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What Causes Female Fertility Problems?

Female Infertility

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Jul 21, 2021

Nearly 10 to 18 percent of couples face problems in getting pregnant due to the causes of infertility in females. Infertility is defined as trying to get pregnant for at least a year but being unable to conceive. Female infertility affects millions of couples around the world. 

Causes of infertility in females

Women who are able to get pregnant but not able to carry the pregnancy till term are also known to be infertile. There are several causes of infertility in females and this needs to be diagnosed and treated to get pregnant.   

Symptoms of infertility in females

The main symptom of infertility is not been able to conceive even after trying for a year of unprotected intercourse. When a menstrual cycle is too long, or too short, irregular, or absent that means you are not ovulating. Usually, there may not be any other outward symptoms.

When to seek medical attention for the causes of infertility in females?

It sometimes depends on your age as when to seek help from the doctor:

  • Up to 35 years of age: Most of the doctors suggest trying for natural pregnancy for at least a year prior going for any test or treatment.
  • If you are between 35 and 40: After trying to conceive for at least six months you should discuss your issue with the doctor.
  • If you are above 40 years: If you are not able to conceive then your doctor would recommend immediate test or treatment.

Sometimes your doctor may recommend starting immediate testing and treatment if you or your partner has known fertility issues, if you have pelvic inflammatory disease, or have a history of painful or irregular periods, repeated miscarriages, or endometriosis.

What is the leading causes of infertility in females?

One of the most leading causes of infertility in females is the failure to ovulate. This issue is mostly faced by 40% of women with infertility issues.

Reasons why a woman can’t get pregnant?

Getting pregnant and carrying and it to term is a very complicated process. There are several reasons due to which a woman is not able to conceive. Some of the reasons include:

  • Failure to ovulate: The most common cause of female infertility is failure to ovulate and this issue is faced by nearly 40% of women 
  • The issue in the menstrual cycle: If there is an issue with the menstrual cycle that prepares a female body for pregnancy, then such problems can lead to infertility. There are several phases in the menstrual cycle and if at any stage a problem occurs then it may lead to difficulty in pregnancy or infertility. 
  • Structural problems of the reproductive system: Usually structural problems involve presence of tissue in the uterus or fallopian tube. When the fallopian tubes are blocked the eggs are not able to travel from the ovaries to the uterus thus sperm is not able to reach the eggs for fertilization.
  • Infections: Infection can also be a reason for infertility in females and men. Untreated chlamydia and gonorrhea in women can be a reason for pelvic inflammatory disease, and it may cause scarring blocking the fallopian tubes. Many other infections can cause infertility in women. 
  • Eggs failing to mature properly: There may be several reasons eggs may not mature properly. Some of such reasons that may affect the maturing of eggs are PCOS, obesity, and lack of specific proteins that are needed for the maturity of eggs.
  • Implantation failure: Implantation failure is referred to the failure of eggs to get implanted in the uterine wall to start a pregnancy. Well, the specific cause of implantation failure is not usually known, but some of the possibilities can be Genetic defects in the embryo, embryonic defects, progesterone resistance, endometriosis, and scar tissue in the endometrial cavity.
  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where cells that usually line the uterine cavity known as the endometrium, are usually seen outside the uterus instead of being inside. 
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): One of the most common causes of female infertility is PCOS. It is a condition where a woman’s ovaries or the adrenal gland produce excess androgens than normal. When these hormones are produced in excess they interfere with the development of ovarian follicles and the release of eggs at the time of ovulation. 

These are some of the reasons why women are not able to conceive.   

What are infertility warning signs?

Fertility is usually what people do not consider till they are actively trying to conceive or sometimes when they have issues in conceiving. There are several infertility warning signs and some of them to be considered include:

  • Changes in the menstrual cycle: It means it can be the absence of your period, heavier flow and irregular menstrual cycle can be a reason of infertility. To identify early it is necessary to keep a check on your menstrual cycle. 
  • Sudden and severe breakouts of acne: If you are having sudden skin changes such as severe acne breakouts as an adult then it indicates that some issue is going on with your hormones. It can also be an early sign of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pain during periods: Here we are not talking about normal cramping. But, severe pain that causes nausea and vomiting. Alone pain may not be the sign of infertility but combined with other symptoms like blood in the urine or at the time of bowel movements, pain during intercourse, or irregular periods can be a sign of endometriosis that affects nearly 20-40% of females infertility cases.
  • Significant Hair growth (or Hair loss): In polycystic ovarian syndrome small cysts are formed outside the ovaries besides it also causes the body to produces excess male hormones. Thus, if you notice hair growth on the unusual places of the body like the face, arms, chest, or back, then it could be a warning sign of infertility. On the other side thinning of hair or hair loss could be a sign of other infertility related conditions such as anemia, thyroid, or autoimmune disorders.
  • Sudden weight gain: One of the signs of PCOS is sudden weight gain without a change in your diet or level of activity. You should always keep in mind that even if there is no PCOS present being overweight or underweight can cause difficulty in conceiving.     

Who is at risk for female infertility?

With the increase in age, the chances of a woman getting pregnant decrease. These days age is the most common factor in female infertility the reason is most couples wait till their 30’s or 40’s to have children. 

A woman above 35 years has a higher risk of fertility issues. Other factors are contributing to female infertility include:

  • Diabetes
  • Abnormal menstruation
  • Celiac disease
  • Blocked fallopian disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Past ectopic pregnancy
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thyroid disease
How does age impacts female fertility?

A woman is born with all the eggs she is going to have in her lifetime. A woman’s peak fertility age is between late teens to late 20s. By the time she reaches 30’s her fertility starts declining. It starts rapidly declining once you reach mid 30’s. And by 45 your fertility has declined so much that getting pregnant naturally is very difficult for most women. 

From the time a woman is born her eggs quantity and quality keeps decreasing till she reaches menopause. This decline is gradual till her early 30’s but later that it accelerates quickly. Older mother not only faces difficulty in conceiving but also deals with miscarriages and chromosomal abnormalities in the child.  

Women getting pregnant at an older age deal with a high risk of pregnancy complications, such as preeclampsia and diabetes.

Conclusions

Now that you have known the most common causes of infertility in females you should be very cautious about them. Although, if you are among the ones who are facing infertility issues can contact us at fertilityzilla at +91-8882-067-985 and we will be glad to serve you with our best services.  

FAQS

What is the most common causes of infertility in females?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of female infertility.

What are the signs of infertility in a woman?

Some of the signs of infertility in a woman are, pain during sex, long, heavy, or painful periods, dark or pale menstrual blood, hormone changes, and irregular menstrual cycle, and many more.

How can I check my fertility?

Your doctor will do a pelvic examination. They may also recommend ultrasound to check your ovaries and uterus, and also recommend blood tests to check your hormone level. You should also track your ovulation patterns by checking your cervical mucus.

How can I boost my fertility?

Here are few ways to boost your fertility such as eating foods rich in antioxidants, avoid trans fats, if you are suffering PCOS then cut down on carbs, consume more fiber, swap protein sources, and choose high-fat dairy, and so on.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions

https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility/conditioninfo/causes

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health

https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications

Speak to our infertility specialist +91 8969340069

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