Structural Causes of Infertility

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How does the structure of my reproductive organs impact fertility?

Structural Causes of Infertility

In both men and women, the structure of the reproductive system can significantly impact each person's fertility and ability to conceive children. The reproductive system is like other body systems, and must be intact and in good health, in order to function properly.

For women, some structural causes of infertility can include:

  • blockage of fallopian tubes by scarring, congenital malformation or by tubal ligation - does not allow travel of the egg to the uterus or to contact sperm
  • misshaped uterus - uteri with more than one "head" makes it difficult for a fertilized egg to implant and develop
  • presence of tumors or cysts on the ovaries - tumors or cysts can interfere with egg production, transport of the egg, and can impact hormonal control of ovulation
  • blocked cervix - prevents passage of sperm into the uterus
For men, structural problems which can contribute to infertility may include:

  • undescended testes - tend to be smaller, with poor sperm production
  • blockage of ducts by scarring, congenital malformation or vasectomy, twisting or torsion of ducts - inhibits movement of sperm
  • missing testes - impairs ability to produce sperm
  • hypospadias (the opening normally at the tip of the penis is on the underside of the penis) - can make it difficult to adequately direct the ejaculation into the vaginal vault
  • tumors or cysts on the testes - impact hormonal control of sperm production and can block sperm travel pathways
In terms of infertility treatment, the majority of structural causes of infertility can be easily corrected to help promote conception. The first step to determining if you have a structural cause for your infertility is to be evaluated by an Infertility Specialist, who can assist you in identifying the cause of your infertility, and being treatment to help you achieve conception and birth of your child.

   

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