You are here

Misconception: Infertility is a Woman's Problem

FACT: Roughly one-third of infertility cases can be attributed to male factors, and about one-third to female. For the remaining one-third of couples, infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners, or, in about 20 percent of cases, is unexplained.

The most common male infertility factors include azoospermia (no sperm cells are produced) and oligospermia (few sperm cells are produced). Sometimes, sperm cells are malformed or they die before they can reach the egg. In rare cases, infertility in men is caused by a genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis or a chromosomal abnormality.

The most common female infertility factor is an ovulation disorder. Other causes of female infertility include blocked fallopian tubes (which can occur when a woman has had pelvic inflammatory disease) and endometriosis (a sometimes painful condition causing adhesions and cysts). Congenital anomalies (birth defects) involving the structure of the uterus and uterine fibroids are associated with repeated miscarriages.