Infertility Causes and Possible Risk factors

Infertility Causes and Possible Risk factors

Infertility is defined as attempting to become pregnant for at least one year without success (with frequent intercourse). Female infertility, male infertility, or a combination of the two in the United States affects millions of couples. An approximate 10 to 18 per cent of couples find it difficult to get pregnant or have a successful delivery. Here we will find out infertility causes in females.

Female infertility factors lead to about 50% of all cases of infertility, and female infertility alone accounts for about one-third of all cases of infertility.

Infertility can be one of the toughest medical issues in females to deal with–not just because of the emotional upheaval, but because there are so many causes behind it

Following are the most common infertility causes in females 

1. PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

 Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is one of the very serious consequences of some bacterial infections including Gonorrhea or Chlamydia. PID affects nearly 1,000,000 women every year. The present number of individuals infected by PID is unknown.

PID may cause permanent harm by developing scar tissue on the female internal reproductive organs. The scar tissue can fully block the fallopian tubes, which prevents the sperm and egg from meeting and causes infertility.

Roughly 100,000 women a year start struggling with infertility because of PID. The scar tissue may partly block or marginally hurt the fallopian tube.

This may prevent the fertilized egg from leaving the tube creating an ectopic or tubal pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancies can rupture the fallopian tubes causing acute pain, internal bleeding, and even death. Scarring of the fallopian tubes and ovaries may also lead to pelvic pain which lasts for weeks or even years.

2. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

 PCOS is the most frequent cause of infertility in women, according to the CDC. The problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance that leads to a series of little cysts on the ovaries.

It also throws your whole cycle out of whack, causing irregular periods, or even no time at all for a couple of months at one time.

Shockingly, millions of women are living with it without even knowing–based on the PCOS Foundation, 10 per cent of women of childbearing age have been affected, but less than half are diagnosed. consult your doctor if you are experiencing these subtle signs of PCOS.

3.Ovulation disorders,

ovulation disorder which influences the release of eggs from the ovaries. These include hormonal disorders like polycystic ovary syndrome.

Hyperprolactinemia, a condition in which you have too much prolactin — the hormone that stimulates breast milk production — also may interfere with ovulation.

Either a lot of thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or too little (hypothyroidism) can affect the menstrual cycle or cause infertility.

4.Uterine or cervical abnormalities,

such as all abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus or the form of the uterus. Noncancerous (benign) tumours from the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) may cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus).


Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue which lines the uterus begins to grow in other places, such as the uterus, behind the uterus, or in the fallopian tubes, resulting in. irritation and the development of scar tissue (adhesions).

Apart from being exceptionally painful (though some women may experience no pain), it may make it rather tough to get pregnant by blocking the fallopian tubes, disrupting implantation, causing inflammation in the pelvis, as well as shifting egg quality,

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Adhesions can also form after pelvic surgeries or injury to the reproductive tissues, such as dilation and curettage (D&C) during pregnancy termination or miscarriage, or even a previous C-section.

Armando Hernandez-Rey, M.D., reproductive endocrinology & infertility doctor at Conceptions Florida, stated that “A woman who [tries to get pregnant] in their early 23 and has severe endometriosis will not be affected as compared to someone who waits till the age 37 and then has the diagnosis,”  That is because generally, your eggs are far higher quality, raising the chances you will conceive despite the endometriosis.

As the treatment of endometriosis differs from person to person.surgically removing the scar tissue can improve your chances of becoming pregnant particularly when paired with fertility treatments such as IVF.

6. Fallopian tube damage or blockage

Fallopian tube damage or blockage

Often brought on by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is normally caused by a sexually transmitted disease, endometriosis or adhesions.

7Primary ovarian insufficiency (premature menopause),

when the ovaries stop working and ovulation ends until age 40. Even though the reason of premature ovarian failure is often unknown, certain factors are associated with premature menopause, such as immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions like Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, and chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

8. Pelvic adhesions,

Group of scar tissue that binds organs that can form following pelvic disease, appendicitis, endometriosis or abdominal or pelvic surgery.

9. Certain cancers —

particularly reproductive cancers — frequently impair female fertility. Both radiation and chemotherapy may affect fertility.

10.Unhealthy body weight

Having a BMI that’s too high or low has a proven effect on the ability to get pregnant. “Being overweight or obese, you may have a two- to four-fold greater risk of not being able to conceive on the basis Of obesity, and nearly a six-fold risk of having miscarriages,” Hernandez-Rey describes.

Being extremely over or underweight can impact the pituitary gland, causing it to malfunction and provoke issues with ovulation.

In fact, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 12 per cent of primary infertility results from deviations in body weight, meaning either obesity or very low body weight.

Luckily, it is a reason for infertility which can normally be reversed. “Weight reduction definitely has positive results and can be positively correlated with a fantastic prognosis,” states Hernandez-Rey.

