Female Infertility

Infertility is a condition that affects approximately 1 out of every 6 couples. An infertility diagnosis is given to a couple that has been unsuccessful in efforts to conceive over the course of one full year. When the cause of infertility exists within the female partner, it is referred to as female infertility. Female infertility factors contribute to approximately 50% of all infertility cases, and female infertility alone accounts for approximately one-third of all infertility cases.

Causes Female Infertility

The most common causes of female infertility include problems with ovulation, damage to fallopian tubes or uterus, or problems with the cervix. Age can contribute to infertility because as a woman ages, her fertility naturally tends to decrease.

Ovulation problems may be caused by one or more of the following:

  1. A hormone imbalance
2. A tumor or cyst
3. Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
4. Alcohol or drug use
5. Thyroid gland problems
6. Excess weight
7. Stress
8. Intense exercise that causes a significant loss of body fat
9. Extremely brief menstrual cycles

Damage to the fallopian tubes or uterus can be caused by one or more of the following:

  1. Pelvic inflammatory disease
2. A previous infection
3. Polyps in the uterus
4. Endometriosis or fibroids
5. Scar tissue or adhesions
6. Chronic medical illness
7. A previous ectopic (tubal) pregnancy
8. A birth defect
DES syndrome (The medication DES, given to women to prevent miscarriage or premature birth can result in fertility problems for their children.)

Abnormal cervical mucus can also cause infertility. Abnormal cervical mucus can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or make it more difficult for the sperm to penetrate the egg.

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