Fertility Problems: Common Causes

Infertility Solutions:
Looking at the Causes of Infertility and Treatment Options

If you are struggling with infertility, take heart - you are not alone! Visit any trying-to-conceive community webforum and you will find many, many couples sharing the same trials and tribulations of dealing with trying-to-conceive obstacles, infertility or subfertility issues. In fact, as many as 6 million couples in the US are now struggling with infertility issues - and that translates as about 15% of the trying to conceive community. Of course, infertility does not mean that you can't have children. There are many causes of fertility problems; but there are also many solutions, treatments, and options for dealing with fertility issues (including homeopathic treatments like acupuncture, yoga or fertility supplements as well as more traditional allopathic treatments like prescription fertility medications, medical procedures, and assisted reproductive technology [ART]). Even basic changes in diet and lifestyle can improve your chances of conceiving, as can fertility charting with a basal thermometer.

Under some classifications, if you have currently been trying to conceive - without luck - for over a year, then you may be facing infertility obstacles. As a general guideline, you may wish to consult with your doctor after a year of actively trying to become pregnant. The important thing to note is that there are many possible causes of subfertility or infertility issues. Infertility cases do impact men and women equally; of all cases, 1/3 are be attributed to male fertility variables, another 1/3 to female fertility issues, and a 1/3 to a combination of male or female variables.

Ovulation Disorders: Among the most common conditions or causes of infertility case are: Problems with ovulation (or ovulatory disorders). Ovulatory disorders are defined as a condition in which the ovum (or egg) is not released (or not released healthfully) from the ovary. Anovulation is the medical term for the failure to ovulate. Amenorrhea is marked the the cessation of the menstrual cycle. One common cause of these symptoms is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) - technically an ovarian disorder - and a health issue that can impact a woman’s menstrual cycle and disrupt both normal hormonal balance, ovulation, and fertility.

Hormonal balance is key to ovulation, and besides ovarian problems like PCOS, there are also disorders of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland that can cause ovulatory issues. In short, these cases are typically marked by the over-or-under production of certain hormones like estrogen or progesterone. If these hormones are not in balance, ovulation may not take place (or other fertility issues may arise like luteal phase defect, or a shortened luteal phase caused by low progesterone levels).

Hormonal balance, key to a regular menstrual cycle and ovulation, can also be disrupted by other health factors, including weight, diet, exercise, and stress, further causing irregular cycles or ovulatory disorders. Ovulatory disorders are a common cause of female fertility and are treatable by a wide spectrum of fertility treatments. If you are over or underweight, simply leading a healthier lifestyle can improve your fertility - and your odds of conceiving. As a "first line" approach to dealing with fertility issues, we recommend improving health and wellness factors as well as fertility and btt charting to pinpoint ovulation. Also, a natural fertility supplement like FertilAid can help to re-establish proper hormonal balance and cycle regularity.

Diagnosing Ovulatory Disorders: Only a healthcare professional should diagnose an ovulatory disorder. However, common symptoms include irregular periods or an absence of menstrual cycle. If you are bbt fertility charting, another indicator of ovulatory problems is the absence of a midcycle temperature rise or bbt spike (which typically signals ovulation and the increase of the hormone progesterone during the second half of your cycle. Your doctor can advise and may wish to perform tests - from a blood draw to ultrasound - to determine if ovulation is taking place or not. Ultrasound is the only test that can actually tell you if you are ovulating or not.

Treatments for Ovulation Disorders: The spectrum of fertility treatments is widening - including everything from "ovulation acupuncture" and fertility supplements like FertilAid to prescription fertility drugs designed to induce ovulation. For example, common fertility drugs like Clomid and Follistim are designed to stimulate ovulation.

