Getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term is more complicated than many people think. It’s only when things don’t happen according to the plan that couples tend to start worrying about infertility.
Many things can go wrong when a couple is trying to conceive. The following list includes some of the most common causes of female infertility.
- Problems ovulating: This is one of the most common causes of female infertility. There can be several causes such as:
- Gynaecological or ovarian conditions such as POI or PCOS
- Environmental and lifestyle factors such as substance use, weight issues, excessive exercise, chemotherapy
- Endocrine disorders
- Problems with the menstrual cycle: There are several phases in the menstrual cycle and problems at any of these can lead to infertility or problems getting pregnant.
- Infections: Various infections can cause female infertility including untreated chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or syphilis. Chronic cervical infections and surgical treatment of cervical lesions can also make it difficult for women to get pregnant.
- Structural problems: These generally relate to abnormal tissue in the uterus or fallopian tubes. This abnormal tissue can cause a blockage in the fallopian tubes. In the uterus, it can interfere with implantation.
- Egg not maturing properly: It’s possible that an immature eff will not be released at the right time, fail to make it down the fallopian tubes, or not be fertilized.
- Endometriosis: This is a condition in which the cells that normally line the uterine cavity are located outside the uterus instead. There is a link with infertility but the exact cause is not known.
- Implantation failure: The specific cause is often unknown but may include:
- Progesterone resistance
- Genetic defects in the embryo
- Thin endometrium
- Scar tissue
- POI (Primary Ovarian Insufficiency): Women with this condition have ovaries that don’t produce hormones and eggs. Typically, they ovulate irregularly, or not at all.
- PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): Women with this condition have ovaries that produce more androgens than normal. These high levels interfere with the development of ovarian follicles and the release of eggs.
- Autoimmune disorders: The reasons that disorders such as lupus, Hashimoto’s rheumatoid arthritis, and others affect fertility are not fully understood. The reasons also differ depending on the disease.
- Uterine Fibroids: These are noncancerous growths that have formed inside the uterus. It is believed their cause is genetically based.
If you’re having problems getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term, you must talk with your health care provider about possible treatments.