For conception to occur:
- A woman releases an egg (ovulate), which enters into a fallopian tube
- Sperm enters the cervix and travels through the uterus and into the fallopian tube
- Fertilization takes place in the fallopian tube within 24 to 48 hours of ovulation
- The fertilized egg, or embryo, travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus, where it implants in the uterine lining and develops
Infertility results when a problem develops in any part of this complex process. One out of eight couples has trouble conceiving. The first step in overcoming infertility is to seek an experienced reproductive endocrinologist to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
A single female factor is the cause of infertility in 40 percent of the cases. Interestingly, a single male factor is the culprit in an additional 40 percent of the cases. Both male and female factors occur in 10 percent of the cases. In the remaining 10 percent of cases, diagnostic tests do not give us the answer. This is called unexplained infertility. Scientific data suggests that many couples who have unexplained infertility may, in fact, have a fertilization issue. The good news is that IVF with ICSI often overcome this problem.