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Is infertility just a woman's problem?

Here's a little-known fact: In any instance of infertility, the problem is on the guy's side about 40% of the time. The problem is on the woman's side about the same -- 40%. The other 20%? Those are the mystery cases where no specific cause can be found. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a way of getting around a problem on the women's side. It's great (if expensive) technology, but it may be the wrong tool for the job if the problem is with the guy.
Mark Perloe, MD
Reproductive Endocrinology

Misconceptions are very common in the world of infertility. One popular myth is that infertility is the woman's problem and that once that "problem" is fixed, the couple will be able to conceive. This could not be farther from the truth. In fact, in nearly 30% of all infertility cases, the cause is attributed to a factor in the male and in an additional 30% of cases the cause is attributed to both male and female factors. Less than a decade ago, treatment for a severe male factor was limited to inseminations or IVF using donor sperm. Today, exciting advances in male infertility have introduced innovative therapeutic options that offer men, including those with no sperm in their ejaculate due to genetic conditions, a greatly improved chance to conceive their own biological offspring.

 

No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. Both women and men can have problems that cause infertility. About one-third of infertility cases are caused by women's problems. Another one third of fertility problems are due to the man. The other cases are caused by a mixture of male and female problems or by unknown problems.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.