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What causes Female Infertility?

woman infertility thinking

For some women, getting pregnant is easy. But for others with infertility problems, getting pregnant can get complicated. This is when things seem so unfair. As friends announce they are having a baby one after the other, pregnancy struggles can be a frustrating and lonely journey.

But exactly what causes female infertility? Sadly there is no one clear answer, but there are some common causes that once identified, can lead to appropriate and hopefully effective solutions. These common causes include uterus problems, hormonal limitations, blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, endometriosis and unexplained infertility.

Uterus problems

uterus problems
The uterus or womb is where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant. If bleeding occurs between periods or after sex, there could be a problem with the uterus. Physical problems with the uterus can harm the development at those vital early phases.

There are a variety of causes that can include hormones, thyroid problems, uterine fibroids, polyps, cancer or infection.

Hormonal limitations

Hormones can affect a woman’s ability to get pregnant, and any imbalance in certain hormones can cause infertility. Here are two of the most common hormonal limitations:


Polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS is a hormonal condition that can affect a woman’s ability to have a child. Since the reproductive hormones are out of balance, PCOS can also stop periods or make them hard to predict, cause acne and unwanted body and facial hair, and raise the risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. Some women with PCOS can also have cysts.
Women with PCOS can get pregnant. But they may need to take medicines to improve their fertility.


Primary ovary insufficiency or POI is a condition where the ovaries stop producing hormones and eggs while still at a young age. Pregnancy is still possible though. But rare. Only 5% to 10% of women with POI get pregnant without medical treatment.

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Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes

Tubal occlusion or a blocked fallopian tube can cause infertility. Fallopian tubes are crucial to conception. They are where most eggs are fertilized. Once they are damaged or blocked, pregnancy may not happen. Sometimes, a fertilized egg gets stuck and results in an ectopic pregnancy, which is dangerous.
Laparoscopy is the most accurate test to check for blocked fallopian tubes. Surgery can remove the blockage, but if this is unsuccessful, then IVF can be a solution.


When the endometrial lining of the uterus attaches itself to other organs outside the uterus, endometriosis occurs. The endometrial lining is shed from the uterus during menstruation. But if the lining has attached itself outside the uterus, it cannot leave the body. It can then break down and bleed, tear-away or develop painful scar tissue.
The Endometriosis Research Center has said this is the leading cause of female infertility and can only be diagnosed through surgery.

Unexplained infertility

Probably the most frustrating diagnosis is unexplained infertility. Sadly nearly 20% of couples struggling to get pregnant are told their problem in unexplained. This term is used when the sperm’s quality meets normal standards, the woman is ovulating regularly with ample egg quality and supply, the fallopian tubes are open and there is no endometriosis.
Treatment to help couples with this condition can still proceed. Artificial insemination or IUI is first recommended, where the sperm is collected, washed and introduced to the uterus during ovulation. When insemination fails, in vitro fertilisation or IVF can come in. The woman’s ovaries are medically stimulated and collected. The sperm is introduced to the eggs and fertilised in a laboratory setting. When embryos are formed, they are transferred into the womb.

Sometimes, the couples’ infertility is explained during the IVF process. No matter what the cause, explained or not, it is important that couples consult a professional IVF specialist doctor so they can be guided with the appropriate next steps. Dunya IVF has a team of professionals led by highly competent IVF specialist doctors that can help you. Consultation is free and can be done online. Simply click here and have your questions answered.

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