Infertility: what causes it?
The simple answer is that it depends on the couple’s age, medical, gynecologic and family history. Infertility is usually defined as one year of active attempts to conceive, but as few as six months in women over 35 years old. Basic fertility testing is used to diagnose a variety of factors that may contribute to difficulty conceiving.
Some of the most common causes include:
- Fallopian tube damage or blockage
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Ovulation disorders
- Early menopause
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic adhesions
- Male factor infertility
Infertility affects men and women equally with about one-third of cases attributed to male factors and about one-third to female factors. The remaining one-third of infertile couples experience a combination of factors in both partners or, in about 20 percent of cases, have unexplained infertility.