What causes female infertility?

There are numerous conditions associated with female infertility. The most common ones are:

Endometriosis: A condition which occurs as a result of uterine tissue growth outside of the uterus. It can have adverse effects on the egg, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Thyroid Disorders: By disrupting the menstrual cycle, thyroid disorders can lead to infertility.
Uterine Fibroids: Benign tumors in the wall of the uterus. Uterine fibroids are fairly common in women and often harmless, but they can sometimes interfere with implantation of the embryo. In rare cases, uterine fibroids can contribute to fallopian tube blockage.

Ovulation Disorders: If ovaries are unable to release eggs, fertilization and pregnancy cannot occur. Ovulation disorders may be caused by tumors, malnutrition, injury or certain medications.

Medications: Certain prescription drugs may temporarily interfere with fertility. In most cases, this can be reversed with discontinued use. 

Blocked or Damaged Fallopian Tubes: In most cases, Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease is the underlying cause of fallopian inflammation. Endometriosis or previous surgery may also damage your fallopian tubes.

Elevated Prolactin Levels: Prolactin is the hormone responsible for the production of breast milk. Increased levels of prolactin in women who are not pregnant or nursing can affect ovulation.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A condition in which the body produces excess amounts of androgen, causing ovulation problems.
Early Menopause: The depletion of ovarian follicles and lack of menstruation in women under the age of 40. No cause has been determined for early onset menopause; however genetics, immune disorders, chemotherapy treatment and smoking have been associated with this condition.

Cancer and/or Cancer treatment: Cancers affecting the reproductive organs can lead to infertility. The treatment of these and other cancers using radiation or chemotherapy can also damage important reproductive functions.

Pelvic Adhesions: A type of scar tissue which coats vital organs after a pelvic infection, appendicitis, or invasive medical procedures.

How common is infertility in women? About 10-15 percent of women struggle with infertility during their reproductive years.

What are my chances of having a baby through infertility treatment? Each case is different and your odds are more easily determined after you and your partner have undergone fertility testing. However, the majority of couples eventually do conceive after receiving the proper fertility treatment.

At what age is a woman most fertile? Maximum fertility occurs is her mid-twenties. Although many couples delay starting a family, fertility levels decrease with woman’s age. About one third of women in their mid-30s and at least half of women over age 40 will have a problem becoming pregnant.

When should you be worried about infertility? By the end of the first year of trying to conceive, 80% of couples will have achieved a pregnancy. Couples should seek medical advice if they are unable to conceive after one year of trying (6 months if the woman is over 35 years old). The earlier the problem is detected, the better the chances are for successful treatment.

Does infertility only happen to women? About one half of all infertility cases can have an associated problem with the men.

What causes male infertility? Male infertility is just as common as female infertility, although the causes of infertility in men are somewhat different. If necessary, a referral to a specialist will be made.

When is the women’s fertile time during a menstrual cycle? When ovulation occurs, usually around the 14th day after the first day of menses.

Is it normal if you don’t menstruate every month? If the time between your periods is more than 35 days, you may not be ovulating and may require assistance in order to become pregnant.

Are there any side effects to infertility treatment?

Learn more about side effects