When there’s no other contributing factor impeding fertility, over 70 per cent of women that are infertile for this reason will be able to conceive without intervention as soon as they’re at healthful bodyweight.

Risk factors

 Lots of the risk factors for both male and female infertility will be the exact same. They include:

Age; Women’s fertility gradually decreases with age, particularly in the mid-30s, and it drops quickly after age 37. Infertility in older women is probably due to the reduced number and quality of eggs, and may also be due to health conditions that affect fertility.

This is not to say you would be rushing to get pregnant in your 20s, or you won’t be able to get pregnant on your own in your late 30s or 40s. However, if you’re planning to wait to have kids until you’re older, the process may be a bit more complicated.

Tobacco Usage. Smoking tobacco or marijuana by a partner may reduce the probability of pregnancy. Smoking also reduces the potential effectiveness of fertility therapy.

Miscarriages are more frequent in women who smoke. Smoking may enhance the risk of erectile dysfunction and a low sperm count in men.

Alcohol use. For women, there is no safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or conception. Alcohol use may result in infertility. For guys, heavy alcohol use can decrease sperm count and motility.

 Being underweight.  Women at risk of fertility problems include people who have eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia and those who follow a very low-carb or restrictive diet plan.

Exercise Problems. A lack of exercise leads to obesity, which increases the risk of infertility.  Less often, ovulation issues may be associated with regular strenuous, extreme exercise in women that aren’t obese.

Thyroid disease A 2015 study published in The Obstetrician & Gynecologist supports the long-suspected theory that thyroid disorders can contribute to ovulation and pregnancy problems, and indicates that women with no trouble conceiving be analyzed for more than the underactive thyroid gland.

“Usually, individuals with severe thyroid disease will have some symptoms that are quite obvious,” says Dr Schlaff,”but subclinical, undiagnosed hypothyroidism is surely a recognized problem as well, and we know it can have subtle effects on fertility without a woman knowing it”

Caffeine If you’re hooked on venti lattes, a few research suggest you may have difficulty getting pregnant. A 2011 study by the Nevada School of Medicine found that caffeine interferes with the muscular contractions that assist eggs to travel from the uterus and throughout the fallopian tubes to the womb,

while a 2012 Danish study revealed that drinking five or more cups of java per day may cut a woman’s chances of successful in vitro fertilization by half. Nevertheless, other studies suggest caffeine plays no role in fertility.

In any event, if you are struggling to conceive, it’s well worth taking a peek at your caffeine consumption and cutting back if you are drinking more than 200 milligrams a day–that’s1 to two 8-ounce cups of java.

Anxiety Women with high levels of an enzyme-linked to worry had a more difficult time getting pregnant, based on a 2014 study published in Human Reproduction.

Researchers say this study does not indicate that stress is accountable for fertility problems, however, they do indicate that women who’ve been trying to get pregnant for many months try embracing a stress management plan.

“Perceived stress can surely change hormone levels and ovulation,” says Dr Arredondo.  “Stress itself isn’t bad, but if it’s too much — and if we respond negatively — it can have all sorts of effects on our health and our bodies.

Your family history Just asks your mom how old she was when she went through menopause. If she started on the other hand, then you probably will, also.

“Women are born with a certain amount of eggs,” says Dr Arredondo, “and there are certain genetic factors which may cause you to born with fewer or more eggs than normal, or that may force you to use those eggs quicker than other average women.” But keep in mind that you certainly aren’t doomed to relive the same specific scenario your mom did.

Other possible causes include

Breastfeeding It is a myth that you can not get pregnant while breastfeeding, but in precisely the exact same time, it is true that women that are still nursing one kid may have difficulty conceiving a different one.

“It affects ovulation,” says Dr Schlaff. ” It’s not impossible — so it shouldn’t be used as your only method of birth control — but it’s a choice that can impact your fertility negatively.

Older moms who want to have another baby before they have to be worried about age-related fertility decline should talk about how long to breastfeed with their physician.

It may be better to wait for another child for at least a year and a half, anyway: a 2014 University of Cincinnati College of Medicine study found that women who wait less than one and a half year after having a child to conceive again are more prone to have a shorter pregnancy and premature delivery.

Injectable birth control As soon as you stop taking most forms of hormonal birth control, you’ll get pregnant in a month, says Dr Schlaff. Each Depo-Provera shot prevents pregnancy for 12 to 14 weeks–and while some women do get pregnant in as little as one month then coverage wears off, it may take different women up to a year to conceive.

Doctors advised women to stop using injectable birth control several months before they hope to get pregnant.

Consider To Read: Signs Of Fertility In Woman

Dr Sufia Shaikh

Myself Dr Sufia, Doctor by profession speciality in Woman's Health with an experience more than 14 years. I do blogging on Pregnancy & Parenting Tips.

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