Female Infertility Factor

What are the causes of infertility in women?

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: December 06, 2011

Female Infertility Factor Defined

Female infertility burdens millions of women worldwide. Infertility is defined as the inability to carry a pregnancy to term after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse. 

For a woman to become pregnant, she must engage in unprotected sexual intercourse around the time when an egg is released from her ovary. The eggs and sperm have to be healthy and necessary hormones must be balanced. If she cannot become pregnant within a year of trying, she should be tested for female infertility.

Female Infertility Factor Causes

Age: Unlike men, female fertility decreases around age 30 and becomes increasingly difficult after the age of 35. When a woman enters menopause, her body stops releasing hormones that create the uterine lining for fertility. Menopause is the signal that the fertile phase of a woman’s life is terminated. Before menopause, however, most women are fertile but carrying a pregnancy becomes more difficult. Women are most fertile between the ages of 19 and 30.

Hormonal Problems: Most women with infertility problems have irregular ovulation caused by a hormonal imbalance. Ovulation is the release of an unfertilized egg in the menstrual cycle. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common ovarian disorder characterized by multiple cysts (non-cancerous) on the ovaries. PCOS leads to infertility because the cysts prevent the ovaries from producing the necessary hormones for maturing the ova, leading to an irregular ovulation. Premature ovarian failure is another cause of infertility in women by preventing the normal function of ovaries. Hormonal fertility drugs can commonly treat infertility from hormonal problems. If not, patients have other options such as egg donor IVF.

Abnormal uterus: Problems with the uterus will interfere with fertility. Women without a uterus cannot give birth. Some women are born without a uterus, whereas others have theirs surgically removed (a hysterectomy) due to a medical illness. Endometriosis is a condition in women where tissue builds up outside the uterus. Endometriosis occurs in roughly 5 to 10 percent of women and symptoms can be characterized by pelvic pain.

Blocked fallopian tubes: The fallopian tubes are necessary for carrying the egg to the uterus. Scarring from inflammation or endometriosis can block the fallopian tubes and prevent fertilization. Sometimes only one fallopian tube is blocked. In a procedure called salpingectomy, doctors can seal this tube completely to force all eggs to travel through the healthy tube.

Severe diabetes or heart disease: Some women with severe diabetes or severe heart disease risk their lives by experiencing pregnancy.

Repeated miscarriage: Some women can become pregnant but fail to carry the pregnancy to term. Repeated miscarriages can result from a number of factors, including the body generating too many hormones preventing the embryo from implanting. The body essentially sees the embryo as an antibody and fights the pregnancy.

Significant weight-loss can cause temporary female infertility. Significant weight-loss can interrupt the ovulation cycle and prevent fertility until the body readjusts.

A semen allergy is a rare cause of infertility. Approximately five percent of the population experiences an allergy to semen. The allergic reaction sparks antibodies that kill the sperm cells in the semen. A semen allergy can also exist in men and cause a male fertility factor.

Female Infertility Factor Diagnosis

When a couple is infertile, both partners can opt for infertility testing to determine the source of the problem and the subsequent means of treatment. Female infertility testing can shed light on the problem and aim for a solution.

Female Infertility Factor Treatment

The treatments for a male infertility factor differ from those for a female infertility factor. Regardless of the infertility factor, couples today have a number of treatment options ranging from In-vitro fertilization to IVF with sperm donation.

Today’s medical advances have enabled infertile women to become fertile. Women who never thought they could enjoy the wonders of pregnancy are giving birth every day due to a number of infertility treatments designed to combat infertility.

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This article was written by the medical research team at WhereismyDoctor.com
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