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The NEI Connection

Unexpected resultFertility issues can cause a lot of heartache for couples who are having difficulty conceiving.  According to the CDC, about 10% of reproductive-age women are infertile.  Infertility, however, is not always simply an endocrine imbalance.  Chronic stress and immune system status are two factors that can affect fertility and are often overlooked.

Infertility can be separated into male and female factor infertility.  Male factor infertility is more easily diagnosed, identified by changes in the count, mobility, and shape of the sperm. Female factor infertility is typically more difficult to assess.  Most cases are caused by ovulatory problems including irregular or absent menstrual cycles, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Other risk factors for female factor infertility include poor diet, athletic training, and being under/overweight.  However, immune system imbalances and chronic stress can affect fertility and contribute to conception issues, as well.

During the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle and…

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