Infertility is a common health condition in the United States, where one in five women aged 15 to 49 and without prior births can’t get pregnant even after one year of trying.
Infertility doesn’t only affect women but men, too.
Should you visit a reproductive expert if you’re diagnosed with a medical condition affecting your fertility? What other issues require you to see a fertility specialist?
Can certain medical conditions affect men’s and women’s fertility? If so, what are these conditions?
If you’re unable to conceive, what are the possible issues causing your fertility problems? When should you consider seeing a fertility specialist for assessment and treatment?
This article discusses the causes of fertility problems and when you should consider seeing a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.
This article also explores the medical conditions affecting fertility that you must consult with a reproductive expert.
Additionally, this article lists other conditions that a reproductive specialist may need to examine to confirm whether those conditions affect fertility.
Infertility can be a serious problem for individuals wanting to have a child but cannot. Such cases can be due to underlying medical conditions and other health-related factors.
Even indirect factors like asbestos exposure, as described on the MesotheliomaGroup website, can lead to cancer, which can cause reproductive problems.
Seeking a fertility specialist allows you to address these issues affecting your reproductive condition.
Keep reading to know more about these medical and health-related issues that need a fertility specialist’s help.
Some common medical conditions that can lead to infertility include:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): This condition is common among women of childbearing age that causes them to become infertile and not ovulate. Women with PCOS may have high androgen (male sex hormones) levels and small cysts on their ovaries.
PCOS can also cause irregular menstrual periods, acne, excess hair growth, and weight gain.
- Uterine fibroids: These benign tumors grow in the uterine muscles and are common among aged women.
In some cases, women with fibroids can still conceive without difficulty. However, these tumors can also interfere with a woman’s ability to get pregnant and cause pregnancy loss.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI): This condition occurs when the ovaries of women under 40 stop functioning normally by not producing sufficient amounts of estrogen or not releasing eggs regularly. These conditions can lead to premature ovarian failure and infertility.
There’s a 5% chance that a woman diagnosed with POI can still conceive. Because of the low likelihood of natural conception, egg donation through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be among the most effective treatments for POI in women.
- Disruption of ejaculatory or testicular function: These problems can occur among men due to various conditions like:
- Trauma to the testes affecting sperm production
- Smoking, heavy alcohol use, and illegal drug use
- Varicocele (enlarged testicles)
- Medical issues like diabetes, autoimmune disorders, cystic fibrosis, and certain infections
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that damages the lungs, digestive system, and other organs.
- Cancer treatment like radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery removing one or both testicles
Studies haven’t found conclusive evidence that non-cancerous asbestos exposure can cause infertility in men.
However, women who have worked with asbestos may have higher stillbirth and infertility rates.
Consider seeing a fertility specialist if you’ve been diagnosed with any medical issues mentioned in the previous section.
Also, consider visiting your doctor if you fall under the following circumstances:
- Older than 40: Aging can cause a decline in egg quality, increasing the chance of miscarriage in older women.
- Multiple miscarriages: Genetic issues, anatomic problems, cervical issues, infection, and abnormal hormone levels can cause miscarriages. Consult a fertility specialist for medical care if you have this condition.
- Trying for more than a year: If you’ve been trying to become pregnant for more than a year and still haven’t conceived, you may need to undergo evaluation.
Consult a fertility specialist for more information about infertility or if you need to have your condition diagnosed to determine the treatment options that can help you conceive.
- Infertility FAQs
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- When Should I See a Fertility Specialist?
- Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Symptoms & Causes