Causes of female infertility

There are many different reasons why a woman may be infertile. Below are some of the most common reasons for female infertility.


This condition, in which endometrial tissue (the uterine lining that sheds with each monthly period) grows outside the uterus, is a major cause of infertility in women. Symptoms include painful menstrual periods, irregular or heavy bleeding and possibly, repeated miscarriages. Edometriosis can be cured by laparoscopic surgery. This will remove abnormal tissue or unblock tubes. 40-60 per cent conceive within 18 months after surgery. IVF can also be used to enable pregnancy.

Ovulation problems

This is usually a hormonal condition that prevents the release of a mature egg from an ovary. Symptoms include absent or infrequent periods and excessively heavy or light bleeding. Many ovulation problems can be cured by ovulation-stimulating drugs such as clomiphene, andf follicle-stimulating hormones. 70 per cent ovulate and of those, 20-60 per cent get pregnant. IVF can also be used to enable pregnancy.

Poor egg quality

Some women have eggs that become damaged or egss that develop chromosomal abnormalities that cannot sustain a pregnancy. This problem is usually age-related as egg quality declines significantly in the late 30s and early 40s. IVF combined with egg donation is an option. Or surrogacy.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCO is when a woman’s ovaries contain many small cysts. It is often linked with hormone imbalances. Symptoms include irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain. PCO can be helped by the use of ovulation-stimulating drugs such as clomiphene and follicle-stimulating hormones. Appoximately 70 per cent of women who take fertility drugs ovulate and of those, half go on to conceive within six to nine months.

Female tube blockages

Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes prevent eggs from getting to the uterus and sperm from getting to the egg. Leading causes include pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia. Laparoscopic surgery can be used to open tubes, If surgery fails IVF is an option.

Unknown Reasons

As much as a third of all female infertility is unknown. Lifestyle in particular can play a huge part in infertility. Stress, smoking, bad eating habits (over eating and under eating) will all affect a woman’s fertility. If you have been trying for over 12 months to get pregnant your first step should be to consult a professional.