Infertility in Females – Causes and Testing

Female infertility is a contributing factor in about one-third of fertility cases. It’s important to understand the common causes of infertility in women and know how to identify them. In women over 35, age-related infertility is common. In younger women, reproductive conditions, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis, are among the most common causes of female infertility.

Reproductive Conditions

Some of the most common causes of female infertility are reproductive conditions. Diseases that affect the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and other associated organs can interfere with ovulation, fertilization, or implantation in a number of ways. Two of the most common reproductive conditions are endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when segments of the uterine lining, or endometrium, grow on structures outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can result in female infertility and often causes severe menstrual cramps and other pelvic pain, fatigue, and abnormal menstrual bleeding.

Depending on the severity of the problem, endometriosis may be treated with surgery, medication, or both.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), another leading cause of female infertility, is an endocrine condition that interferes with ovulation. Rather than a single ovarian follicle developing and releasing a mature egg each cycle, multiple ovarian cysts form but do not release any eggs.

Age-Related Infertility

Fertility begins to decline in Women over the age of 30 as their egg reserve declines and hormonal changes make conception and pregnancy more difficult. Additionally, the chance of fetal abnormalities and genetic mutations increases.

Ovulation Disorders

Irregular or absent ovulation may be the result of premature ovarian failure, a condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or a different type of hormonal imbalance.

Lifestyle

Fertility can be decreased by lifestyle choices including drinking alcohol, smoking, drug use, or being sedentary. Treatments include proper diet, moderate exercise and avoiding potentially harmful substances.