**While trying to become pregnant
Causes of Infertility
There are many different causes of infertility, and often there are several infertility causes in one couple. These include:
Male factor infertility
In about 25-40 percent of couples, a problem with the sperm is the cause of the infertility. The problem may be the number of sperm, the shape of the sperm, or their ability to move effectively.
In 25-30 percent of couples, there are problems with the release of the woman's egg, or ovulation. This may be the result of an abnormality in the woman's ovary (such as polycystic ovary syndrome), or other hormonal causes. These defects are treated by giving medications to stimulate ovulation.
In 20-30 percent of couples, infertility is caused by an abnormality of the Fallopian tubes, the tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. Tubal defects can be caused by scarring from previous surgery, infection, or a previous tubal ligation ("tying of the tubes").
This is a disorder in which pieces of the lining of the uterus attach to pelvic organs, including the Fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and sometimes even the intestines. This can cause pain, scarring, and changes in the ability of the eggs to fertilize and create a pregnancy. This is the cause of infertility in 5-10 percent of couples.
There is no obvious cause of infertility in about 10-20 percent of couples. Fertility treatments also are successful in these cases, however.