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Causes of Infertility

Since CHR’s founding in 1981, our research and clinical efforts have produced a huge amount of data and knowledge. We’d like to pass this information along to you. You’re making big decisions regarding your health and fertility, and having an in-depth understanding of your personal fertility will be vital in choosing a treatment plan that is right for you.

Browse the below materials regarding the causes of infertility, explore the treatment options offered at CHR, or watch informational videos by our doctors. For any questions, or to schedule an appointment, feel free to contact us online or at (212) 994-4400.

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)

Low levels of AMH (relative to a woman’s age) indicate that a woman’s pregnancy chances may be lower than expected. CHR is unique among fertility centers in that we tailor AMH treatment to each patient’s ovarian reserve status and other compounding factors.

Autoimmunity & Infertility

Because abnormal immune function can affect fertility as well as miscarriage risk, affected women need two layers of treatment: a first layer to conceive, and a second to prevent pregnancy loss after conception.

Diminished Ovarian Reserve

One of the major conditions leading to infertility in women, diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) is characterized by a low number of eggs in a woman's ovaries and/or impaired development of the existing eggs. CHR has special expertise in treating women with DOR, born out of our decade-long research on the condition.

Early Menopause

Early menopause — also referred to as premature menopause, premature ovarian failure (POF) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) — occurs when a woman experiences menopause prior to age 40. At CHR, early menopause has been a major focus of research and clinical care.

Egg Quality

Embryos must be strong enough to survive the early stages of development in order to result in a successful pregnancy, and that’s why egg quality is crucial in the success of fertility treatments. At CHR, we specialize in helping women get pregnant with their own eggs by gearing our treatment plans toward improving the number and quality of eggs.


Endometriosis is a very common gynecological condition affecting women in their reproductive years. There have been huge improvements in infertility techniques, and we usually recommend IVF, rather than surgery, for women with endometriosis.

High FSH

FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) has a role in the maturation of oocytes. CHR analyzes FSH levels relative to a woman’s age to determine whether a woman's ovarian reserve is normal or not — a technique that was introduced by CHR and is now widely used throughout the world.

Male Infertility

Male infertility refers to the inability of a male to contribute to conception with a fertile female. CHR has the knowledge and experience to help at least 90% of affected men to become the genetic fathers of their children.

Ovulatory Dysfunction

Ovulatory problems account for 20% to 30% of infertility cases. Many ovulatory dysfunction problems can be effectively treated at CHR.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a basket of different medical conditions, with one finding in common: polycystic ovaries. CHR’s pioneering research into the role of FMR1 sub-genotypes in PCOS has improved success rates for PCOS treatments.

Premature Ovarian Aging

Women with POA have a low ovarian reserve or poor ovarian reserve relative to what is expected at any given age. POA is one of the major, often overlooked, causes of female infertility. Our individualized and proactive treatment approach — born as a result of CHR's years of clinical research on POA and diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) — and our excellent IVF pregnancy rates even in patients with severe DOR are what separate CHR from most other IVF centers, and why we came to be known internationally as "the fertility center of last resort."

Pregnancy after 40

It is common for a woman to consider having a baby after 40. At CHR, we specialize in helping women over 40 become pregnant with their own eggs using a treatment plan best suited to their individual clinical circumstances.

"Poor Response" to IVF Stimulation

Many women who struggle to get pregnant, even with IVF, are diagnosed as poor responders. This label means that their ovaries respond poorly to ovarian stimulation. At CHR, we feel that this easy "diagnosis” simply describes what’s happening, and doesn’t necessarily lead to addressing the root cause, and, is not very helpful in really helping women have a successful pregnancy.

Premature Ovarian Failure

Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), also known as Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), is a loss of ovarian function before the age of 40. POF can affect women at various ages. At CHR, we find that many patients who come to us with this diagnosis actually are suffering from premature ovarian aging (POA), a treatable cause of infertility.

Repeated Miscarriages

Repeat miscarriages — defined by either three consecutive first-trimester losses or two with one in the first trimester and one in the second trimester — suggest that there may be an underlying medical condition.

Unexplained Infertility

Unexplained infertility (UI) is one of the most frequent infertility diagnoses given to women, encompassing up to approximately 30% of all cases. At CHR, we are not convinced that such a diagnosis actually exists; we believe that this is a misleading, faux diagnosis that actually impedes patients from receiving appropriate infertility treatments.

Additional Resources

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1/3 of women who have been told they need egg donation actually wind up conceiving at the CHR with their own eggs.