Approximately 6.1 million American women 15-44 years old struggle to get or stay pregnant. This difficulty can come from a variety of factors and can be difficult to diagnose. That’s because infertility can be due to reproductive issues in men, women — or a combination of both. And, unlike other diseases that often cause a variety of symptoms, the primary sign of infertility is the inability to conceive.
At Urology Associates of Southeastern North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina, our team understands the complex nature of fertility and the complicated role it plays in pregnancy. If you’re having problems conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, these could be a few possible causes.
The leading cause of infertility in 40% of women has to do with ovulation. Each month, during your menstrual cycle, one of your ovaries releases an egg for fertilization. Infrequent ovulation, or none at all, affects your ability to become pregnant.
Common causes of ovulation issues include:
Being underweight or obese can also impact the ovulation process.
Having abnormal tissue in your reproductive system can also prevent an egg from becoming fertilized. These types of structural changes can develop for a variety of reasons, including:
You can also have an unusually shaped uterus that makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant successfully for a full-term pregnancy.
Untreated sexually transmitted diseases can jeopardize your fertility in a variety of ways. For example, gonorrhea and chlamydia can trigger pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause scarring in your fallopian tubes. Having syphilis increases your chances of stillbirth.
Further, the human papillomavirus (HPV) — most commonly associated with an increased risk of cervical cancer — can also change the quality or amount of your cervical mucus, making it more difficult to become pregnant.
Many women are waiting to have children, and nearly 20% of women in the United States have their first baby after age 35. Unfortunately, aging can impact your fertility in several ways, and approximately one-third of couples with women over 35 experience fertility problems.
Possible impacts of aging on female fertility include having:
While most experts recommend waiting a year to seek medical attention when you’re trying to become pregnant, we suggest women 35 or older contact our team after six months.
If you’re struggling with fertility issues, accurately diagnosing the cause of your problem is the first step toward getting an effective solution. Call our office in Wilmington, North Carolina, at 910-421-2505, take advantage of our convenient telemedicine services, or send our team a message through our website.