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Frequently Asked Questions About Infertility

We Have the Answers

How common is it to have infertility issues?

About 10% of US women between the ages of 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. That equates to 6.1 million US women making infertility issues a common occurrence.

Are there factors that increase risk of infertility?

Yes, for both men and women.

Women's factors include:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol use
  • Stress
  • Poor diet
  • Athletic training
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • Health problems that cause hormonal changes, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer

Male factors include:

  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Drugs
  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Environmental toxins, including pesticides and lead
  • Health problems such as mumps, serious conditions like kidney disease, or hormone problems
  • Medicines
  • Radiation treatment and chemotherapy for cancer
  • Varicocele

What causes infertility in women?

Most cases of female infertility are caused by problems with ovulation. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include irregular or absent menstrual periods.

Ovulation problems are often caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormone imbalance problem which can interfere with normal ovulation. PCOS is the most common cause of female infertility.

Other causes of fertility problems in women include:

  • Blocked fallopian tubes due to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, or surgery for an ectopic pregnancy
  • Physical problems with the uterus
  • Uterine fibroids, which are non-cancerous tumors of muscle tissue within the walls of the uterus

How long should women try to get pregnant before seeing a specialist?

Most experts suggest at least one year for women under 35. Women aged 35 years or older should see their doctors after six months of trying. A woman's chances of having a baby decrease rapidly every year after the age of 35.

Some health problems also increase the risk of infertility:

  • Irregular periods or no menstrual periods
  • Very painful periods
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • More than one miscarriage

Fertility Financing

REACH is proud to have several options to help our patients worry less about the financial aspect and focus on becoming a parent. Learn more about fertility financing solutions.

Egg Donor Process

We have a team dedicated to our patients that are interested in using donor eggs. Our staff will walk these patients through the process every step of the way.