Blocked or Obstructed Fallopian Tube: Another moderately common cause of female fertility issues is a blocked fallopian tube. The fallopian tube connects the ovary to the uterus. Following ovulation, the egg travels down the fallopian tube to the womb. If the tube is blocked or obstructed, fertility is impaired. Treatment options include surgical procedures to remove the blockage or, alternately, the IVF option (in vitro fertilization). IVF is defined as removing ova from a woman's ovaries and fertilizing them with the husband's sperm - and then returning the embryo to the woman's womb (for a normal pregnancy that bypasses ovulation/movement through the fallopian tubes). IVF is used for other infertility issues as well.

Male Fertility or Sperm Disorders: Male fertility - or sperm disorders - are as complex as female disorders. There are a number of issues relating to sperm health, including morphology (shape), motility (the ability to swim properly and survive/swim long enough), and count (the number of sperm). In some cases, sperm are abnormally shaped or do not swim correctly (or vigorously), or are simply too few to result in pregnancy. Genetic issues, disease, physiological factors, or male reproductive hormonal imbalance can all contribute to a low sperm count or various impacted sperm disorders. External variables like high heat (caused by hot tubs, frequent hot baths, and yes, even tight underwear) or smoking and drinking can also play a role in decreased sperm health.

Diagnosing Sperm Problems: Diagnosing a sperm disorder is often a bit easier than determining the cause of an ovulation problem. In most cases, a semen analysis is performed in a lab. There are home male sperm tests available as well from Internet conception stores. If a problem is indicated in sperm count, morphology, or motility parameters, a urologist focusing on male infertility issues may be able to assist. Also, a new front-line treatment for sperm problems has recently become popular and does have a great deal of credible scientific data bolstering claims - male fertility supplements like FertilAid for Men that combine antioxidants with the amino acid l-carnitine. These ingredients have been shown to improve key sperm parameters like motility and count.

The key in looking at fertility issues is to begin with the safe and natural alternatives first (health and wellness, fertility charting, ovulation tests, etc) before jumping to treatments that have associated risks or complications.

Part II: To Learn More about Overcoming Infertility
Go to Part 2: Ovulatory Disorders, PCOS, and Male Infertility
Go To Part 3: ART (Assisted Reproduction Technology)


Thank you for the detailed descriptions about the various issues that many wannabe moms face. I too would be careful when I am going to be a mom. I am looking up fertility issues that can hamper pregnancy and this had been particularly helpful.

Hi, my last period was 2/23/13. I am trying to concieve, so my husband & I had intercourse on the day I was ovulating. It's now 4/2/13 and I have not had my period yet or feel pregnant. My concern is that I have been on birth control pills for over 10+ yrs and I just stopped in Jan. Could this be the reason why I have not had more period yet or am I pregnant? I don't know when to take the pregnancy test since I don't know when my missed period will be. Please advice! Your feed back is much appreciated.

Thanks for sharing this detailed post on fertility problems and solutions. There are now several options for people who are having problems conceiving including IVF. I hope to see more informative articles here.

pls if there is any help u can give me pls i need it seriously b/c my husband is planning 2 marry another wife,pls l need 2 get pregnant 4 him,tanks.

i feel myself lucky that I came to know about this natural treatment method that cured my disease and I was able to conceive.

tryinghard72 you are to old...i mean that is the problem..

i ve been married for two years now, but i cant get pregnant. wat can i do?

i'm married for 7 months and no baby what tests should i do before going to doctor ?

i'm married for 7 months and no baby what tests should i do before going to doctor ?

I have a 16 year old but have remarried and husband and I really want a child together. Have been trying to conceive for 2 years. Failed 2 cycles of clomid, failed iui And 2 failed IvF's. Fsh level is 9.28 which is
Considered borderline. I feel like I am running out of time. I am 38 yrs old and insurance will cover 2 more IVF's. I just ordered fertailaid, the tea and fertilcm. I am praying it happens soon. Dr. Cant seem to pinpoint the problem.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Ovulation Calculator

Format: 4/25/2019
Increase your chances of getting pregnant! Our Ovulation Calculator will help you predict when you ovulate - your prime time for becoming pregnant.

Our Blog

By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.