Female Infertility

The causes of infertility are numerous, but can be categorized around these issues: ovulation and egg quality; sperm production, transport and function; fertilization; and implantation.

Some Common Causes/Reasons for Infertility

Problems with menstruation and ovulation

Irregular or abnormal ovulation, called anovulation, is one of the biggest reasons for female infertility and can be attributed to 25% of all female infertility problems.

and bladder. The scar tissue formed from this condition can cause infertility. Surgery and in vitro fertilization have been found to be effective treatments for infertility patients with endometriosis.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance resulting in lack of ovulation, irregular periods and infertility. It is characterized by the appearance of many small cysts in the ovary as seen on an ultrasound. It also is often associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss, medication therapy and techniques like IUI and IVF can help PCOS sufferers.

Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous, estrogen-dependent benign tumors growing in the uterus that can cause pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. They also can cause infertility and recurrent miscarriages. A physician might recommend a myomectomy as the best surgical intervention to remove fibroids for women who want to get pregnant.

Premature Ovarian Failure

Women are diagnosed with premature ovarian failure (POF) if they are 40 years old or younger and their ovaries no longer function to ovulate eggs. Not only will these young women potentially lose their reproductive capabilities, but they also are at greater risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. A variety of medical conditions can cause POF, but doctors can not always identify one. POF is not premature menopause.

Older Intended Mothers

No matter how good she looks or feels, a woman’s ovarian function declines in both quantity and quality as she ages. This is why it is important for women over 40 to seek help after three months of trying to get pregnant. Just because you are ovulating and having a period does not mean you are capable of getting pregnant.

Secondary Infertility

After successfully having one or two children, many couples are perplexed by their inability to conceive again. Secondary infertility can be just as emotionally devastating as primary infertility and couples often do not get the support they need because of fear and guilt.

Blocked fallopian tubes/tubal disease

Blockages or scarring of the fallopian tubes, a pair of hollow structures leading from the area of the ovaries to the uterus where fertilization occurs. In its early days, in vitro fertilization initially was used to help women with this condition.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis can be a painful and chronic condition that is characterized by uterine lining tissue found outside the uterus, often inside the peritoneal cavity on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, bowels and bladder. The scar tissue formed from this condition can cause infertility. Surgery and in vitro fertilization have been found to be effective treatments for infertility patients with endometriosis.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a hormonal imbalance resulting in lack of ovulation, irregular periods and infertility. It is characterized by the appearance of many small cysts in the ovary as seen on an ultrasound. It also is often associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss, medication therapy and techniques like IUI and IVF can help PCOS sufferers.

Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous, estrogen-dependent benign tumors growing in the uterus that can cause pelvic pain and heavy menstrual bleeding. They also can cause infertility and recurrent miscarriages. A physician might recommend a myomectomy as the best surgical intervention to remove fibroids for women who want to get pregnant.

Premature Ovarian Failure

Women are diagnosed with premature ovarian failure (POF) if they are 40 years old or younger and their ovaries no longer function to ovulate eggs. Not only will these young women potentially lose their reproductive capabilities, but they also are at greater risk for heart disease and osteoporosis. A variety of medical conditions can cause POF, but doctors can not always identify one. POF is not premature menopause.

Older Intended Mothers

No matter how good she looks or feels, a woman’s ovarian function declines in both quantity and quality as she ages. This is why it is important for women over 40 to seek help after three months of trying to get pregnant. Just because you are ovulating and having a period does not mean you are capable of getting pregnant.

Secondary Infertility

After successfully having one or two children, many couples are perplexed by their inability to conceive again. Secondary infertility can be just as emotionally devastating as primary infertility and couples often do not get the support they need because of fear and guilt.