Infertility – Causes, Treatments and Tips for Coping

Tablet with the diagnosis Infertility on the displayInfertility is more common than many realize. It is estimated that 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy.

Infertility affects both men and women equally. There are several factors that can contribute to infertility. In men some of these are:

  • Problems with the delivery of sperm
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Damage resulting from chemotherapy or radiation
  • Abnormalities in the production of sperm
  • Use of tobacco or alcohol

Some causes of infertility in women may be the result of:

  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Damage to reproductive organs
  • Uterine or cervical abnormalities
  • Use of tobacco or alcohol

Although these conditions can impair a person’s ability to conceive, seeking medical assistance as soon as possible can greatly increase their chances of conception.  A physician who specializes in infertility will conduct several tests to determine probable causes and explore several treatment options. Treatment can be surgical or medicinal and may include:

  • Intrauterine insemination
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Clomiphene citrate (Clomid)
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (Gn-RH)
  • Human menopausal gonadotropin or hMG
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH
  • Metformin
  • Bromocriptine
  • Sperm extraction

While coping with infertility can be challenging, it is important for individuals to remember not to blame themselves, lean on their partner or loved ones for support, acknowledge stress and practice stress-reducing techniques, gain knowledge by utilizing resources such as the National Infertility Association’s

The National Infertility Association also founded National Infertility Awareness Week, which is observed each year to increase public understanding and awareness of the reproductive disease. People who are trying to conceive are encouraged to learn the guidelines for seeing an infertility specialist. For more information about this observance, please visit


All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.