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Causes Of Infertility In Women

Fertility and Infertility Articles > Causes Of Infertility In Woman

Infertility is the inability of a couple (where the woman is under 35) having normal, unprotected sex for over a year, (two years for women over 35) to conceive.  However, it is important to note that infertility is the total absence of reproductive function in an individual.  This condition is very rare.  Most ‘infertile’ people have biological parts of their reproductive system impaired, which results in reduced chances of their conceiving.  Thus they are not really infertile, they are subfertile.  This condition however, is also broadly referred to as infertility.

While both male and/or female factors can contribute towards infertility, here, we will look at the most common causes leading to infertility in women

Ovulatory disorders:

Because the ovulation cycle is so complex, even the minutest deviation can disrupt the process and affect ovulation.  Impaired ovulation is the single, most common cause of infertility among women.  Deficiencies in one or more of the controlling hormones, absent, damaged or diseased ovaries, stress or even weight loss can lead to ovulatory disorders. 

The most common form of ovulatory disorder is Polycystic Ovary Disease (PCOD).  Around 30% of the women suffering from ovulation dysfunction have Polycystic Ovary Disease.  Their ovaries are enlarged and have a smooth but thicker-than-normal outer cover with a number of small, harmless cysts spread all over.  Their menstruation cycle is very irregular and they tend not to ovulate.  Women with PCOD also tend to be overweight and develop hirsuitism.

Anatomical disorders:

Women are more prone to anatomical disorders than men.  Infection and inflammation can lead to disorders of the female sex organs.  The most common anatomical disorders among others are:

• Fallopian tube damage where the tubes get blocked on account of scarring due to infection or due to earlier abdominal surgery.  Fallopian tubes can also be affected by Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) caused by sexually transmitted micro-organisms.

• Uterine disorders such as congenital abnormalities, infections or fibroids that can prevent the fertilized egg from implanting and growing in the womb.


Females are born with a fixed though plentiful supply of eggs.  These eggs slowly begin to diminish from childhood through adulthood.  While the process of ovulation does contribute to this decrease, some portion of the eggs are absorbed by the body over a period of time.  A rapid decline in fertility sets in after the age of 35 as the eggs also begin to degrade reducing chances of naturally conceiving.  With age, changes in hormonal levels can also cause irregular ovulation resulting in declining fertility.

Unexplained infertility:

Some patients show no obvious cause for their inability to conceive in spite of thorough investigations being conducted.  This is normally due to genetic factors among others, that present technology is not equipped to detect.

Other factors:

Exposure to toxic substances can also increase the risk of infertility. 

Although infertility is not a health need, infertile women wishing to conceive have excellent infertility treatment options available today.  If you are concerned with your fertility, connect with your health provider who will advise you on what tests to have and the best likely infertility treatment for you.

Fertility and Infertility Articles > Causes Of Infertility In Woman