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Reproductive Endo/Infertility
Missouri Center for Reproductive Medicine and Fertility
Causes of Infertility

In a single cycle, the likelihood of conception (achieving pregnancy) for a healthy young couple is approximately 20 percent.  Over twelve months, the combined likelihood of achieving pregnancy is about 85 percent.  It is important to know that these numbers will begin to decrease beginning in a woman's early thirties, declining even further after age thirty-five. 

Multiple factors can affect a couple's ability to conceive.  Generally, the causes can be divided into male and female categories.

Male Factor (40 %) - abnormalities in sperm count, motility, appearance, or function; this also includes the inability to have intercourse, either due to injury or other causes.

Female Ovulation Disorder (20-25%) - abnormalities in the ability to produce or release eggs (includes PCOS).

Female Pelvic Factor (20-25%) - abnormalities of the pelvic organs including blocked fallopian tubes, adhesions (scar tissue) around the tubes and ovaries, fibroid tumors of the uterus, and moderate to severe endometriosis.

Unexplained (10 -15 %) - infertility with no known cause following a complete work-up.

Therefore, a thorough evaluation of the infertile couple begins with investigation for both male and female causes of infertility.  The specifics of each test are covered in more detail in subsequent sections.

Related Pages
Causes of Infertility
Infertility Evaluation
Ovulation Disorder and PCOS
Male Factor
Pelvic Factor
Unexplained Infertility
Tubal Reversal

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