Female Infertility

Challenges with family building.

By Kai Wade, Director of Communications & Social MediaLast modified: February 16, 2012

Female Infertility

According to experts, infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after a year of unprotected sexual intercourse. According to Resolve, infertility affects about one in six couples around the world. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine reports that about one third of the time, female infertility is the cause of couples’ conception problems.

Female infertility comes from many sources, including age, hormones, gynecological conditions and disorders, and it can even be unexplained in about 20 percent of cases. Age is a major factor when it comes to a woman’s fertility. During the 20s, women are at their most fertile time. Their chances of conceiving a baby and carrying the pregnancy to term are at their highest, but as the years go on, the amount of eggs and their quality decreases at an exponential rate. By age 40, the chances of becoming pregnant naturally dip down to almost zero, while the risk for complications and birth defects increases dramatically.

Infertility can also be caused by a variety of women’s health issues. Pelvic infections, endometriosis, and prior surgery can lead to damage of the fallopian tubes and surrounding organs. Hormonal issues can also get in the way of a woman’s natural ovulation cycle. Problems like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can alter hormone production, and therefore, cause infertility issues. Cancer survivors who have undergone chemotherapy or surgery can also be at risk for female infertility.

After a year of trying to conceive with no success, experts advise women to see an infertility specialist to undergo a series of infertility tests. Once the root of the problem is discovered, there are many treatment solutions available to help women become pregnant. Microsurgery, hormonal therapy, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation and surrogacy are all effective female infertility treatment options.


Endometriosis is a condition characterized by uterine cells growing outside of the uterus. The cells normally grow in the pelvic region. Cell growth causes pain, scar tissue, lesion and adhesions. Endometriosis is chronic and lifelong.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is simply defined by an abnormal level of hormones in women of reproductive age. Hormones which regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle include both androgens (male sex hormones) as well as estrogens and progesterones (female sex hormones).

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Copyright © 2010 WhereismyDoctor.com. All rights reserved

This article was written by the medical research team at WhereismyDoctor.com
WhereismyDoctor.com does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
View sources

© 2010 Medstar LLC. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of WhereismyDoctor.com' s terms of use and privacy policy.

The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.