What are the causes of infertility among couples who use ART?
The diagram below shows the infertility diagnoses reported among couples who had an ART procedure using
fresh nondonor eggs or embryos in 2007. Diagnoses range from one infertility factor in one partner
to multiple factors in either one or both partners. However, diagnostic procedures may vary from one
clinic to another, so the categorization also may vary.
- Tubal factor means that the woman's fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, making it difficult for the egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
- Ovulatory dysfunction means that the ovaries are not producing eggs normally. Such dysfunctions include polycystic ovary syndrome and multiple ovarian cysts.
- Diminished ovarian reserve means that the ability of the ovary to produce eggs is reduced. Reasons include congenital, medical, or surgical causes or advanced age.
- Endometriosis involves the presence of tissue similar to the uterine lining in abnormal locations. This condition can affect both fertilization of the egg and embryo implantation.
- Uterine factor means a structural or functional disorder of the uterus that results in reduced fertility.
- Male factor refers to a low sperm count or problems with sperm function that make it difficult for a sperm to fertilize an egg under normal conditions.
- Other causes of infertility include immunological problems, chromosomal abnormalities, cancer chemotherapy, and serious illnesses.
- Unexplained cause means that no cause of infertility was found in either the woman or the man.
- Multiple factors, female only, means that more than one female cause was diagnosed.
- Multiple factors, female and male, means that one or more female causes and male factor infertility were diagnosed.
(chart courtesy: The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention (CDC))