Infertility

Q&A: Dealing With Fertility Problems?

My husband and I just found out we're having fertility problems. We don't know the details yet but I was wondering what can cause this?

There are many potential genetic, physiological and environmental causes of infertility. Lest you assume you're the infertile one, know that it affects men and women equally. And, you're not alone. One in six couples cannot conceive without medical intervention. The good news is, up to 90 percent eventually do get pregnant.

Infertility is a treatable medical condition, not any kind of shortcoming. Age plays a part — we all know about that pesky biological clock (tick tock). Past and present health issues, including things you've long forgotten, can also be a factor. For example, a bout of mumps during adolescence can leave men with compromised sperm production. Similarly, radiation exposure at any point can cause infertility in both men and women. STDs are another major reason for infertility. Gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes can all make the uterus inhospitable. And, chemicals and toxins (like pesticides) can hamper sperm production in men and cause miscarriages in women.

Whatever the reason, hang in there. Medical treatments are so advanced these days that the odds are on your side. Check out the American Fertility Association for more info and support.

By Paula Kashtan