Causes of Infertility in Women and their Risk Factors


Having children is a dream for some couples. In fact, there are conditions, in both males and females, that make them unable to fertilize or be fertilized. This diagnosis is referred to as infertility.

In women, the reasons for infertility can be related to various factors that affect or interfere with biological processes. The cause of infertility in women , can also be from internal and external factors.

What is infertility?

Begin the description by understanding what infertility is in women. In fact, infertility is a condition when an individual cannot fertilize or be fertilized, which means that it applies to both men and women.

Women are said to be infertile if they have not been able to get pregnant after a year of trying. Or, six months if you have reached the age of 35 years. In addition, women who are pregnant, but do not carry a pregnancy until term is also said to be infertile, reports Healthline.

Infertility is categorized as primary and secondary. It is declared primary if the doctor’s diagnosis says that a person cannot get pregnant at all. Meanwhile, it can be called secondary if you have experienced at least one pregnancy in the past.

According to the Office on Women’s Health , infertility issues in women account for a third of infertility cases . As many as men, while the other third is a combination of both.

Causes of infertility in women

Reported by the Cleveland Clinic , there are many factors that contribute to infertility in women. In fact, it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. Not only that, some couples also experience infertility that is unexplained or due to multifactorial.

However, specifically in cases that are often found, the causes of infertility in women, namely:

Uterine health problems

Including due to polyps, fibroids, septum, or stickiness in the uterine cavity. Polyps and fibroids can form at any time, while other abnormalities, such as a septum, are congenital. It can also form after surgery, such as dilation and curettage (D&C).

Tubal health problems

The most common cause of infertility due to tubal health is the presence of pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition is closely related to the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Ovulation cycle disorders

There are many reasons why women don’t ovulate or release eggs regularly. Some of them are due to hormonal imbalances, past eating disorders, substance abuse, thyroid conditions, severe stress, to pituitary tumors.

Problems with the number and quality of eggs
Women are born with a certain number of eggs that can be used during their lifetime. Medically, the number of eggs can be ‘depleted’ earlier before menopause .

In addition, some eggs have a less than perfect number of chromosomes, so they cannot fertilize or grow into a fetus. Some of these chromosomal problems, such as balanced translocations, can occur in all eggs. It can also be random, but is more common with age.

Who is at high risk for female infertility?

It is not only medical causes of infertility in women that are at risk, but also other things including genetics, lifestyle choices, and age factors.

Other specific factors include hormonal problems, abnormal menstrual cycles, low body fat levels and extreme exercise, PCOS, immune disorders, to smoking habits. Previous pregnancy conditions, such as ectopic, also affect the condition and ability of subsequent pregnancies.

Age also affects infertility conditions. The most common reasons, because the number of eggs is lower, many eggs contain abnormal chromosomes, and other health factors.

Although there are general guidelines, individuals still have to carry out a series of tests to find out and confirm the condition they are experiencing. The doctor will order to perform several medical tests as a whole to a pelvic ultrasound to detect infertility.

Treatment is usually tailored to the cause of infertility in women. If the problem is structural, surgery is likely. Meanwhile, other causes can use hormonal drugs. Other alternatives, with in vitro fertilization, artificial insemination, adoption, and gestational surrogacy .