Reproductive Medicine & IVF

What Causes Infertility?

What causes infertility? Review frequently asked question to help better inform your patients.

What causes infertility? Unfortunately, the answer isn't always simple, and pinpointing the cause can take time and multiple tests. Read our collection of frequently asked questions about diagnosing the possible causes of infertility below, and learn how to talk to your patients about diagnosis, treatment, and potential outcomes.

  1. What is infertility? Infertility can be a difficult and scary subject, and is something that affects both men and women. Patients can often take the subject personally, so healthcare providers need to be armed with facts and explanations about various causes and possible treatments when discussing infertility.
  2. What are the symptoms of infertility? Symptoms of infertility can take on many different forms, and therefore multiple tests are often required. In order to identify symptoms in women, gynecologists should turn to a transvaginal ultrasound as the first test. It's a non-invasive and simple way to start the process of determining fertility and potential treatments.
  3. What is tubal patency? Tubal factor infertility is responsible for approximately 25 to 30 percent of infertility cases. 3D hysterosalpingo contrast sonography, or HyCoSy, is an effective test that can be used in conjunction with a transvaginal ultrasound that can help determine tubal patency.
  4. How is infertility diagnosed? Since infertility can be caused by multiple factors, it's important to know a range of possible tests, get thorough medical histories from patients, and be able to explore possible treatment options. Read on for a range of diagnostic techniques.
  5. How do you use ultrasound to diagnose congenital uterine anomalies? 3D transvaginal ultrasound is a powerful tool to use when diagnosing potential congenital uterine anomalies, especially when related to fertility issues or adverse pregnancy outcomes. Often, these congenital anomalies can be corrected with surgery.
  6. Does endometriosis cause infertility? Endometriosis is a chronic condition with symptoms that often vary in both type and severity. It can easily be misdiagnosed, and many women suffer with pain for an average of 6 to 12 years before being accurately diagnosed and treated.
  7. Does alcohol affect fertility? The connection between fertility and alcohol consumption is not entirely clear, but couples that are actively trying to conceive should cut back or abstain. The studies around fertility and alcohol have yet to produce a definitive answer to this question, but since the fetus is particularly sensitive to substances right after conception, women who are trying to conceive may want to abstain during their fertile window. Click the link above for the details of various studies done regarding alcohol and fertility.

When you patients come to you and ask what causes infertility, it's important to be sensitive to their fears and clear about the possible causes and treatments. To keep learning about infertility, IVF and ultrasound, explore the rest of our articles on reproductive medicine.