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couple talking to fertility doctor about infertilityInfertility is a tragedy for men and women who want to start a family. It’s estimated that infertility affects about 12% of couples of reproductive age including about 20% of women who wait to have their first child after age 30. The good news is that a wide range of treatments can make parenthood possible for more people.

Why Age is a Factor for Women
Age can be a cause of infertility for women because ovaries are less able to release eggs as you get older and those eggs that are released aren’t as healthy. A hormonal imbalance that becomes more common in your 30s may also interfere with normal ovulation.

Physical causes of infertility in women are less common and can include uterine fibroids or blocked fallopian tubes caused by pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.

What Causes Infertility in Men
For men, infertility is usually caused by a low sperm count or reduced movement that makes the sperm less likely to fertilize an egg. These problems can be something that a man is born with or can start later in life because of injury or illness.

The Risk Factors You Can Control
Risk factors for infertility in men and women include smoking, excessive alcohol use, sexually transmitted infections and exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides and lead. Being overweight or underweight and intense athletic training can also affect fertility for women.

Medical Treatments for Infertility
Besides avoiding these risk factors, what can you do to overcome infertility? Several medicines are used to treat women with ovulation problems and antibiotics can clear up infections that affect a man’s sperm count.

How Science Can Help
Artificial insemination in which a woman is injected with specially prepared sperm is an option to improve the chances for successful conception. In vitro fertilization can create an embryo by combining an egg and sperm outside the woman’s body that can be implanted later.

Treating infertility is often a long and emotional roller coaster ride when you’re struggling to accomplish what you think should be so simple. As difficult as it is, having patience is an important part of any treatment for infertility. If you’ve been having unprotected sex for at least 12 months and are unable to conceive, both of you should see your doctor to discuss testing and treatment for infertility.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax