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BellaOnline's Conception Editor

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Why can't I conceive?


Why can't I conceive? That's a question many of us have asked ourselves and then searched for the answers. Here are some possible answers.

There are two main reasons: something is wrong with the man or something is wrong with the woman. Sometimes, it's a combination of the two. Let's start with male factor.

Men need to have a decent number of and motility of sperm to father a child. Generally, doctors want to see a sperm count above 10 million. It's uncommon for a man to have no sperm, but some drugs (chemotherapy, for example) can result in lower counts. If a man has a low count, intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) with intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) can work around it. Or just keep trying and maybe it just takes more time.

For the female factor, it's more complicated. Fallopian tubes can be affected by sexually-transmitted diseases like chlamydia, resulting in fluid-filled tubes or even scarred tubes. Surgery on the cervix for cervical cancer or warts can create stenosis or a tight cervix, making it difficult for sperm to travel up into the uterus.

Endometriosis can also cause scarring that distorts the tubes, impairing their ability to pick up an egg once released from the ovary. Tissue from endometriosis can be deposited and grow anywhere in the pelvis, including inside or on the ovaries.

Uterine deformities from birth may play a role for some women. Some women have only one fallopian tube (unicornate uterus), some have a septum (a partial wall in the uterus) or even a two-chambered uterus (bicornuate uterus). Septums have been implicated in early miscarriages or even problems with implantation. Simple surgery can remove a septum.

Most specialists don't think fibroids affect fertility. It depends on the size and location of the fibroids.

Then there is also polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance (too much testosterone) that makes their menstrual cycles irregular, and they may not ovulate. PCOS is very common.

Of course, hormones can be a problem as women get older. A simple blood test for estrogen and FSH can be a clue to problems conceiving.

If you are worried, make an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. Maybe there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and the relief of finding that out will help you relax and make a baby naturally!
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Content copyright © 2014 by Stacy Wiegman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Stacy Wiegman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Stacy Wiegman for details.

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