even single women pursuing parenthood.

Who is this treatment right for?

  • Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
  • Women who have had their fallopian tubes removed
  • Male factor infertility including decreased sperm count or sperm motility
  • Women with ovulation disorders, low ovarian reserve, fibroids
  • Individuals with a genetic disorder
  • Same sex couples
  • Single women
  • If a surrogate is needed
  • Unexplained infertility

Special Fertility Programs in South California By Eden

Eden, a renowned Fertility treatment clinic in Newport Beach & Fullerton CA offers innovative and unique services in the following areas:

Oncofertility Options for Cancer Patients (Fertility Preservation) — 

Fertility preservation is the effort to help cancer patients retain their fertility, or ability to have biological children in the future. Fertility is preserved by freezing eggs, sperm and reproductive tissue prior to cancer treatments and chemotherapy. 

Research into how cancer affects reproductive health and preservation options are growing, sparked in part by the increase in the survival rate of cancer patients. While going through cancer treatment the idea of children may seem like a low priority but it may be a comfort to know that you have protected your ability to have your own genetic family after surviving cancer.

Genetic Testing

 — For women who experience infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss, chromosomal abnormalities in an embryo may be a contributing factor. As many as 70% of all embryos created naturally are of poor quality and do not survive the first months of pregnancy. Eden Fertility offers two different types of genetic tests for embryo evaluation:

  1. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGT-A) will allow us to select chromosomally normal embryos. PGT-A may increase your chances of becoming pregnant and carrying the pregnancy to term.
  2. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD or PGT-M) helps when you or your partner are a carrier of a specific genetic disease and do not want to risk having a baby with that specific disease. Using this test, our embryologists will be able to identify the embryos that do not carry the disease and transfer only the healthy embryos.

Donor-Egg IVF

 — Around the age of 35 most women experience a decline in ovarian reserve. A woman’s age will naturally cause a decrease in egg quality, which may increase the need to use a donor egg in order to become pregnant. Donor-egg IVF is a successful treatment option that is used for patients who no longer have quality eggs within their ovaries. 

Donor-egg IVF usually has good success rate of all fertility treatments. The success is attributed to the utilization of younger eggs during an IVF cycle. Donor egg donation can be from a friend/family member or through a donor egg agency. Your fertility doctor will guide you through this process and help you determine if donor-egg IVF is right for you.

Also ReadWhat Is Egg Freezing & How Does It Work?

Surrogacy / Gestational Carriers

 — Infertility may result, not only from the inability to conceive, but sustaining pregnancy due to a problem with the uterus to support the developing fetus during pregnancy. Parenthood is still possible thanks to the generosity of women who are willing to carry a fetus that is not theirs. Eden works with local and national surrogacy agencies to assist couples in the opportunity to become parents. 

The woman producing the eggs undergoes an IVF cycle. At the same time, the gestational carrier (surrogate) prepares her uterus for conception with estrogen and progesterone. The eggs are fertilized and the embryos with the highest pregnancy potential are placed in the uterine cavity of the gestational carrier. The number of embryos transferred depends on the age of the woman producing the eggs and the quality of the cultured embryos.

LGBTQ+ Fertility Options 

Eden proudly welcomes gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals and couples. Our centers offer many fertility procedures so that all family types, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation, can have the opportunity to become parents. 

Eden offers fertility treatments for all LGBTQ+ families. Our treatments include sperm donation, insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and third party reproduction. We believe everyone should experience the gift of parenthood.

Schedule an appointment — Emailinfo@edenfertilitycenters.com or Call (855) 566–1616

 

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