Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive systems of both women and men that can result in the inability to have a biological child. It affects 12 million people in the United States alone. One in every eight couples will struggle with infertility at some point. Infertility is often perceived as a women’s issue, but it affects men and women equally with 30 percent due to a female factor, 30 percent due to a male factor, another 30 percent due to a combination of both male and female factors, and the remaining 10 percent unexplained. Female infertility can result from numerous causes including but not limited to, diminished ovarian reserve, tubal disease due to prior STDs, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or endometriosis.
Male infertility has many causes as well, but the most common diagnosis is a reduced quality of sperm due to low count or low motility. Although some of these statistics are alarming, advancements have been made in the field of reproductive medicine in the last 10 years, and there are a plethora of infertility treatment options ranging from simple timed intercourse to in-vitro fertilization. Infertility often goes overlooked by both patients and physicians until couples are actually ready to have a child, but in many cases, it’s too late. Early detection can be critical when achieving a successful pregnancy outcome, so regular exams are vital.