USC Fertility

Causes of Infertility

Our Fertility Clinic Expertly Uncovers the Causes of Infertility

Today’s fertility treatments restore hope for the 1 in 6 couples that will experience delays in getting pregnant. Before we begin to correct the problem, we’ll focus on finding the causes of infertility. Your USC Fertility doctor will get to know your unique situation and health history before treating you.

While many factors contribute to reproductive disorders, some causes of infertility will require targeted intervention at a fertility clinic, while others will resolve themselves and only slightly extend the time it takes to conceive a baby.

For example, a blocked fallopian tube or blocked sperm duct will not re-open over time. Another factor that is irreversible past a certain point: diminished ovarian reserve as a result of maternal age. At USC Fertility, we cannot over-emphasize how important it is for a woman to be aware of declining fertility after age 35.

The leading causes of infertility that prevent pregnancy include:

  • Maternal age greater than 35
  • Ovulatory dysfunction leading to female infertility
  • Anatomical issues in the uterus or fallopian tubes
  • Sperm disorders causing male infertility

When you visit our Los Angeles fertility clinic for a consultation or assessment, we will equip you with facts about the causes of infertility, explaining which obstacles will require targeted medical intervention.

Female Infertility

Female infertility causes account for a third of all cases.

It’s not polite to ask a woman her age, but your fertility specialist will target this number, and explain why age is a leading cause of female infertility and diminished ovarian reserve. The treatment approach that we choose will depend a great deal on maternal age. Fertility treatment increases in urgency as you progress through your 20s, 30s and 40s. The age of a woman’s eggs can be the single-most detrimental factor once she passes her 35th birthday.

One in three women at the age of 40 will have trouble getting pregnant.

Another culprit that causes female infertility: ovulatory dysfunction. The process of maturing and releasing an oocyte, or egg, is essential to successful conception. Many factors can interfere with ovulation, from PCOS and weight, to a breakdown in the body’s natural response to hormonal triggers.

The structures and organs that make up the pelvic region must provide a welcoming environment for sperm, effectively pass eggs to meet the sperm, and have the ability to nurture the fertilized egg and sustain a pregnancy.

It’s important to rule out anatomical causes of infertility from the start. In fact, fallopian tubal blockage is one the most common cause of female infertility. It is also a common reason we recommend IVF.

Male Infertility

Male infertility causes account for a third of all cases.

A reproductive endocrinologist will study blood tests and semen analysis reports to diagnose the causes of male infertility. The complete absence of sperm or issues with the sperm’s motility, morphology (sperm shape), PH factor, volume or count will need to be addressed, as will unusual hormone levels.

A review of health history, and the presence of red flags such as a varicocele or undescended testicles, will also help us move quickly to targeted male fertility treatment.

Female infertility and male infertility combined account for the remaining third of all cases.

At what point should you pursue fertility treatment, and partner with a reproductive endocrinologist?

  • Tried for 12 months to conceive and are under the age of 35
  • A woman over 35 and have not gotten pregnant after 6 months of well-timed unprotected sex
  • Have irregular periods or a history of pelvic surgery such as appendectomy or STD
  • In your 20s to 30s and are considering freezing your eggs
  • You are single or part of a same-sex couple.

Our fertility clinic partners with men and women in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and all over the world in their quest to start families. Identifying the causes of infertility will give us the information we need to help you quickly resolve the issue so you can move past trying to succeeding. Contact our Los Angeles fertility clinic staff for a consultation.