9 potential causes of female infertility


9 potential causes of female infertility

If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant, you could be fretting that you never will. However, there are many potential reasons for male and female infertility and many probable solutions.

While infertility can have symptoms like irregular periods or severe menstrual cramps, most causes of infertility are silent. Male infertility, for example, rarely has symptoms.

Here are 9 potential causes of female infertility:

Not Ovulating

Human conception requires an egg and sperm. If you’re not ovulating, you won’t be able to get pregnant. Anovulation is a common cause of female infertility and it can be triggered by many conditions.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one possible cause of anovulation. Other possible causes include being overweight or underweight, primary ovarian insufficiency, thyroid dysfunction, hyperprolactinemia, and excessive exercise.

Not Trying Long Enough

The first thing to consider is how long you have been trying. It may feel like you’ve been trying forever. Maybe you have. But it’s important to know that many couples don’t conceive immediately.

About 80% of couples conceive after six months of trying. Approximately 90% will be pregnant after 12 months of trying to get pregnant. These rates assume you have well-timed intercourse every month.

Age-Related Infertility

For women after the age of 35, it can take longer to get pregnant. Many people assume if they still get periods regularly, their fertility is fine, but this isn’t always true. Age impacts egg quality as well as quantity. 


Endometriosis is when endometrium-like tissue (which is the tissue that lines the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. It’s estimated that up to 50% of people with endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant.

Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Ovulation problems account for about 25% of female infertility cases. In other cases, women may experience blocked fallopian tubes, uterine abnormalities, or endometriosis.

Underlying Medical Problems

Underlying medical conditions can lead to male and female infertility. For example, a thyroid imbalance or undiagnosed diabetes can cause infertility.

Male Infertility

Unless you are using medical interventions like sperm or egg donation. It takes both partners to conceive. Fertility issues do not just happen to the person intending to carry the baby. In 20% to 30% of infertile male-female couples, the male partner has a fertility problem. Age can also affect male infertility but there are ways to improve male fertility in old age.

Marijuana, whether taken recreationally or for medicinal purposes, may also impair fertility. Likewise, studies show that smoking tobacco, excessive alcohol use, and illicit drug use, such as cocaine, ecstasy, ketamine, and amphetamines, can contribute to fertility issues.

While the majority of people conceive naturally if they continue trying for 6 to 12 months, some people have more difficulty getting pregnant. The reasons for infertility aren’t always visible to the layperson. If you’ve been trying to conceive for one year (or six months if you’re 35 years or older), please get help. Don’t wait.

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